Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Iowa moves closer to raising rural speed limits; state official says it would lead to more fatalities

Iowa lawmakers have advanced a bill to raise speed limits on rural two-lane paved roads, despite a warning from a state Department of Transportation official that higher speeds would lead to an increase in fatal crashes, Brianne Pfannenstiel reports for The Des Moines Register. "A three-person subcommittee passed two versions of the legislation—one bill that would increase the speed limit from 55 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour and another that would increase it to 65 miles per hour."

Steve Gent, director of the Office of Traffic and Safety, told the committee, “Pretty much every place that has increased their speed limits has seen an increase in fatalities.” Pfannenstiel reports, "Gent said the department estimates that a 5-mile-an-hour increase could lead to an additional five to 15 fatal accidents each year and a 10-mile-an-hour increase could lead to 10 to 25 additional fatalities." (Read more)

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