3-18-15 state assembly approves 70 mph speed limit

The state Assembly has approved a bill that would green light increasing the state speed limit to 70 mph on some highways and freeways.  Rep. Paul Tittl, a Manitowoc Republican, says the bill allows the Department of Transportation to increase speed limits to 70 miles per hour in approved areas. The top speed limit in the state is currently 65 miles per hour.  “We’re in a different world today than we were 40 years ago and its just a very common sense bill,”   Tittle told WFDL news.  AAA Wisconsin is on record in opposition to a proposal to raise the speed limit  to 70 miles an hour.  AAA says raising the speed  limit on rural highways would make it more difficult for vehicles to slow down or stop to avoid a collision and  can increase the severity of crashes.  AAA spokesman Nick Jarmuscz says AAA is  particularly alarmed about the potential implications for trucks, because of their heavier weight and greater stopping distance. Jarmuscz says evidence from neighboring states provides a clear warning: higher speed limits lead to higher rates of truck involvement in fatal crashes.  According to the most recent data available from NHTSA (2012), Wisconsin’s rate for large truck involved fatal crashes was 7.4 percent,  below  Minnesota at 10 percent and Iowa 13.2 percent  which allow trucks to travel 70 mph on rural highways.   Michigan, which has a differential speed limit that keeps trucks below 60 mph even in places where  cars  are allowed to travel 70 mph, was well below Wisconsin at 5.2 percent.   Jarmuscz says AAA believes increasing the speed limit could compromise the safety of those who travel on Wisconsin roads.