Some rural freeways and highways in Michigan might see a speed limit increase. That’s if Governor Rick Snyder signs a package of bills headed for his desk.
The legislation would raise the speed limit on certain roads to 75 miles per hour. Other roads could get an increase to 65 miles per hour.
Republican Senator Tom Casperson is chair of the Senate Transportation committee. He said part of the method for deciding which roads will see an increase is figuring out how fast people are already driving on those roads.
“I know some people get confused with it,” he said. “They think that how can you say going faster is safer? It is when they talk about the flow of traffic and where they’re traveling. So, that’s what we tried to center on.”
The roads will also go through a safety study performed in part by the Department of State Police before getting the green light to increase their speeds. Casperson said, “They shouldn’t just go arbitrarily, go change speed limits. We want to make sure the study backs up what we’re saying.”
Some of the bills only passed by a slim majority. Democratic Representative Marilyn Lane is the minority vice chair on a House committee that passed the legislation. She opposed the speed limit increase.
“I think our priorities are misplaced,” she said. “I think first and foremost we need to secure our roads and make sure our infrastructures are safe to travel, and once we’ve identified that…then I think we should start talking about how does our speed limits look in certain areas of the state.”