Lawmaker wants 75 mph limit on some Missouri roads - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Lawmaker wants 75 mph limit on some Missouri roads

A state lawmaker wants to increase the speed limit on Missouri's rural interstates and freeways from 70 mph. A state lawmaker wants to increase the speed limit on Missouri's rural interstates and freeways from 70 mph.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS/AP) - A state lawmaker wants to increase the speed limit on Missouri's rural interstates and freeways from 70 mph.

State Rep. Mike Kelley of Lamar filed legislation recently to boost the speed limit on those roads to 75 mph.

This is the second time Kelly has filed legislation.

Missouri wouldn't be the first state to make the change.

Four states raised speed limits to as high as 80 mph in 2014.

Drivers say it would allow them to get from point a to point b faster, but some think it would only make people drive even faster.

"If you're doing the speed limit which is 70 now, you're probably doing 75, so if you're doing 75, you could be doing 80 to 85 and it's just dangerous on the highways period as it relates to people not being able to handle their vehicles or you know it's a bad time for weather and all that," driver Kwadjo Cason said.

Reports show a third of all crash fatalities occured in speed related crashes in 2012.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says higher speeds reduce reaction time and increase levels of force when crashes occur.

Some truckers say it's not a good idea to raise the speed limit, especially when some of them typically carry around 80,000 pounds behind them.

"Drivers always have to take into consideration the weather conditions, if they are loaded or empty and the interstates can be, we just went through a holiday period, and they can be quite busy," trailer truck driver David Bitzer said. "So I think the 70 mph speed limit is sufficient for trucks because we take several times longer or several times the distance as a car would take to stop."

Kansas increased speed limits from 70 mph on some roads in 2011.

The Kansas City Star reports traffic-related fatalities and injuries in Kansas are up on roads with newly increased 75 mph speed limits. But transportation officials say it's too early to blame that on the speed limit.

Numbers from the Kansas Transportation Department show a 54 percent increase in highways deaths on those roads since the speed limit was raised. Injuries are up about 13 percent compared with the two years before the new speed limit went into effect.

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.
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