A study by the Utah Department of Transportation suggests raising the freeway speed limit from 75 to 80 miles per hour may be a good thing — at least on some stretches of interstate. Lawmakers are considering presenting the speed increase bill for a vote in the upcoming session. Those specific roadways include Interstates 15, 80 and 84, for now.
When the speed limit went up on four stretches of road between Nephi and Cedar City, accidents went down by 20 percent, according to the three-year study by UDOT.
The findings were somewhat unexpected, but it appears drivers tend to comply to higher speed limits.
The House Transportation Committee discussed its findings Wednesday. Republican lawmakers immediately took the safety findings and indicated interest in putting more 80 mile per hour zones throughout the state.
“This was designed to be a test. Let’s see how it works and now it’s time to perhaps take it to another level,” said Rep. James Dunningan, R-Taylorsville.
Not all 75 mile per hour zones are going to change to 80. UDOT is looking for ideal locations, specifically where it is straight and there is less chance of an accident. But truck drivers should be aware that they will now have to deal with higher traffic speeds when driving through some parts of Utah.
More on this as it develops.