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Tennessee gets rid of split speed limits on I-81 for the ‘motoring safety of the public ‘


On Thursday, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced the end of split speed limits on I-81.

Starting on Monday, March 4, 2024, TDOT will increase the speed limit for all vehicles on I-81 between the Washington County line and the Virginia state line to 70 m.p.h.

Previously, the speed limit was set to 55 m.p.h. for commercial vehicles and 65 m.p.h. for passenger vehicles.

TDOT will be installing new speed limit signage next week.

Officials say that the split speed limit on I-81 was done away with following “recent spot speed studies, crash analyses and the continuity of speed zones.”

“This study was conducted as a result of comments received from the general public as well as our partners in law enforcement and local municipalities. The speed limit change is being made in the interest of the motoring safety of the public,” TDOT said.

Trucking groups like Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have argued for many years against split speed limits, pointing out that they increase interactions between vehicles and therefore increase the likelihood of crashes.


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