Heavy Duty Trucking recently reported (click HERE) that:
Legislation signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter allows an increase of up to 80 mph along interstate routes and 70 mph along state highways, but trucks would continue to be limited up to 10 mph slower. The law leaves the final decision for any increase up to the Idaho Transportation Department, once it has competed studies to see if the routes could handle the higher speeds.
The typical arguments (“Pro-Con”) for this change include:
- motorists are already driving this fast, so let them
- increased productivity by allowing cargo to transit the state more quickly
- other states are doing it and the “leap” from 70 or 75 to 80 isn’t likely to significantly increase crash rates beyond the current rate (which is arguably higher than when max limits were at 55 MPH)
- split speed limits for trucks and cars means more passing events due to the differential in speed and more interactions between extra heavy and light duty vehicles
- the new maximum limit would only be approved for certain segments of highway as deemed acceptable by the state DOT.
- prolonged running at 80 MPH increases the risk of blowouts if tires are under-pressure
- prolonged running at 80 MPH increases fuel consumption to maintain that speed (especially if encountering head winds)
- prolonged running at 80 MPH increases carbon emissions
Texas and Utah already allow 80 MPH on select routes and Wyoming is considering the same.
How do you feel about raising speed limits on rural highways?
How about split limits for trucks?