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80 mph could be new speed limit on rural highways – as in Utah

Oct 27, 2015

Credit SAM KIM / FLICKR

A package of bills now being considered by the state House could bring big changes to driving in Michigan.

The bills would boost speed limits on rural freeways based on scientific studies of typical traffic flow.

Backers say allowing traffic to go 80 miles per hour on rural freeways will end artificially low limits.

It will match what drivers are doing anyway and allow more drivers to drive at similar speeds. They believe the result would be safer roadways for everyone.

Critics like the Michigan Municipal League, the Michigan Townships Association, and the Insurance Institute of Michigan worry about the effect on communities. They say it would affect the way insurance companies calculate risk.

John Gleason is the public information officer for the Utah Department of Transportation.

Gleason joined us today to talk about how things have worked out in Utah, where speed limits on parts of rural freeways went up to 80 mph seven years ago.