LANSING (WWJ/AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to let Michigan motorists drive faster on at least 1,500 miles of rural highways as long as safety studies say the higher speed limits are OK.
The bills enacted Thursday authorize a 75 mph speed limit on 600 miles of freeways and a 65 mph limit on 900 miles of non-freeway “M” roads.
The bills also raise the maximum speed limit for trucks from 60 to 65 mph and adjusts measures used by insurers to determine eligibility for auto insurance.
The limits will be raised within a year if a study shows it is safe and the new limits are no more than what 15 percent of traffic is exceeding.
“Ensuring that all Michiganders are safe while operating vehicles on our state’s roadways is critically important, and these bills allow for appropriately increased speed limits on certain roadways after safety studies are conducted,” Snyder said.
Proponents have said the goal is to raise speed limits where 85 percent of drivers are already traveling at higher speeds and will protect motorists from being unnecessarily ticketed in what’s commonly referred to as “speed traps.
It’s also believed higher limits will afford police the ability to focus on other enforcement areas such as impaired, distracted or careless driving, and restraint enforcement.
The bills, HBs 4423-4427, were sponsored by state Reps. Bradford Jacobsen, Rick Outman, John Kivela and Charles Smiley. They are now Public Acts 445-449 of 2016.
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