New Report Shows Risks Of Increasing Speed Limit On I-29 & I-94 in ND

Lawmakers are considering increasing the speed limit on certain parts of the interstates from 75 to 80 mph

BISMARCK, ND (KVRR) – North Dakota Lawmakers are discussing a raise in speed limit on certain areas of I-29 and I-94 from 75 to 80 miles per hour.

Though Republican Representative Ben Koppelman says states with that speed limit have seen fatalities drop at a higher rate than North Dakota, Triple A’s Gene LaDoucer says it comes with high risks.

“Increases in speed above 50 mph at an impact speed has a significant impact on crash road outcomes,” said LaDoucer.

Along with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Triple A. conducted a study on the impact of crashes at three different speeds: 40, 50, and 56 miles per hour. According to measurements through injury sensors on dummies, there was significant damage to the car and severe injuries to the driver of the car going 56.

“In layman’s terms, I would say, you know, speed kills,” said LaDoucer. “The faster the speed, the greater the chance you’re not going to survive a crash.”

And even then, to LaDoucer, there’s the other issue of traffic flow.

“If you raise the speed limit up to 80, right now, the prevailing speeds in North Dakota are closer to 80 than they are 75,” said LaDoucer. “So, if you increase the speed limit to 80, that’s going to creep up. The prevailing speed limit is probably going to be closer to 85 than 80.”

When the bill is debated in the Legislature, expect there to be some opposition.

“We will provide testimony basically opposing the increase in speed limits, just for the safety measures,” said LaDoucer.

Until lawmakers vote on the bill, the number you see on the signs won’t change.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections