North Dakota House passes bill to raise speed limit to 80 on interstates

BISMARCK, N.D. (KVRR) — The North Dakota House passed a bill to raise speed limits from 75 to 80 miles per hour on most of Interstates 29 and 94.

The bill allows cities like Fargo and Grand Forks to limit speeds on the interstates within city limits.

“For a long time, we’ve had a prevailing speed on I-94 and 29 that’s been around 80 miles per hour. The desire to get people where they want to go a little quicker in combination with what the prevailing speed is is why I’ve introduced this bill this time,” Republican State Rep. Ben Koppelman of West Fargo said.

Director of Public Affairs with AAA Gene LaDoucer says the organization isn’t entirely against the idea of raising the limit but has concerns as it can cause more deaths.

“A large number of drivers currently are driving 80 to 82 miles per hour anyway. They’re going to think that they can now drive near 90 miles per hour. If that’s the case, speeding tickets could actually increase in the short term. You have to weigh the factors. Is this really worthwhile?” LaDoucer said.

Koppelman says the Department of Transportation will determine where to put speed limit signs.

“It’s a result of safer highways through things like the center rail cables and improvements in automobile safety as well as reactions to what the prevailing speed is. The Department of Transportation is going to review the safety behind these 80 miles an hour on the various sections of highway,” Koppelman said.

LaDoucer says people who may have the most trouble adapting are the younger and older drivers.

“They’re the ones who are inexperienced with those high speeds and changing road conditions as well as our older drivers with slowing reflexes, slowing reaction times to deal with these higher speeds,” LaDoucer said.

The Senate has not yet taken up the bill.

The DOT could approve the increased speed limit if the Senate passes the bill and if the department deems it safe after a review.

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