Speed limits raised to 80 mph in Mich.?

Some Michigan lawmakers are looking to lift the 70 mph cap on highway speeds and making other changes to reduce speed traps.
AP Wire
Aug 24, 2013

Grand Ledge Sen. Rick Jones is working on a bill with fellow Republican Tom Casperson from Escanaba that they hope to introduce this fall. One result could be raising speed limits to 75 mph or 80 mph on some stretches of freeway.

The proposal would make all roadways follow the "85th percentile" rule commonly endorsed and employed by transportation officials. That means setting limits that correspond with speeds at which 85 percent of vehicles safely travel.

Jones, a former Eaton County sheriff, said some local governments deliberately set speeds low to trap drivers and generate money from traffic tickets. He'd like to close what he calls a "loophole" in a law enacted in 2006 that requires all road agencies to set speed limits based on speed studies.

"There's a lot of political pressure not to follow it," he said. "Some cities are cashing in, and it needs to stop."

Spokesmen for the Michigan Department of Transportation said that the safest conditions exist when most drivers are going the same speed. They say higher speed limits aren't necessarily more dangerous.

Michigan's current top highway speed of 70 mph is consistent with neighboring states including Illinois and Ohio. Some states, such as Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Texas, have limits as high as 75 mph or 80 mph.

If such legislation is approved, transportation officials would need to conduct speed studies before any changes could be made. Statewide freeway studies currently being conducted by the Michigan State Police are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

 

Comments

retired DOC

I do not know about rising the limit from 70 to 80 on the expressways but I would really like that the limit in US31 between Grand Haven and Holland should be raise to 60 or 65. But if it was raised what would the OCSD as it seems as if I see them "taking pictures" a couple of time a week on that stretch.

christopher

This story is in error relate to Illinois speed. Illinois does NOT currently allow 70 MPH on its roads as of today. However the governor of Illinois did just sign a law that will increase their speed limit up to 70 MPH starting NEXT year.

Zegota

It is one way to increase the use of gasoline and increase the state tax revenue from the sales of gasoline, I wonder? At the same time I hope the hospitals and emergency crews will be reimburse for there increase demands. God Forgive Us.

christopher

@Zegota Today's automobiles do NOT use a considerable amount of additional fuel running consistent speeds of 80 MPH vs 70 MPH.

Also, make sure you know the facts when you comment. It is more dangerous to have slow drivers in the midst of the majority already running at the higher speeds than it is to have everyone doing the higher consistent speed.

Lastly, look at studies from the states that have increased the speed limits. There has NOT been an increase in hospital and emergency crew responses.

BTL2A

Do you have a study the backs up your claim? I've done my own test on the 20 miles of highway that I drive everyday to work, going from even 74 to 79 mph I consistently lose 10-12 % efficiency in MPG.

This is based on the fuel usage display in the car, which I've found to be accurate.

Also, if you already have people going below the speed limit (but above the minimum speed) wouldn't raising the limit cause more accidents since you will still have the same amount of slow people but more people traveling 85 mph (I'm willing to bet most people will continue to drive above the limit)

To be clear, I agree with the fact it's dangerous to drive too slow, just don't agree raising speed limits won't cause more serious accidents. If you get in an accidents going 85 you have an increased chance at injury then at 55.

polarize

It's about time! Local villages like Fruitport have been enforcing illegal speed limits for years. It has been confirmed that the village has never conducted a speed limit traffic study on any road yet continue to rake in the dough from unrealistic drops in speed limits causing a traffic hazard clearly outside of the 85th percentile particularly on Pontaluna Road late at night. A sharp contrast is that the Township of Fruitport has an average 45 mph speed limit compared to the village blanket of 25 mph. According to the state's own traffic study manual this is an unsafe speed change which sharply drives up the risk of crashes when entering the village from the township.

There is a lot of good information on speed limit traffic studies as well as speed trap cameras at the National Motorists Association Foundation website. They also assist with good information to assist in fighting these illegal tickets written in these speed traps for the mere purpose of extorting revenue from taxpayers.

The bottom line is.....if the speed zone needs to be there then let the law mandated speed limit traffic study prove that with the 85th percentile which is the safest traffic flow on the road greatly reducing crashes.

moey

problem in most cases are the roads just suck, even at 70 there are parts of some highways that are riddled with holes

Wingmaster

Maybe if the speed was 80 he would have made it! Maybe he could mow the median and creek bottom while he is there and save us a little money! http://patdollard.com/2013/08/in...

Frisbee

Let me just say… I’d be happy if you could get these slow motion mindsets to realize that they truly are going to cause an accident or even road rage with their “slower is safer” mentality. Especially when using the access ramps! I know l get pretty miffed when someone is entering the highway and merges into traffic at 35 mph when the speed limit is 55mph or more. Then it takes them at least another mile or two to get going up to the 55 mph speed limit! You are supposed to merge with the flow of traffic, not hinder it! HELLO PEOPLE! You need to be doing 55mph (or the speed limit) by the time you merge onto the highway!
I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten stuck behind some slow driver on the south bound on ramp to US31 from Sternberg after leaving the Mall. The on ramp is half a mile long and they still are only doing 35mph when the reach the highway! Personally I’ve seen this cause more traffic problems in my experiences than anything else while driving. I think if we could somehow fix these poor driving habits, this alone it would improve traffic safety.
"Spokesmen for the Michigan Department of Transportation said that the safest conditions exist when most drivers are going the same speed. They say higher speed limits aren't necessarily more dangerous."

ohwell

Exactly.....anyone that thinks going slower saves gas, has their head in the sand. You MIGHT (I can't stress might enough) get 1 MPH more, the time you waste by going slower, you just used the same amount of gas or more than if you were doing 70+MPH.

I too agree with idiots that don't know how to merge. As pointed out, there is more than enough room on all ramps to be up to speed on all highways by the time you reach the bottom of the on-ramp. Pretty simple folks, step on the little pedal under your right foot and make your car get up to speed.

Next, If you feel the need to "park" in the left lane and drive slow, take the back roads. You are a nuisance to everyone else on the highway doing the speed limit or faster. Believe it or not, it is illegal to "drive" in the left lane anyway. It is used for passing, not driving, especially if you aren't even doing the speed limit.

Now for poor driving skills, I wholeheartedly believe every driver out there needs to take a driving test every time they go renew their drivers license. The sad part is the people conducting the driving tests for our teenagers today are about worthless too, and these "driving schools" aren't teaching our teens good driving habits. You have "teachers" telling the teens that driving 70MPH is not safe. Again, if you can't handle driving 70MPH or faster, you need to take the back roads and stay OFF the highways.

Finally, for the person that says the hospitals and emergency crews need to be prepared for more injuries. That is absurd as people on the highways that will not drive the speed limit. As pointed out, those are the people that are causing the problems to begin with. Someone that is doing the speed limit or just over comes up on someone doing way under the speed limit, causes problems and accidents. Because they are usually the ones "parked" in the left lane anyway.

Plain and simple folks, DO the speed limit at minimum or get off the highways, and STICK to the back roads. There is no place for you on the highways when everyone else is trying to get somewhere. Because obviously you have nowhere to be, and have all the time in the world to get there. The highways aren't for your Sunday driving color tours.

Back to the Wall

Gee whiz. You guys need to leave a few minutes earlier and lay off the coffee.

The limit is just that, a limit. "Limit" means an established boundary. "Boundary" is something that is not to be crossed. At the other end of the line we have minimum speeds. These too are boundaries.

Impact is a function of weight and velocity. Impact increases exponentially with increased velocity. That's why I still drive a big pickup, to stack the deck as much as I can in my favor against you speed freaks.

The truck achieves 22 mpg @ 55 mph, and 16 mpg @ 75 mph.

The only thing you'be gotten correct is in regards to merging. It is the responsibility of the merging vehicle to find a place to enter traffi, not the responsibility of traffic to allow a vehicle merging room.

In closing, take your car to the Lowell road track if you need to get your ya-yas out behind the wheel. Stop trying to justify your unsafe driving habits by redefining language and making false fuel economy claims.

Frisbee

"There's a lot of political pressure not to follow it," he said. "Some cities are cashing in, and it needs to stop."

What political pressure? From who? You need to Name Names! What towns? What local politicians are involved? Who’s cashing in? Where is the money really going? That’s the story I want to read about. Drag these guys out into the day light and expose them for who they are and for what they've done/doing. It’s got to start somewhere folks. Write that story...I'd read that story.

Frisbee

The limit is just that, a limit. "Limit" means an established boundary. "Boundary" is something that is not to be crossed. At the other end of the line we have minimum speeds. These too are boundaries.
Ok if a "Boundary" is something that is not to be crossed…
How in the world did you come to these conclusions…
The truck achieves 22 mpg @ 55 mph, and 16 mpg @ 75 mph.
Why 75 is over the… what did you call it?...
"Boundary" is something that is not to be crossed. …

But you crossed it…hmmm…

Back to the Wall

I'm suggesting that you put on some big boy pants and stop blaming people who are driving within the law for your impatience.

Judging by your last post, you've failed again at reading comprehension. Lucky for you, there are people here to help.

Get out of your selfish, walled in little world and go to places like South Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, or Kansas. Read the signs on the side of the road. You may not recognize them, they are white, with big black numbers and smaller letters that read "speed limit".

ohwell

I don't think anyone is blaming anyone for their impatience. What they are saying is that people that don't drive the speed limit are the problem on the road. And yes I realize there is a minimum speed too, but when 99% of the people on the road are doing the speed limit or over, the people doing the minimum are more hazardous then the people going 10 over. You ask any cop out there, and they will tell you the same thing. And yes people do go over the speed limit, and most cops know that and don't even look up until you are going more than 10 over.

My issue is with people that will not do the speed limit with everyone else. As I said before, especially the ones that "park" in the left lane doing 55MPH (which BTW is illegal). All because they are afraid of people merging onto the highway. Again, if you are afraid of driving, take the back roads or stay home.

What do these other states have to do with speed limit signs???? They have them here in MI and I can read them and they say 70MPH, so step on the gas and do it, everyone else is or faster.

Lanivan

Let's see.....If the speed limit is currently 70, but most people drive 79, if the speed limit is increased to 80, will most people drive at 89? Then, after 10 years or so, I suppose the speed limit will be raised to 90, at which time people will either drive at 109, or maybe by then we will all be passengers inside drive-less cars. Just another way to control us and infringe on our right to have fun.

Back to the Wall

I wasn't talking to you about signs in other states, I'm talking to Frisbee, who tried to be cute by inferring my points were not valid because I admitted driving 75 mph. The speed limits in those states I listed are all greater than 70 mph.

We agree on a few points, but I do reserve the right to go as slow as the posted minimum, in accordance with applicable traffic laws.

Frisbee

Back to the Wall – I don’t know what to say…Wow!
You really got it wrong on all counts! Congratulations! You’re incredible. Big boy pants?... really? I’ve re-read my post several times now and I’m not seeing anything about blaming people who are driving within the law for my impatience. Don’t worry I can help you though. Let’s break it down for you, shall we?

I made the comment - “I know l get pretty miffed when someone is entering the highway and merges into traffic at 35 mph when the speed limit is 55mph or more. Then it takes them at least another mile or two to get going up to the 55 mph speed limit! You are supposed to merge with the flow of traffic, not hinder it!”
You see, every one of those… what did you call them now?... speed limit signs! Ok ! see I’m catching on…you’re such a good tutor, you really are. OK well some of them there signs have minimum speed limits posted on them too and I could be mistaken but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one that read 35mph min. Why every one of them there signs had a 45mph minimum written right on the front of them….can you imagine that? And hey they are white with black letters…you sure are smart!
“Judging by your last post, you've failed again at reading comprehension. Lucky for you, there are people here to help.” - Why that’s just your genius shining through! You do know the meaning of the word comprehension don’t you? Because you failed at it here…try not to use big boy words if you don’t know the meaning of them…I’ll give you a hint – it has to do with understanding what you read. LOL! just saying….
OK … enough funning around. But seriously. The article is about the possibility of raising the speed limit to 80mph. My contention is that I would love to see it raised to 80 mph but we need to fix some adjunct issues presented.” The proposal would make all roadways follow the "85th percentile" rule commonly endorsed and employed by transportation officials. That means setting limits that correspond with speeds at which 85 percent of vehicles safely travel.” “Spokesmen for the Michigan Department of Transportation said that the safest conditions exist when most drivers are going the same speed. They say higher speed limits aren't necessarily more dangerous”
Did you catch that part there - back to the wall? I'll repete it just for you to comprehend. “Spokesmen for the Michigan Department of Transportation said that the safest conditions exist when most drivers are going the same speed. My point is that, while it is your right to intentionally go as slow as the posted minimum speed limit of 45 mph, in accordance with applicable traffic laws, by doing so, YOU will (now knowingly) become the traffic hazard for EVERYBODY ELSE, you are willfully endangering the lives of all the other drivers on the road just so you can feel superior and power trip a bit. But hey! You’re just exercising your reserved right to go as slow as the posted minimum. Who cares about the other drivers on the road. …You are what’s important right? How did you say that again? …”Get out of your selfish, walled in little world? ” hmmm...
Fact is I don’t want to argue with you about it though. You will always be one of the 15% group and I’ll always be in the 85% group. I understand that people resist change. What we need to figure out is a way to train the 15% to play well with others once the limit is raised. Maybe the answer is to raise the minimum speed limit to 70 mph. Maybe eliminate the minimum altogether and enforce the maximum, who knows! The goal is to get everybody safely to their destination in a more timely manner, It sure would be nice to know that we are all working towards a common goal and not just a bunch of people all out there only thinking of themselves. Remember…everything affects everything.

GH55

The entire problem is one of education. We give people a license at 16 and do nothing for the rest of their lives!
We introduce roundabouts, essentially nothing is done to educate people on how to use them.
We introduce MI left hand turns, at first all the signs told you what not to do, not how to do it!
We add lanes to the highways, it just moves the traffic farther left! Drive anyhighway that has three lanes, where are all the cars, few if any are in the RH lane after they pull onto the highway.
With the philosphy that traffic is all better off going the same speed, all you get are pods of cars right on each other's bumpers, watching ten feet in front of them. How is that safe!
We cater to the "slowest common denominator", there really is no law in this state that says you must get out of the left lane.
If you could convince drivers to pay attention and be aware of others on the road, we could move along nicely, instead of getting all bunched up because of one person that is practicing their formation flying with someone in the RH lane.
Also, some of the biggest issues with our highways, if the speed limit is indeed raised, is getting the many solid objects, like bridge abutments, behind effective crash barriers. Besides the fact that, yes, cars do use more gas at 80 than they do at 70, they also have much more kinetic energy at 80mph. Hit a concrete post at 80mph, you are dead!

Wingmaster

Your most likely dead when it hits a 55mph too!

I agree some continueing education maybe needed.

retired DOC

How many roads that were 65 before Nixon slowed us down to 55 are still 55? Why haven't they gone back up to 65?

GH55

Lots! I remember most two lane roads, like Lake Shore and US-31, were all 65mph during the day and 55mph at night. I have always thought it strange that as cars become more capable, we seem to be slowing down!
How many people actually go out and play with their car to see what it is capable of? How many know what is going on when the anti-lock brakes function? Tire pressure monitoring, traction control, stability control, collision radar, air bags everywhere, but nothing that turns on the headlights if the wipers are running!
If its bad enough to need wipers, your headlights should be turned on too.
Our attitude is that the car will protect us!
Driving is a complicated task but we treat it as a mundane daily requirement that gets in the way of eating, putting on make up, talking to our buddies, texting, and work!
Its like the collision noted on US-31, "I closed my eyes for a moment, and don't know what happened!".
Its really a wonder its just not mass carnage out there!

BEARTHECARNAGE

Bad idea! People can't even do the speed limit of 70 mph now....!

BEARTHECARNAGE

Bad idea! People can't even do the speed limit of 70 mph now....!

Zegota

Many drivers today do not obey the laws of the road nor the speed limit, we have growing road-rage and the breaking of speed limits in municipalities across the state. All this will do is encourage them to travel eighty-five or ninety miles per hour, this is one of the most ridicules ideas. Guess we do deserve a higher price on gasoline, since people can afford to drive so fast, we can use up more, and kill more innocent people. Come on, many drivers today ignore pedestrians, they ignore people on bicycles, they run stop lights and stop signs. Guess maybe the hospitals need the business, and the nursing homes, wonder if our auto insurance will go up because of the nuts on the highway. Read that one comment that is on here, gee he can't wait to go faster, maybe if they increase the speed limit, they might include something that teach some drivers what turning signals are for. So many drivers today are ignoring the laws of the road, it is sickening, I say more speed traps, and more troopers, not more speed. Totally ridiculous, God Forgive Us.

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