By Jiabin Liu
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer
GRAND LEDGE — The proposal to increase speed limits on Michigan roads may pass in the next few months.
Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge proposed to raise the speed limits in Michigan to allow the maximum speed limit to be 75 and 80 mph, depending on the area.
Speed limits in Michigan are governed by Public Act 85 of 2006, and freeways in Michigan are usually signed with both minimum and maximum speeds, from 55 to 70 mph.
Politicians set the speed limits artificially too low, therefore, they can generate money for the city, Jones said. This is also known as a “speed trap.”
“It’s not an appropriate punishment,” Jones said.
When the speed limits are set scientifically across the states, it would make the state a more attractive place to visit, he said.
“Because you wouldn’t fear getting caught in the speed trap,” Jones said. “Therefore, people will become likely to take a vacation in Michigan.”
It’s important to help the state’s economy, but according to Jones, because a lot of groups simply don’t understand the proposal, it’s not affecting streets in parks, school zones, downtown business zones or subdivisions.
“People will have a better understanding when they find out it doesn’t effect any of those areas,” Jones said. “Hopefully the proposal will pass within the next couple of months.”
States like Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Utah and others have speed limits as high as 75 or 80 mph.
Mike Coll is a retired resident in Grand Ledge who has lived there since 2000. With unsafe road conditions, Coll said he is opposed to raising speed limits.
Coll said, the freeway I-96 between Grand Ledge and Lansing is barely safe to drive on at current speeds.
“It’s just ridiculous to talk about raising in speed limits in the road when the roads are in that condition,” Coll said. “Raise the speed limits, make it 35 mph, and then people go on 40 mph.”
Dylan Sowle is a college student from Grand Ledge, and he said he has traveled many places around Michigan.
“I don’t necessarily see a reason to increase the speed limits,” Sowle said. “I never personally thought that they need to be any higher.”
Grand Ledge is a much smaller town compared to other places. Sowle said on some of the residential roads around people’s houses, residents have complained about people driving too fast.
Darin Larner is a police technician and desk officer, at Grand Ledge Police Department.
“I think it’s fine as long as people buy it,” said Larner, referring to citizens’ agreements on raising up speed limits. “People don’t care what the speed limits are anyways.”
For younger drivers, he said, they have the capacity to dominate their speed a little bit more by raising the speed limits.
Contact Jiabin Liu: firstname.lastname@example.org