By CAITLIN DeLUCA
LANSING — Michigan could see some fast changes coming to its freeways. Motorists could travel up to 75 mph on some stretches of the state’s rural highways under bills in the Senate. And on gravel county roads, the speed limit would be brought down from 55 mph to 45 mph in counties with at least 1 million residents (Oakland and Wayne). The original legislation included the possibility of 80 mph, but after further studies were done, the Department of Transportation found that Michigan roads weren’t built for those speeds. The State Police supports the changes, Sgt.
By JOSH THALL
Capitol News Service
LANSING — A new package of bills would result in higher speed limits on state roads across Michigan and fewer “speed traps” set by local police departments, if passed and signed into law. The bills are designed to set optimum speeds on state roadways by relying on driver behavior, road conditions and accident data, according to officials with the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Transportation. The package would also restrict local governments from arbitrarily lowering speed limits on sections of roadway, supporters said. A similar proposal was introduced two years ago by Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, a former county sheriff who supports the bills. “The Michigan State Police gave a presentation on how, for 40 years, speed limits have been set scientifically and it has been shown to be the safest speed,” Jones said.
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.”