More 80 mph zones coming to Utah freeways

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  • Jim Walker Ann Arbor, MI
    Sept. 23, 2012 10:04 a.m.

    Raising the posted limits on Interstates to 80 and 85 mph in most rural areas would improve safety nationwide. It would result in smoother and safer traffic flow with less speed variance and more lane courtesy. It would also draw more traffic to the Interstates where the fatality rate is two to four times lower per mile traveled than on surface highways.

    Only ignorance prevents an immediate change to enhance safety in this way.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor, MI

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    If everyone drove 15 miles an hour accidents where entire families are killed would be very unlikely. I'm not saying we should lower it to 15, but raising it doesn't help safety at all. The faster the speed, the more deadly the road. Even a new tire can blow out. Safety should come before a mass disregard for the law.

    Sarcastic remark: "Everyone does go faster than the current limit. Solution? We raise the limits again; surely people won't go even faster than the limits now."

    To me, speed limits have more to do with a growing impatience and disrespect in society. Heaven forbid you don't get to your destination a few minutes or a few hours earlier than you wanted to.

  • HCB63 Orem, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 1:35 a.m.

    It is amazing the justifications people use to exceed the speed limits on ALL roads here in Utah. I was trained as a driver in another state and follow the laws as best I can whenever (and wherever) I drive; often resulting in other drivers honking, zooming by me, or pulling unsafe, boneheaded maneuvers in front of me. As a former paramedic I have seen the results of speeding on the human body; and what I have seen and worked on would make most people vomit.

    In Utah the State Patrol rarely pulls anyone over for speeding because they are too busy breaking the posted speed limit themselves. I have written the Governor and my Reps asking for better State Patrol funding to combat the horrific driving habits in Utah; only to have my inquiries met with silence.

    Fact--The faster you go the less margin of error you have; the greater the stopping distance required. Higher speed equals greater trauma in any accident due to the excessive kinetic forces at work.
    But, I suppose this too will fall on deaf ears as Utah drivers are too busy speeding (to wherever) to actually consider the issue with any thoughtful deliberation.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 2:23 p.m.

    "Cars and trucks are not geared to do 80mph."

    Actually, most of the cars of today have overdrives and even double-overdrives; they are geared taller than ever; they can handle 80. If one doesn't skimp and use tires that make a car unstable at high speeds, the rest of the car also is able to handle 80. As always, the most critical factor is the competence and diligence of the driver.

  • Ifel Of'a-sofa Alpine, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2012 2:20 p.m.

    Here is a different spin... make a seperate road for semi's. They congest our roads, slow down traffic by blocking lanes or driving in the passing lane. Not to mention all the road debris from blown retreaded tires.

    Also, slow drivers... stay out of the passing lane! And you don't have to be in the carpool lane "just because" if you have more than 1 person in the car and yet you will still match speeds with the far right(slow) lane.

    Everyone bags on Utah drivers, but the ones doing the complaining are not usually from Utah.

    I have driven roads from California, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, Louisiana, as well as in Europe. Bad drivers are everywhere!

    Now the autobahn... thats a different story! kinda blows the slow driver mentality out of the water!

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 2:06 p.m.

    I'm with xscribe. We don't need any speed limits at all.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    It is important to note that increasing the speed limit has almost nothing to do with saving time.

    From Nephi to St. George -- about 200 miles -- going at a constant 80 mph would take 2 hours and 30 minutes; going at a constant 75 mph would take 2 hours and 40 minutes. Why not just leave 10 minutes earlier?

    From Grantsville to Wendover, about 80 miles, takes one hour at 80 mph. At 75 mph it takes 1 hour and 4 minutes.

    Certainly this legislation is not about saving time.

    Sept. 20, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    "I hate driving in Utah. Everybody speeds. I have not lived in Utah since 1983 and I have had more friends die in traffic accidents in Utah than all other states combined."

    Sounds like maybe you know a lot of poor drivers.

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 12:21 p.m.


    "What if you blow a tire at that speed, or come across some animal?"

    You'd likely die... but many drive 80-85 MPH now.


    "I am one of the very, very few who drive the speed limit..."

    Same here...

    People who break speed limit laws will likely break other laws... breaking laws don't generally stop with just speeding. Whatever they can get away with when no one's watching, they will. Perhaps they're getting their cue from Obama and his Democrat cohorts who find sheer joy in lawbreaking... for whatever reason... because they know they can get away with it.

    "This is true in every region of the country I have driven in. I absolutely do not want to get a ticket..."

    It's almost impossible to get a speeding ticket in Utah. The cops, who could be earning millions for the state, are sitting in their squad cars watching TV on their portable TV screens. Where else could you get paid for doing nothing?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 12:05 p.m.

    "Now how about a 70 mph study in urban areas?"

    I hope not. People are surprisingly horrible drivers in this state. 80mph in open areas with little traffic is fine by me, but the cities should stay as they are.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    Legalizing 80mph will ease the burden of catching all the speeders but, over time, more will increase their speed. Just as those of us driving with a 55mph limit we pushed that limit and then some. The same will happen with the younger generations of drivers.

    What we really need are prohibitive fines for ticketed drivers caught speeding. Make it so expensive that they'll drive the limit!

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    Why is everybody in such a hurry, anyway? Slow down and enjoy the ride, rather than treating it like a NASCAR event. It's safer, and saves energy, nerves, wear and tear, and road rage. So what if you get to St. George 10 minutes later?

    I say lower the speed limits, increase the fines and enforcement for speeding, and use the extra revenue to fund education, or pay for acquiring and managing all the lands the state is trying to "take back" from the feds, or for some more worthy project. It's like renewable energy--a neverending source of funds without having to raise taxes.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 20, 2012 10:48 a.m.


    Most drivers have little knowledge of how a car operates, yet will trust a machine to keep them safe at high speeds?

    I had a friend killed because a blanket fell out of pick-up in front of him, and wrapped around his wheel causing a roll over.

    I can tell other stories, but let me just say,--reaction time is slower at high speed, and a slight movement of the steering wheel can easily put your car out of control.

    Learn from history or by experience.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Sept. 20, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    Since the global warming we have started is already a centuries-long effect, I guess we might as well push this experiment to the limit. Who cares about the innocents who have yet to be born.

  • ProudUtahn St. George, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    Speed is not the only issue of saftey on Utah highways. Those that insist on traveling down the inside (left) lane when there is an opening on the right (slow) lane is more of a hazard than speed. I am one that depending where I am at will go 5 over the posted but will not go over 80 mph intentionaly except to make a quicker pass to get back to the right lane.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Sept. 20, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    I am one of the very, very few who drive the speed limit - okay, maybe 2 miles an hour over the speed limit - but I regularly get passed like I am standing still. This is true in every region of the country I have driven in. I absolutely do not want to get a ticket, so I put up with tailgaters and aggressive drivers. This message is more for the police and highway patrol and those who decide speed limits: Either enforce the speed limits, or don't have them at all! Why are there no consequences for the majority who choose to break the law? Except for the occasional speed trap?

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    Why are states opening up speed limits when gas is near an all time high??? Vehicles get less miles per gallon the faster they go unless they are geared for high speed. Cars and trucks are not geared to do 80mph.

    80mph speed limits also create a great dependency between big rigs and slower moving vehicles and the hot-rodders doing 85-90. So on the one had you have people doing 65 in an 80 so they get good mpg's. On the other hand you have people doing the max 80+ speed limit.

  • luv2organize Gainesville, VA
    Sept. 20, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    We had to switch our insurance to UT as we are out of country and that is where our car is stored. It is costing us $250 more per year to insure our vehicle then in the East Coast because Utah has a poor driving record over all. I wouldn't be surprised if upping the speed limit doesn't make the insurers pause and consider increasing rates.

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    "I hate driving in Utah. Everybody speeds. I have not lived in Utah since 1983 and I have had more friends die in traffic accidents in Utah than all other states combined."

    First--I'm kinda glad I'm not your friend.

    Second--If ONE of my friends died in a traffic accident in Utah, that would be more than all other states combined.

  • Mr. Moots Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    Most cars can handle going 100 just fine. Also, most people drive at the speed they are most comfortable with. Speed limits are unnecessary in all setting but school zones!

  • ChadF Orem, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 7:18 a.m.

    In response to BarkforSark, the article mentioned thatthe average speeds in the study areas increased from 83 to 85. I think this is really important to understand. So previously the average driver was going 8 over the limit and now they are going 5 over the limit. So, while some people will be going 90 to 95, it isn't going to be that many and it will be easier for Highway Patrol to target them.

    I am glad to see that this study is going to be expanded and that some areas are already being made permanent. Now how about a 70 mph study in urban areas?

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Sept. 20, 2012 6:29 a.m.

    "More 80 mph zones coming to Utah freeways"

    More deaths to follow:

    I hate driving in Utah. Everybody speeds. I have not lived in Utah since 1983 and I have had more friends die in traffic accidents in Utah than all other states combined.

    Slow down.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Sept. 20, 2012 6:13 a.m.

    I am wondering how many people have gotten tickets on those stretches of freeway for going a speed that is soon to be legal. It is true that they may have been breaking the law at the time, but the whole point of the law is safety, right? And now we're saying that this new speed really isn't unsafe. This means to me that the troopers who gave tickets to those going, say, 81 MPH before (I think there is usually a 5 MPH allowance) might have been doing something more useful with their time. BTW, I have never gotten a speeding ticket, so it isn't like I have that axe to grind.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Sept. 20, 2012 5:16 a.m.

    I get leery going that fast. If I blow a tire I will roll for an awful long time. I will be just as dead as if I did it at 75, but maybe at 80 it will be a closed box funeral. Sure, people are already going that fast, but if I want to go 75 mph, then I will be idiot going 75 mph when the speed limit is 80. In addition, some dolt will say, "Well, I can go 5 over the speed limit and I won't get ticketed." He'll be coming up behind me real fast wondering about what a slow poke I am.

    I saw a photo of a car crash. They didn't show the cars, they showed the dash board lying in the middle of the road. Well, half the dash board, it had been torn in half. (Geez, I hope the driver was OK. (sarcastic tone) ) I am not comfortable to have forces 2 ft in front of my face that can rip a dashboard off of the car and then tear it in half.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 4:23 a.m.

    "What if you blow a tire at that speed, or come across some animal?"

    Run good, stiff tires in good repair and at the proper inflation. If a tire does blow, don't slam on the brakes.

    Also, within certain safety limits, one may choose to curtail his or her own speed.

  • Penguin Inc. Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2012 4:12 a.m.

    I feel the need, the need for speed! Ah yeah!

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 12:09 a.m.

    > " It's true that most of us are already going 80 but it would be nice if I wasn't speeding..."

    It really bugs me that when I steal from stores, the police arrest me and send me to jail. People steal from stores all the time! Why don't we make that legal and let the police focus on enforcing the really important laws!

  • BarkforSark PROVO, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 12:03 a.m.

    What this story neglects to mention is that if people are already going 5, 10 or 15 mph over the speed limit, if you bump the speed limit up to 80 it only makes sense that you'll have a larger number of people breaking 90 and 95. So the question shouldn't be is 80 safe, but rather is 90-95 safe?

  • Kyle loves BYU/Jazz Provo, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 11:09 p.m.

    Yes please to 80mph speed limits on I-15 in northern Utah close to the border with Idaho! It's true that most of us are already going 80 but it would be nice if I wasn't speeding...

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 10:22 p.m.

    QUOTE from the story:
    "But many people, most people actually, are already traveling 80," Dunnigan said. "So we're simply making legal what the majority of people do."

    Regardless of what numbers are painted on the signs, that is how fast people are driving. Just post the limit as 80 and let the hard working Highway Patrol troopers go after the folks who are driving drunk, drowsy, drugged, or smuggling drugs. That is enough to kep them busy chasing real criminals.

    And, let's not pretend that everyone is going 65 in the urban areas. Let's raise those limits except in the most congested areas.

  • Paper Cut ,
    Sept. 19, 2012 10:06 p.m.

    I agree with Worf. It's much safer to blow a tire or hit an animal at 75 MPH than at 80 MPH. There is no comparison.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Sept. 19, 2012 8:55 p.m.

    "What if you blow a tire at that speed, or come across some animal?" - worf

    Get real ... 5 miles per hour more will hardly make any difference at all; besides, as was noted in the news story, the average driver's speed is already higher than that.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 19, 2012 4:28 p.m.

    What if you blow a tire at that speed, or come across some animal?