Lawmaker to propose more 80 mph speed limits on Utah highways

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  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Jan. 18, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    Fact: most state Highway Incident dept's will cite speeding as one of the highest contributors.

    It's easy to speed, but it certainly doesn't cause pain and suffering to slow down. We can all change, all drive a little better, and all do our part. Those that don't should be ticketed.

    I've sped.
    I've been ticketed.
    I learned my lesson.

    Complaining about commute time? Cost?

    I'm in one of the lowest income brackets.
    I found an area I liked.
    I found a job in that area.
    I moved.

    What is so hard for everyone to understand here? It is purely juvenile for people to raise limits they are already breaking. Making delinquent behavior legal doesn't suddenly make consequences go away. Everyone hate our laws so much? Want to remove them? Fine, but the consequences are on your heads, not mine.

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    Jan. 17, 2014 5:18 p.m.

    "...and quite frankly we don't need the higher emissions output that comes with faster driving."

    Wow. That one made me laugh out loud in pure disbelief.
    Higher emissions output that comes with faster driving? Say what? Prove your source.

    You get more smog from cars idling in gridlock; not from a 5 mph difference in speed.

    And for those complaining that cars will now travel at 85-90 mph? They already do that. Drive on I-15 in any state and you'll see that if you pay attention.

  • Jim Walker Ann Arbor, MI
    Jan. 14, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    Engineers have known for at least 70 years that the best and safest speed limit to post is the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions. On rural freeways that number will most often be 80 mph. James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    Just remember that the reason for increasing the speed limit has little or nothing to do with time. Driving 200 miles, for example from Nephi to St George, at 80 miles per hour takes 2 hours and 30 minutes. Driving that same distance at 75 takes two hours and 40 minutes. Only a 10 minute time savings. Driving from Grantsville to Wendover, approximately 80 miles, takes 1 hour at 80 but takes 1 hour and 4 minutes at 75.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    @sky2k1 - Actually, if you are in the left lane and going the speed limit and someone comes up behind you going faster and you don't get out of the way it's against the law to remain there (even if they're exceeding the speed limit.) It's called "Failure to Yield the Right of Way." People think that they can be in whatever lane they want if they are going to the speed limit, but if they'd bother to actually reader a Utah Driver's Manual, they'd know better... In fact, they'd probably realize that they're consistently violating other traffic laws too...

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    I drive to and from Las Vegas each month. Anymore, I do not feel safe going anything over 70 mph. Semis, which are supposed to be going 10 mph under the speed limit for cars, pass me going 75-80 mph. I have had experience trying to control a vehicle at lower and higher speeds. The latter almost killed me. You never know when you are going to be cut off, bumped or sideswiped by another vehicle. And if the speed limit is put at 80 mph, you know most cars will be going between 85-90 mph. And how much time is saved? At 70 mph my driving time to St. George (300 miles) is 4 hours and 28 minutes. At 80 mph it is 3 hours and 45 minutes. That is a savings of 43 minutes for a half-day drive. There is also the issue of fuel efficiency. I drove to Las Vegas once averaging 75 mph (that includes pit stops, so my actual average on the highway was around 80 mph. I got 43 miles to the gallon in Chevy Cruze Eco. When I drive there between 65-70 mph I never get under 50 mpg. Once I got 54 mpg.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    YES, sounds like out of state liberals who edged in should be invited out of this one. they obviously do not know what they are talking about. It is like the big city out of state people who work in our Utah National Parks as "rangers" advising us how to handle our cattle business. If you live in Utah then comment on our speed limit chaqnges. There is too much federal interference in our lives already.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 14, 2014 10:37 a.m.


    Imagine getting a blowout at that speed, or any other unexpected event.

    Not much reaction time.

    My neighbor was killed when a blanket fell from a pickup and wrapped around his tire. His SUV instantly started flipping over.

    An old college roomate was killed when his tire broke of the car at a high speed.

    Worf's law of safety:

    Keep under 70

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    Having grown up in Southern Utah I remember that more fatal accidents in our area were caused by people being drowsy or falling asleep at the wheel than driving too fast.

    I think this is a good idea. I do wonder about the wisdom in increasing it along the Wasatch Front however. Rural Utah vs. Wasatch Front is an apples to oranges comparison.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    This bill is sponsored by the grim reaper.

  • TriSam North Carolian, AP
    Jan. 14, 2014 4:44 a.m.

    I live in Europe currently. You guys are not driving fast. Come over here. You go slower than 80 you get run over. They seem to have no real problems with their speeds here. It is nice to be able to set your cruize on 90 and just get across the contry in no time at all.

  • sky2k1 Provo, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 10:55 p.m.

    I was driving from Flagstaff to St. George a few weeks back, and I remember seeing a sign that would make driving in Utah so much better. Paraphrasing, it said "stay in the right lane unless actively passing" We can argue if it's speed that kills, or if it's people being dumb, or people causing problems (not knowing what they're doing, not going with the flow, inexperienced drivers, inexperienced on that road, etc.), but if everyone stayed as far right as possible unless you were passing someone, it would make driving in this state so much better.

    Sure, you can go 75 in the left lane, but if there is no one in front of you, a big line behind you, and people are passing you on the right, I don't care if you are keeping the law, you are causing a problem. Speed up or better yet, move over.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    Anywhere from Ogden-Provo should not see an increase, too much traffic there and quite frankly we don't need the higher emissions output that comes with faster driving. In other locations like that I-70 corridor, sure.

  • Lermentov PROVO, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    When it says "crashes have slightly dropped over the past three years, attributed to more vehicles traveling at the same speeds and less variation in the speed of surrounding vehicles" I disagree. The reason it has dropped is because people get their destinations more rapidly and don't fall asleep as much. Just got done with a drive from Texas to northern Utah. No doubt a higher speed limit helps reduce fatigue. I can remember when 55 was the national speed limit. It was a long drive to St. George! Now it's more manageable. Time to follow the stats. The faster roads have a drop in crashes, no matter what else you may think. The figures are right there in front of you.

  • roughd Draper, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 9:50 p.m.

    Interesting to me that most of the comments here opposing this are from out-of-state posters. Seems they have an innate need to try to control other people's lives. And just because you keep saying it doesn't make it true, as the article states, studies have shown no significant increase in accidents or fatalities with higher limits. None of you have addressed the issue of driver fatigue, those from the east have no concept of the distances of wide open country traveled out here in the west.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 9:47 p.m.

    @Chilidog - It's like you didn't even bother reading the article... It says right in the article that they've done studies on multiple stretches of highway and fatalities have not increased anywhere that they've already raised the limit. Secondly, spokesman for UDOT (the entity that would have the authority to raise the speed limits) says right in the article that before they would consider raising limits anywhere, they would look at the existing engineering studies.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 13, 2014 9:09 p.m.

    "For those of you that are scared of the speed limit being raised even though there is evidence that it does not make it more dangerous..."

    Speed is the primary cause of deaths on the freeway. This is a fact.

    "I guess you can still drive slowly and annoy everyone else..."

    The freeway is build for everyone who has a license. Some drivers who prefer not to die go cautiously while others who don't fear death (but die nonetheless) are speed demons.

    "...and ironically be the cause of increased danger by not going with the flow of traffic."

    Speed is the primary cause of deaths on the freeway... did I say? If you'll check, I think you'll find there are what's commonly referred to as 'speed limits' that you, Sam, would be wise to obey.

    "Just stay out of the left lane on two lane freeways please and the left most lanes on larger freeways."

    Just stay off the freeway if you can't drive the speed limit or less... so you don't end up killing yourself, or someone else.

  • oddman ,
    Jan. 13, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    So many opinions only a handful know what they're talking about. As a former Utah Highway Patrolman told me long ago "if you're driving over 75 mph it doesn't matter if you have on your seat belt, you'll probably die or be severaly impaired for life." He added, "When you have an accident there are three collisions: the first is the car with whatever object it hits; the second is your body with the interior of the car; and the third are your internal organs colliding with your skeleton, in which case they are either severely bruised or they explode from the impact killing you." That advice changed my driving habits forever.

  • canco Sandy, Utah
    Jan. 13, 2014 7:28 p.m.

    OK for rural sections of interstate highways, not OK for urban freeways. With a 65 mph limit, people already drive 75 mph. If they raise it to 80, everyone will feel obligated to go 90. Big gravel trucks will also be doing 80-90 mph, which means you'll have to do 100 mph just to avoid a broken windshield.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 13, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    As we all know speed is related to awareness, remember Einstein ?
    Since many people's awareness is derived from Burger visits and handy "tractions",
    I would suggest to raise the drivers training as well.(!)

    Any accident above 30 would kill you anyway, if you don't know what you do.
    Have a sticker on your car, says you been trained, otherwise you can not visit the left lane.
    Simple as that, locals can make some extra bugs.

  • ruraljohnboy Duchesne, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    I'd like to see the speed limit raised on Highway 40 and through Provo Canyon!

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 6:59 p.m.

    As the study pointed out, crashes are more likely a result from greatly differing speeds rather than simply high speeds. I would imagine that a freeway with everybody travelling 80 mph is safer than a freeway with people with different speeds ranging from 55 - 75 mph.

  • Chilidog Somewhere, IL
    Jan. 13, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    Roughd, the likelihood of a crash being fatal increases as the speed increases.

    That is an incontrovertible back and is based on simple physics.

  • Chilidog Somewhere, IL
    Jan. 13, 2014 5:28 p.m.

    The other issue that Dunnigan needs to consider is this: were the roads designed for this speed? Were curves, off ramps, etc, properly slopped and banked to handle that speed?

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Jan. 13, 2014 5:20 p.m.

    Might as well raise it, the speed limits in Utah are like the Pirate Code in the Jack Sparrow movies..."More of a suggestion" People tend to drive the speed they are comfortable with and that matches the flow of the traffic anyway. There are a few crazies out there and I hope the little towns up and down the state make good money off of them.

  • SundanceKid27 OREM, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    We have all driven faster than 80 on all parts of the Freeway in Utah. This is ok.

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 4:47 p.m.

    Good. As long as they are wise about where they increase the speed limit, this will be a good thing. For those of you that are scared of the speed limit being raised even though there is evidence that it does not make it more dangerous, I guess you can still drive slowly and annoy everyone else (and ironically be the cause of increased danger by not going with the flow of traffic). Just stay out of the left lane on two lane freeways please and the left most lanes on larger freeways.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 13, 2014 4:22 p.m.

    Not a good idea... speed is the major cause of freeway deaths. The government's job is to protect people... not get them to work earlier.

  • roughd Draper, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    @Chilidog Same old disproved argument that more speed causes more accidents, shown time and time again to be false. More dangerous are fatigued drivers, which is decreased by getting there sooner. I think some are just scared of the speed! Just stay out of the left lane, its called the passing lane for a reason.

  • Outside-View Federal Way, WA
    Jan. 13, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    Rememer, the "percieved" speed limit is 5 mph over the posted speed limit. If you raise the posted limit, you are unintentinally telling people it is ok to go 85mph.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Jan. 13, 2014 3:39 p.m.

    people drive way faster than that anyway. It's scary how fast people drive on I-15 between Provo and Ogden.

  • Chilidog Somewhere, IL
    Jan. 13, 2014 3:40 p.m.

    Is Dunnigan also drafting a bill to increase funding for emergency response services to deal with the increase in accidents that the speed increase will cause?