STORY BY MICHAEL LOPEZ
Iowa needs more freedom on the road. We need more room to move. Iowa needs more miles per hour on the interstate. Think of the difference it would make for drivers if Iowa added even just five miles to the speed limit.
Iowa should change the speed limit law and raise the interstate speed limit. This idea is currently making it’s way through Iowa congress.
Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, proposed a bill to increase the rural interstates’ maximum legal speed limit from 70 to 75 mph. The change will be applied to designated interstate highways deemed appropriate by state transportation officials. The law is currently in effect in 16 states.
Zaun said he hasn’t faced any resistance in raising the speed limit, but there are some concerns. Sen. Tod Bowman, D-Maquoketa, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee said, “I see many vehicles going 75 mph on Interstate 80. A lot of people say if you let them go 75 mph, they’ll be going 80.”
However Bowman is giving the proposition in raising the speed limit full consideration.
Rep. Josh Byrnes, R-Osage, chairman of the House Transportation Committee also shares concerns about raising the speed limit.
“It seems like the flow is already at that 75 mph mark,” he said. “If you put (the speed limit) at 75, does that mean suddenly 85 is the new top end?”
Reasons for concern are legitimate. Drivers’ safety should always be taken into account.
Although, Iowa has changed its speed limit laws before, increasing its speed limit on rural interstates from 65 mph to 70 mph on July 1, 2005.
After the change, drivers were going 72 to 73 mph. The average driving speed only increased by two mph. There was no dramatic change of numbers in accidents and crashes after the speed limit increase.
As a Californian, I can drive 80 mph on an interstate with a speed limit of 70 mph without worrying too much about getting a ticket. I believe the speed limit needs to be raised. There are plenty of interstates outside the city where you won’t see another car for miles. Iowa’s car population is definitely lower than California’s is, so I see no reason why raising the speed limit by five mph would be a problem.