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State Assembly approves 70 mph speed limit bill

70 miles per hour is moving closer to being law in Wisconsin. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed a bill giving the State DOT the authority to increase the speed limit on state roads to 70 mph.

The bill also gives the DOT the ability to keep the limit at 65 mph on certain stretches of highway if doing so is best in the interest of safety.

The DOT has studied the issue and found that average speeds on many Wisconsin highways are well above 70 mph already. On several segments of highway, 15% of the drivers are already driving over 75 mph. Setting speed limits at the proper level can significantly reduce aggressive driving behaviors. In Michigan changes made to roadways where aggressive driving had occurred reduced the reported incidents of road rage. When the speed limit was raised from 55 mph to 70 mph along a section of Interstate 496 outside of Lansing, which accounted for 40 percent of reported incidents of aggressive driving in that area, incidents of aggressive driving dropped to nearly zero.

The bill now heads to Governor Walker's desk for his signature. If he approves it, there are reports that the new signs could begin to be installed as soon as this summer.

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