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Should the CT State Speed Limit Be Upped to 75?

A state rep from Hartford is proposing just that, saying the current speed limit of 65 mph is 'a joke.'

 

As Connecticut legislators deliberate bringing back tolls to the state's highways, one lawmaker has another idea concerning those state roads: increase the statewide maximum speed limit from 65 to 75 mph. 

State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-Hartford), who proposed the legislation Monday, called the current speed limit "a joke" that Connecticut motorists are choosing to ignore, according to an Associated Press report published on CBSNew York.

Addressing the Connecticut General Assembly Transportation Committee, she argued that statistics support a decrease in accidents with a higher maximum speed limit, the AP reports. Some members countered saying the data might apply to larger, less dense populations than here in Connecticut.

Fifteen years ago Connecticut became the last state in the continential U.S. to pass legislation increasing the max speed limit from 55 to 65 mph, according to the AP.

Tell us what you think: Should the speed limit be upped to 75?

arkay February 05, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Absolutely. 75-80 is normal cruising speed on 95, where the speed limit is still 55.
JT February 05, 2013 at 04:35 PM
At 65 mph a state trooper has the discretion in enforce the law within a wide range of traffic conditions, weather and safety priorities. People that push the edge of the limit are often travelling 70 to 75 mph. If the speed limit was raised to 75 mph some people would be pushing the limit to 85 to 90 mph. State troopers would be forced to enforce the strictest letter of the law. As it is not a single tractor-trailer on the road obeys the 65 mph limit. The margin of error for driver would be pushed beyond the reasonable. Fuel consumption would be greatly increased with a 75 mph limit, not exactly sustainable or in our counties best interest as we work towards energy independence. State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez has proposed a dangerous bill that would simply empower the irresponsible. This is a foolish intellectually adolescent effort. The voters deserve much better than this.
DW February 05, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Hey, let's be honest -- CT highways are so clogged that high speeds are practically impossible except during sparse hours. Even with a higher limit we'd have a few slowpokes who occupy the left lane and nobody would get to drive the higher speed. Until we can solve congestion in this state and re-educate drivers on the notion of "Keep Right Except to Pass," such discussions are moot. Better to keep the limit lower and reap the fines when the police choose to enforce....
David Chesler February 05, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Trooper discretion - not a good thing. Too much opportunity for abuse and different treatment. Fuel savings - that's an individual problem. Like the lottery, consider it a stupidity tax. Some states are hurting because higher MPG means less tax. (Or non-stupid drivers whose time is worth more than $8/hour might decide saving a half hour is worth spending an extra $4 on gas) The current unrealistic speed limits encourage disrespect for all laws, even more so when one sees a cruiser doing "Statie Eighty" up the left lane; and the speed differentials, and poor guidance the signs give ("Is it 55mph because it's too curvy for $75, or because some bureaucrat decided?") make roads more dangerous. I've traversed your roads many dozens of times going between Massachusetts and New York, and recently a dozen or more times between my old home in Mass and my new home in Milford. Other than construction and accidents I've never hit traffic except on I-95 between New Haven and Greenwich (mostly from construction there too) or exiting I-91 to the Charter Oaks Bridge. There is plenty of wide open road. Even the parkways can handle the speed in daylight on dry pavement. Highway engineers suggest setting the limit at the 85th percentile of traffic (that is, so only 15% of drivers are going faster.) I don't know if that's recursive. Now that's called crowdsourcing. Drivers familiar with the road drive at a safe and reasonable speed.
Michael Nelson February 06, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Upping the limit 10 MPH does not mean people will speed 10 MPH faster. People travel at the rate of speed they feed comfortable driving, depending on traffic conditions, vehicle they're in, road conditions, weather, etc. That's why the current law is a joke. Upping the limit will mean the current 5-10 MPH grace the cops current give will change - not go away, just change. Try driving down south in some of the rural areas. The limit is the limit - p.e.r.i.o.d. One MPH over and it's a ticket. In NH or Hartford? Lower the limit. Considerable more congestion, curvy roads that inhibit how far you can see ahead of you, and worse pavement conditions. If you're in the NE part of the state on 84, or heading toward toward the airport on 91... That could easily be 90 (on a good day).
CB February 06, 2013 at 12:30 PM
I think most people drive too fast already and don't take road conditions into consideration. Not to mention those fools who tailgate at 70+ mph. I drive the parkway a few times a week, and people fly down that road at 80 or better. It's nuts. At no place on any road in CT should the speed limit be 75 since considering they drive 75 in a 55 zone now, that would mean 95 in a 75 zone. Crashes at higher speeds are far more deadly, not to mention the wasted gas trying to beat everyone down the road. 65 seems right to me. This isn't Montana.
Michael Nelson February 06, 2013 at 01:19 PM
I don't know how to explain this any simpler... Raising the speed limit will not change how people drive. People ignore the speed limit today and drive how they're going to drive. Raising the speed limit to 115 does not mean people will be driving 120-130. You will not, all of a sudden, be dealing with people driving 95MPH because the state government raises the speed limit to the rate at which people drive today.
Michael Nelson February 06, 2013 at 01:51 PM
How about this - the current speed limits are ignored. I think we can all agree on that. If we *lower* the speed limit by 10 MPH on the highways, do you think people will travel 10MPH slower? I would argue they will not. In fact, most people on I84 travel 70-75 whether you're away from Hartford where the speed limit is 65 or *in* Hartford where the speed limit is 55 or in some cases 45. This shows people drive at the rate which they are comfortable, no matter what the sign on the side of the road says. Traveling (roughly) 75MPH is the norm - not traveling 10MPH above the posted speed limit. Personally, I'm in favor of raising the speed limit to the highest, safest rate of speed, taking into consideration how the road is laid out (can you see a mile ahead of you or is there a curve or hill up ahead?). If it's raining, foggy, etc or if weather is a concern, the same rules as today applies - you can be ticketed for driving UNDER the speed limit because you're still traveling too fast for conditions. The condition of the vehicle does not come into play. You should not be ticketed traveling 85MPH in your 1983 Corolla because your car can't handle it, just as a person driving a Ferrari should not be allowed to drive 120 because that car *can* handle it.

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