Bill to Increase Speed Limit Running on Empty

Mar 4, 2015

A bill raising Iowa’s interstate speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour didn’t get voted on in the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday. Since the deadline for bills to reach the senate or house floor for a vote approaches, it is highly unlikely the legislation will advance.

Sen. Wally Horn, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, supports the bill. He says bumping the speed limit up could cut down on traffic.

"I feel that (interstate) 380, that goes between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, if people could drive 75 rather than 70 than it would lose congestion at drive time," Horn says.

Critics of the bill say increasing the speed limit will increase traffic fatalities.

"I believe by increasing the speed limit, the stats and the date will show, that it will increase fatalities on the road," says Sen. Chris Brase, a Democrat from Muscatine. "Being a firefighter (and) paramedic it's not something I can support."

Currently 16 states allow speed limits of more than 70 miles per hour, according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association.  Including Iowa, another 22 states cap speed limits at 70 miles per hour.