Assembly committee approves 70 mph speed limit

The Assembly Committee on Transportation approved Tuesday increasing the maximum speed limit on Interstate highways in Wisconsin to 70 mph.

“I am very pleased,” said Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc), author of the bill. This is a common sense bill that Democrats and Republicans support.”

The committee rejected an amendment that would have allowed the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to establish a 65 mph limit for commercial vehicles.

“Highways are safer when traffic is flowing at the same speed,” Tittl said. “Split speeds for commercial vehicles disrupt that flow.”

Traffic safety engineers said the safest point to set the speed limit is the point at which 85 percent of the people are driving at or below. The current 85 percentile speed on numerous highway segments throughout the state is more than 70 mph.

“Increasing the speed limit is primarily about safety and bringing traffic closer to that 85th percentile,” Tittl said. “That change should help to make our interstates and freeways safer.”

The committee voted 14-1 in favor of the 70 mph limit. The bill will head to the Assembly floor later this month.

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