Two states try to solve slow traffic problem

January 20, 20230

New state bills aim to increase the minimum speed limit on certain highways.

A South Carolina law introduced by Rep. J. Todd Rutherford (D-Richland) would raise the minimum speed limit on interstate highways. On highways with a maximum speed limit of 70 mph, the minimum speed limit will be 50 mph. Previously, it was 40 mph.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation and local authorities will also be able to establish minimum speed zones if engineering and road investigations show that low speeds on a particular stretch of highway are preventing normal traffic flow.

The state Department of Transportation estimates that about 230 signs would be needed to accommodate the new minimum speed limit. The cost was estimated at $200,000.

The bill has been submitted to the House Education and Public Works Committee.

A proposed law by West Virginia could increase the maximum speed limit on rural sections of interstate highways to increase.

The law, introduced by Senator Robert Carnes (GOP, Randolph), proposes increasing the maximum speed to 80 mph on interstates and four-lane restricted-traffic highways.

In 2019, a House of Representatives resolution increased speed from 70 mph. Maine is the only state east of the Mississippi River with a maximum legal speed limit of over 70 mph.

The bill is in the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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