North Dakota senator proposes bill to increase speed limit to 80 mph on interstate highways
Higher speed limits reduce traffic citations and decrease fatal accidents
In January 2017, North Dakota chairman of the Senate transportation committee, Lonnie Laffen, proposed a bill to increase the speed limit on multi-lane interstate highways. Senator Laffen’s bill only affects Interstates 94 and 29, and the speed limit will increase by from 75 mph to 80 mph, a 5 mile increase. The current speed limit law is 75 mph on access-controlled, paved and divided, multi-lane interstate highways. However, this speed limit increase will not affect city roads because speed limits are controlled by the individual cities. The last speed limit increase in North Dakota was in 2013 when the speed limit went from 70 mph to 75 mph.
The good news for North Dakota drivers is that speed limit citations have drastically reduced from 2500 to 20 per month. As a result of decreased citations, Senator Laffen proposed the bill because drivers follow the legal speed limit when it is set at the rate of speed that people actually drive. While an increase in the speed limit seems like it would be dangerous for motorists, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and the North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP) reported that the 2015 traffic fatalities are the lowest in five years. Speed-related fatal car accidents decreased from 34% in 2014 to 28% in 2015.
However, North Dakota drivers will still be penalized for speeding, especially in higher speed limit zones. According to state traffic laws, the fine is $5 per mph over the speed limit for roadways with specified speed limits of 65 mph and over. Also, North Dakota is strict with their speed limit laws and is considered an absolute speed limit state. For example, if you drive in a 65 mile zone and a police officer pulls you over for going 66 miles per hour, one mile over the speed limit, you can still be cited with a speeding ticket. In order to better enforce the speed limit laws, Fargo Senator Carolyn Nelson, who also sits on the transportation committee, wants to increase the current fines for drivers who break the speed limit laws.
Whether the speed limit is 25 mph or 80 mph, North Dakota motorists should always use good judgement and be defensive drivers to prevent car accidents and injuries. In highway work zones, follow reduced speed limit signs and pay attention to detours. Construction zone accidents are common due to excessive speeding and distracted driving. When driving in bad weather conditions, be extra cautious and pay attention.
Even if you follow the legal speed limit, careless, reckless drivers can cause serious accidents including vehicle damage and physical injuries. If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, call us today to discuss your legal rights. Our highly skilled and knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Larson Law Firm, P.C. can navigate you through the claims process. We go after responsible parties and the insurance companies to get you maximum compensation for your pain and suffering. Set up your free, no-risk consultation today. Contact us online or call our Minot office at 701-484-HURT.