Skubick: State Police Director concerned about 80 mph speed limit

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The State Police director is expressing concerns about efforts to hike freeway speeds as the Michigan House is considering a measure that could boosts the speeds to 75 and perhaps even 80 miles an hour.

There is an unwritten rule that with the speed limit set at 70, the police will give you ten miles over that limit before you get nabbed.

The state police director warns if lawmakers hike speeds to 75, she is not comfortable with drivers going 85.

Col. Kriste Kibby Etue says “speed is a factor in accidents and if motorists are going 85 or higher there is a risk of more accidents.”

The House Transportation committee recently sent a measure to the house floor that was rejected last week.

The bill’s sponsor fell four votes short of hiking speeds to 75 with the possibility of boosting some speeds in outstate Michigan to 80.

But now Rep. Brad Jacobsen confirms he is seriously thinking about removing the 80 mile per hour provision if it can get him votes for the rest of the package.

“80 could be on the chopping block. I won’t go there yet but it could happen,” says Rep. Jacobsen. “I have no assurances that that is going to get me any votes yet. But it could happen.”

Republican Rep. Mike Calton voted “no” on the original bill because if speed limits near schools go to 55, then the speeds in school zones could only be twenty miles under that or 30 instead of the current 25. “If you have a 55 mph, you can only drop it to 35 and the statistics show the surviveability rate at 25 vs 35. It is large,” explained Calton.

Rep. Jacobsen says he will take care of that problem as he tweaks the rest of the package hoping to find the extra votes to pass it within a week or two. “We are only a few votes short. I think we will get over the hump.”

When asked if the days of 80 mph are numbered he responded “you said that, not me.”

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