Some state troopers report seeing more speeders and speed-related serious accidents in the year since Idaho raised its speed limits from 65 to 75 mph on most interstates and from 55 to 65 mph on many other highways.
“I think it was a mistake,” Idaho State Police Cpl. Kevin Winn said. “Now that it’s 75, they think they can do 85 or 90. Any given weekend, we’ll give a number of citations for people going over 100.”
But preliminary statistics from the Idaho Transportation Department do not show most drivers speeding excessively. Numbers from May through October 1996 - the six months immediately after the speed limits were raised - show drivers were not going much faster than during the same six months in 1995.
Eighty-five percent of drivers on urban interstates were traveling an average of about 72 mph in 1996, up slightly from the 68 mph they drove in 1995. Speeds on rural interstates climbed from 73 to 76 mph, and speeds on noninterstate highways rose from 64 to 66 mph.
“Although the speed limit went up 10 mph, the majority of people only went up 3 mph,” DOT spokesman Reed Hollingshead said.
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