By Kirsten Adshead | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON – Lead-footed Wisconsinites are rejoicing over a new proposal to raise the speed limit on some Wisconsin roads from 65 mph to 70 mph.
Cautious drivers are not quite as enthused.
And others are worried about the cost.
“With 95% doing 70 or more anyways, I say yes to the increase, but that would mean less speeding ticket revenues for the state. Wait, scratch that. You’ll still have those peeps doing 80 or more, so maybe that won’t matter. LOL” – Kevin L. Miller
“I don’t like the million (it’s) gonna cost to change all the signs.” – Joel Odegaard
“Nope! People drive like idiots as it is. Raise the speed limit and there will for sure be more traffic fatalities!” – Julie Kandaras Weir
It’s not often that a Wisconsin Republican wants to follow in Illinois’ footsteps.
But Tittl, R-Manitowoc, is making an exception.
He introduced a bill on Tuesday that would increase the speed limit on the state’s freeways and expressways and interstate highways from 65 mph to 70 mph – with some discretion still given to the state Department of Transportation to designate a lower speed limit in some places where there are particular safety concerns.
The impetus, he said?
“It’s about finding time with your families,” Tittl said. “It’s about allowing the people who are working, allowing them to get home faster, to spend more time with their families.”
Tittl’s proposal comes just one day after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a higher speed limit there into law.
“I don’t think you’ll see a change in fatalities and injuries or anything like that,” Tittl said. “If there was a chance of that, if safety would be compromised on Wisconsin highways, I wouldn’t even be doing this.”
Tittl already has the support of Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee.
“I think raising the speed limits in line with other states (is) good for business, good for tourism and also commerce throughout the Midwest, dealing with the same regulations,” said Ripp, owner of a trucking company.
All of Wisconsin’s neighbors have speed limits higher than the Badger State’s.
And all but 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, have a speed limit of 70 mph or higher on at least some of their roads – according to information Tittl provided Tuesday.
He said his bill is common-sense legislation that recognizes that people already drive faster than 65 mph.
One day on the way to the Legislature, Tittl said, he committed to driving 65 mph, “and I was the absolute slowest person on the road. I did not pass anyone, and there was hundreds of people that went past me during that two-hour-and-15-minute drive.”
The Legislature’s next session is scheduled for next month.
Tittl said he’s confident will be signed into law by the end of the year.
Contact Kirsten Adshead at [email protected]