Out for a faster Sunday drive – Speed limit increases for county roads up in committee

The Senate Transportation Policy and Finance Committee heard a bill this week that allows county boards to vote to increase the speed limit on any street or highway within the county’s jurisdiction from 55 mph to 60 mph. There is no traffic safety study or engineering analysis required prior to increasing the speed limit.

A Grant County commissioner testified in favor of the bill, citing the importance of local control. A traffic safety engineer from MnDOT testified that the Department of Transportation is still working on a study of speed limits on trunk highways statewide, and has, in many, but not all cases, determined that speed limits could be increased to 60 mph from 55 mph. A representative from the Minnesota Association of County Engineers also testified that it’s most appropriate to complete an engineering study before increasing the speed limit.

The bill passed the committee on a divided voice vote and will next be heard on the Senate floor. (SF 3118)