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Lawmakers hear bill increasing speed limit

Posted at 10:38 AM, Feb 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-07 08:07:41-05

On Tuesday, lawmakers on the Transportation and Telecommunications committee heard a proposed bill (LB 1009) to increase speed limits on Nebraska highways and Interstates. 

The maximum speed on 4-lane divided highways will be 65 mph and the speed limit on a major portion of I-80 would be 80 mph. 

The bill is introduced by Sen. John Murante of Gretna and intends to align Nebraska's speed limits with the on-the-ground driving conditions in accordance with engineering and traffic standards. 

LB 1009 adds "Super-two" as a new highway functional classification. 

If the Department of Transportation uses the authority provided by LB 1009 and increases speed limits within their jurisdiction to the new maximum levels there will be a cost to change the speed limits of $40,000. 

Gov. Ricketts supports the bill saying it would make Nebraska's transportation system more effective, efficient and customer-focused. 

However many safety groups such as the Nebraska Safety Council argue raising the speed limit would increase deaths on the roads. 

"What happens is when you increase the speed limit by 5 miles per hour on an interstate, that increases the fatalities by about 8-percent that's equitant to 18 lives," said WorkWell Director for the Nebraska Safety Council Lisa Henning.