North Dakota Speed Limit Increases

On Dec. 28, Lonnie Laffen, chairman of the Senate transportation committee, proposed a bill that would increase the speed limits for “access-controlled, paved and divided, multi-lane interstate highways” to 80 mph.

“The speed limit really works best when it is set at the rate that most people are driving,” Laffen said.

According to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, 32.4 percent of fatal car accidents in ND throughout 2015 were speed related. This percent showed a decrease from the preceding year.

Vehicles have become safer, Laffen said.

The United States currently has six states that accommodate 80 mph speed limits, according to Governors Highway Safety Association.

Laffen, a republican senator, said South Dakota’s recent speed limit increase in August of 2015, is only benefiting the citizens of SD.

Speed limit citations in SD have decreased from 2,500 per month to 20 per month.

30.2 percent of fatal car accidents in SD were speed related in 2014.

North Dakota’s last speed limit change was in 2013, when the speed limit jumped from 70 mph to the current speed limit 75 mph.

These changes will have little effect in cities, where the speed limits will still be controlled by the city itself.

The Bismarck Tribune reported Carolyn Nelson, Fargo’s senator and the democratic representation on the transportation committee, would look to increase fines for people who break the speed limit.

According to state law the current fine for speeding on a road where the speed limit in 65 mph or higher is $5 per mph over the specified limit.

Laffen said he hopes that drivers will use caution under certain weather conditions.

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