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Wisconsin State Assembly Votes to Raise Speed Limits

Posted on in Car Accidents

Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconis accident lawyer, car crashesRecently, the Wisconsin state Assembly voted on a measure that would increase the speed limit on certain highways from 65 mph to 70 mph. The bill passed by a vote of 76 to 22, and it now moves to the Senate where it is also expected to pass. The bill, Assembly Bill 27, gives the Department of Transportation the authority to increase the speed limit on freeways and expressways in the state. However, there are some concerns that the new speed limit will lead to an increase in the number or severity of traffic accidents. Consequently, drivers should be one the lookout for new speed limit signs, and should exercise extra care on highways.

The New Bill

If the new bill passes the senate, it would increase the speed limit on freeways and expressways across the state. Importantly, the bill has special definitions of freeways and expressways, so that the increase will be uniform. A freeway is a state highway with four or more lanes separated by a barrier that has limited intersections. An expressway is defined similarly, though the expressway must also be recognized as such by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

According to a press release from the bill's sponsor, the new speed limits are designed to serve two purposes. First, the bill is designed to update the speed limits to bring them in line with current commuting distances, especially since the modern speed limits are a result of the 1970s energy crisis. Second, the press release cites some research that shows that increasing the speed limit to the speed that 85 percent of people are driving may actually reduce fatalities.

Safety Concerns

However, there are some representatives who voted against the bill based on concerns that the increase in speed limits may actually make the roads less safe. The concerns are twofold. First, the idea behind the increase in safety is that it will promote a more uniform speed of traffic by bringing the speed limit in line with how people actually drive. Yet, opponents of the bill contend that it will simply shift the speed of traffic up as people adjust to the new limit, rather than keeping their driving behavior constant. Second, other opponents thought that the increased limit for cars was acceptable, but that larger vehicles, such as commercial trucks should still be limited to a lower speed. However, that limitation was not built into the final bill.

Traffic accidents can result in serious and life-changing injuries, and the possible increase in speed limits may make them worse. If you or one of your loved ones has recently been involved in a traffic accident, contact an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney today to learn about how to receive the full, fair compensation that you deserve.

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