After several years of working to increase the speed limit on rural roads with my DFL and GOP colleagues, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) has announced a speed limit increase on all of Highway 75, most of Highway 59, and part of Highway 7 to 60 mph. The speed limit will be effective once the signs are installed. You can read MNDOT’s press release on the increase here: http://tinyurl.com/mxnh3y2.
For a lot of people, this will be a welcomed change on these wide open state highways. I have been working with my legislative colleagues for several years to make these changes happen on major roads like this. Last session, I worked to pass legislation (Senate File 1210) that would have created a statewide speed limit increase from 55 mph to 60 mph. The proposal passed both the House and Senate in an omnibus bill, but was pulled out by a conference committee before it would have received its final passage. You can watch my Kare11 interview about increasing speed limits last session on rural roads here: http://tinyurl.com/m8y2w3w.
Over the years, citizens have provided me with input via town meetings, e-mails, and sidewalk conversations to raise the speed limit on state highways. Rural Minnesota families have lots of miles to travel – whether it is for jobs, shopping, or visiting friends and family. The new 5 mph increase seems to be reasonable. Some have even argued that it should be increased to 65 mph, but 60 mph is a good option to try for the motoring public. Furthermore, this speed limit closer aligns with the speed the average driver is already going on these roads.
No matter what the speed limit is drivers need to continue to practice safe and defensive driving. Safety comes first and starts with each individual driver!
I encourage and appreciate citizen input. I can be reached by telephone at (651) 296-3826 or (855) 407-7386, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via mail at 107 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
Senator Torrey Westrom
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