Bill proposed to raise rural highway speed limit in Mo. -

Bill proposed to raise rural highway speed limit in Mo.

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By Heinz Kluetmeier By Heinz Kluetmeier

( – A Missouri state representative has proposed a bill that would raise the speed limit on rural stretches of highway from 70 mph to 75 mph.

Rep. Mike Kelley, who is from Lamar in southwest Mo., believes it is safe enough to raise the speed limit outside of metropolitan areas. A spokesman for the American Automobile Association believes the idea is dangerous.

“I think we need to look at the experience of Kansas when they went to higher speeds around three years ago. Their fatalities on that stretch of roadway increased by more than 50 percent,” said Mike Wright with the American Automobile Association.

17 other states currently allow motorists on rural highways to drive 75 MPH or faster. Wright said Missouri is different than those 17 states.

“We have interchanges on these highways about every five miles, whereas in these other states, you might go 30 miles before you see an interchange,” Wright said.

Supporters of the bill have said many drivers already exceed the speed limit.

“If you go up to 75, you’re gonna go up to 80, because everyone knows there’s a little fudge factor before you start enforcing the law,” Wright said.

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