A new bill is being introduced today to raise the speed limit on Wisconsin’s rural Interstates to 70-miles-an-hour, up from the current 65.
Freshman Assembly Republican Paul Tittl of Manitowoc was planning to hold a news conference to unveil the measure. G-O-P Assembly Speaker Robin Vos spilled the beans over the weekend, and said he would support Tittl’s measure. Senate Democrat Fred Risser of Madison also supports the change, saying drivers are not paying too much attention to the current-65. Risser – the nation’s longest-serving state lawmaker – says 70 is the standard in many states, and Wisconsin should stick with the standard even though he believes that speed kills. The bill is expected to be taken up in the September legislative session. In neighboring Illinois, Democratic Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill yesterday raising the speed limit to 70 on rural Interstates. Quinn went against opposition from the Illinois State Police and the state’s transportation secretary – both saying higher-speeds cause more crashes. A Wisconsin regional D-O-T official is not so sure. Greg Helgeson, traffic safety engineer for the northwest district, tells W-E-A-U T-V in Eau Claire says it’s not necessarily true that lower speeds lead to better safety. The National Motorists Association says those driving 10-miles-an-hour below a highway’s prevailing speed are more likely to cause accidents.