NC 75 mph speed limit bill tabled for study - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

NC 75 mph speed limit bill tabled for study

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Senate Bill 709, which could raise interstate speed limits to 75 miles per hour, easily passed the Senate back in April, but received harsh criticism in the state House.

Now, the House has asked the Department of Transportation to conduct a study before the bill can move forward, effectively tabling it.

The state DOT is to report back to the House by the end of next January.

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Lawmakers who want to raise interstate speed limits to 75mph are already hitting road blocks. A vote in the House was set to happen Wednesday but spirited debate is now pushing it to Thursday.

Senate Bill 709 already passed the Senate and a House committee Tuesday. Proponents say it would give the State Department of Transportation the authority to change interstate highway speed limits from 70mph to 75mph in areas they deem appropriate.

"It's frightening, like being on a race track almost. I do believe there is a safety issue," said Rep. Becky Carney of House District 102 against the bill.

9 On Your Side Reality Checked to see if increasing speeds really leads to an increase of danger on the roads.

We found a study by the National Motorists Association Foundation that found raising speed limits does not affect traffic safety directly but it depends on what interest group is backing the study.

Another compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found states that raised limits to 75 mph - experienced 38 percent more deaths.

The U.S. Department of Transportation found, on average, only 45 percent of drivers abide by present speed limits.

The NCDOT says they'd consider changing rural interstate speed limits and Highway 264 could fall in that category.

Committee members discussed rural stretches of I-40 in eastern North Carolina as a possibility.

Representatives will pick up the bill again Thursday.

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