The Washington Post

Florida speed limits going up


Top speed limits in the United States. (Graphic: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

The closest vote in the Florida state legislature this year wasn’t over divisive issues like allowing the children of undocumented immigrants the right to pay in-state tuition, or big pension reforms. It was over speed limits.

The state House on Wednesday passed a measure raising the Sunshine State’s speed limits by a single vote, with 58 members voting in favor and 56 voting against.

The bill would allow state traffic engineers to boost speed limits by 5 miles per hour if they determine individual roads are safe enough for faster travel. Current law sets the speed limit at 70 miles per hour on interstates, at 65 miles per hour on highways with a divided median, and at 60 miles per hour on some rural roadways, the Tampa Tribune reported. It’s the first time since 1996 that Florida lawmakers have given the okay for faster speeds.

Consumer and traffic safety groups opposed the bill, citing traffic statistics that show 30 percent of traffic fatalities on highways are caused by speeding.

The state Senate passed the measure by a much wider 27-11 margin earlier this year. It will now be sent to Gov. Rick Scott (R), though Scott’s office has not said whether he will sign the bill.

Florida would be the second southeastern state to raise its top speed limits to 75 miles an hour, following Louisiana. Most Mountain West states cap speed limits at 75 mph. Texas allows drivers to zoom by at 85 miles per hour, the highest level in the country, while drivers in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah can travel at 80 miles per hour.

Most eastern states cap limits at 70 mph, while northeastern states settle for a relatively sluggish 65 mph. (Click here for an interactive version of the above map, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

Reid Wilson covers national politics and Congress for The Washington Post. He is the author of Read In, The Post’s morning tip sheet on politics.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
What to expect tonight
Tonight's debate is likely to focus on the concerns of African American and Latino voters. Clinton has focused in recent days on issues like gun control, criminal-sentencing reform, and the state of drinking water in Flint, Mich. Sanders has been aggressively moving to appeal to the same voters, combining his core message about economic unfairness with his own calls to reform the criminal-justice system.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
Fact Checker
Trump’s claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
The billionaire's claim is highly dubious. Based on the costs of the Israeli security barrier (which is mostly fence) and the cost of the relatively simple fence already along the U.S.-Mexico border, an $8 billion price tag is simply not credible.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.