Florida may join 16 other states that have speed limits above 70 miles per hour. A bill that could potentially raise the speed limit has passed its first legislative committee. The bill gives the Florida Department of Transportation the flexibility to determine whether a particular road could handle a higher speed based on driver behavior.
St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes told the Senate Transportation Committee the increase is not a mandate.
“On highways, it allows for 75 miles per hour. On extremely rural roads that are divided four lanes, it allows for 70 miles an hour. And all other roads, it allows the department to have the flexibility up to 65 miles per hour,” Brandes said.
Tampa Democratic Senator Arthenia Joyner voted no, saying speeding, road rage, and reckless driving could get worse under this bill.
“I don’t want to give people another opportunity to inflict their rage on the people of this state," Joyner said. "I don’t want people to have to spend more money on fuel – there’s a negative impact. People don’t respect the limits we’ve got now.”
The AAA auto club is against the bill. A lobbyist for the group cited federal statistics that show most of the states with higher speed limits have higher speed-related fatalities than the national average.