Speed limit increases may be coming to Arkansas roadways

An Arkansas Department of Transportation study found that speed limits should be increased by at least five miles-per-hour.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation wants to know what you think about raising speed limits across the state by at least five miles-per-hour.

A draft of an ARDOT study to determine whether or not it would be feasible to increase speeds on state highways was released Monday.

"The study recommends raising the speed limit on rural Arkansas interstates up to 75 miles-per-hour,” said ARDOT Spokesperson, Danny Straessle.

That study was ordered after Arkansas' Legislature voted unanimously last spring for the bill that would allow the speed increase.

"The Commission today posted a draft speed study that looks at all of our interstates and highways throughout Arkansas, and makes recommendations on what can be done and where,” Straessle said.

The Commission's recommendation is to raise Arkansas' highway speeds by at least five miles-per-hour.
Some of their other findings may surprise you.

"Everybody thought, 'gosh, we are already driving 75 miles-per-hour, what's 75 or 80?' Actually, the study revealed that the average speed driven on Arkansas interstates is actually 71 miles-per-hour. So a little bit of a surprise there. But it just goes to show that just because other states, or other people are driving that speed limit doesn't mean everybody is doing it,” the spokesperson said of the study’s findings.

Depending on what comes out of the public comment period, Interstates 430 and 630 could see a 5 mile-per-hour increase to 65 miles-per-hour.

"For all intents and purposes, the study is basically recommending raising the interstate speed limit to 75 in rural interstates. What is a rural interstate? Well, I-40 through Little Rock, is it a rural interstate? No, it's urban. I-40 east of the metro area, that's very rural. I-49 in Southwest Arkansas, between the Louisiana state line and Texarkana, that's a rural area as well,” Straessle said finally.

The public comment period is open now through Dec. 13 — and ARDOT says they want to hear from you.

If you're for faster speeds, don't hit the gas just yet, they don't expect anything to come of it until the first of the year.

To voice your opinion, click here. To view the study, click here

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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