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Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014

Fresh Squeezed

A Florida Politics Blog

Made fresh, never frozen, here's the juice on local and state politics from the staff of The Tampa Tribune, The St. Petersburg Tribune and the Tribune/Scripps Capital Bureau.

Senate discusses bill allowing higher speed limits


Published:

A bill that could result in higher speeds on Florida highways was set up for a final vote this week in the Florida Senate.

Sponsors of the measure (SB 392), Sens. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, took questions on the bill Wednesday.

For example, Miami Democrat Oscar Braynon asked if the bill’s passage would affect any federal funding the state gets. Brandes said it wouldn’t.

Under the bill, the maximum highway speed limit could rise to 75 mph. Florida last bumped the state speed limit to 70 mph in 1996.

State law now allows for 70 mph on interstates, 65 mph for highways with a divided median and 60 mph on certain other roadways. Under the bill, all of these limits could be raised by 5 mph.

Any increase on a given stretch of highway would happen only if state traffic engineers determined the roadway was safe enough for a higher speed.

“Let the experts set the speed limits, rather than the politicians,” Clemens told the chamber.

AAA Auto Club Group opposes raising the limits, citing a raft of statistics, including that 30 percent of highway deaths nationally are caused by speeding.


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