UDOT raises speed limits

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Department of Transportation has just completed speed studies on several rural freeway sections and crews installed new 80 mph speed limit signs earlier this week.

Speed Limit changes in Utah effective October 2013 | Image courtesy of Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News
Speed Limit changes in Utah effective October 2013 | Image courtesy of Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

The speed limit has been increased to 80 mph in several areas of the state. Those areas are:

  • Interstate 80, from the Nevada border to state Route 36
  • Interstate 15 between North Leeds and Santaquin (with sections of 75 mph zones through two mountain passes and Cedar City)
  • Interstate 15 and Interstate 84 from the Brigham City North Interchange to the Idaho border

The speed limit increase is the result of House Bill 83, passed during the 2013 legislative session, which allowed the department to study and establish speed limits higher than 75 on the interstate.

UDOT’s data from speed studies of existing 80 mph zones showed that vehicle crashes have slightly dropped over the past three years, attributed to more vehicles traveling at the same speeds and less variation in the speed of surrounding vehicles.

Submitted by UDOT

Ed. Notes:

House Bill 83, Speed Limit Amendments, passed the Senate unanimously with 29 yeas. From Southern Utah, Sens. Hinkins, Vickers and Urquhart all voted yea.

The bill passed the House with 69 yeas, 5 not voting, 1 closed. From Southern utah, Reps. Stanard, Last, Westwood, Noel, Snow, and Ipson all voted yea.

 Utah Code 41-6a-602 as amended.  Note subsection (5): The speed limit is effective when appropriate signs giving notice are erected along the highway or section of the highway.

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4 Comments

  • Josh Dalton September 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Singing-“I can’t drive 55!”

  • Lisa September 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Really! How fast is fast enough? Are Utahns really in that much of a hurry to meet their maker? I know their vision of the afterlife is lovely, but can’t people slow down and enjoy what they’ve been given here on earth? “Live deep, not fast” is a motto that’s certainly being lost as humans (at least in Utah) evolve – or, perhaps, devolve? People complain about gasoline prices and then put the pedal to the metal. How smart is that? I have little patience with those who have the drill baby drill mentality as seems the goal in Utah and then want to increase speeds. What a wasteful bunch.

  • Steve September 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Lisa, relax. It’s a speed limit not a speed minimum and it’s people’s choice to travel as quickly or as slowly as they feel. If you don’t like it, drive slower. Not a big deal.

  • Averill Hecht October 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Steve is right. Lisa, I live in Pennsylvania. We can’t even get our state to raise the limit from 65 to 70 on rural expressways. And in the cities it’s still 55, even though 65 would be safe and many people try to push it to 60-65. If you don’t feel conferrable going 80; keep to the right and go 70 or what ever is reasonable for you and for the highway you’re on. 80 IS NOT a minimum speed limit. It’s a maximum limit. Feel free to go slower in the right lane, as long as you keep to the legal state minimum speed limit, assuming Utah has a minimum freeway speed. PA it’s 40 MPH.

    I envy you, Steve! I can only dream of doing what you can now do legally were you live. In PA they would through away the key if I got caught doing 80:)

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