Law will increase speed limits on certain Michigan roads

MECOSTA COUNTY — Certain Michigan roadways could one day see an increase in the speed limit thanks to legislation recently signed into law.

On Jan. 5, Gov. Rick Snyder siged legislation to raise speed limits on designated roadways following safety studies.

“Ensuring that all Michiganders are safe while operating vehicles on our state’s roadways is critically important, and these bills allow for appropriately increased speed limits on certain roadways after safety studies are conducted,” Snyder said.

House Bills 4423 and 4427 were sponsored by state Reps. Bradford Jacobsen, Rick Outman, John Kivela and Charles Smiley, and require the Michigan Department of Transportation to allow the speed limit to be raised up to 75 mph on at least 600 miles of freeways and up to 65 mph on at least 900 miles of non-freeway “M” roads.

The increases are allowed only after completion of safety and engineering studies. The bills also raise the maximum speed limit for trucks from 60 to 65 mph and adjust measures used by insurers to determine eligibility for auto insurance.

“No road will be officially recommended for a change until the safety/speed studies are completed, as called for in the bill,” said John Richard, MDOT communications representative, via email. “We have one year to conduct studies and implement new speeds.”

While no determinations have been made about which roadways will have the speed limits increased, likely corridors have previously been discussed, Richard said.

One of those corridors is the stretch of U.S. 131, beginning at the top of Kent County and going through Montcalm, Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford counties.

“These are, again, some likely candidates but no official determination has been made and there will be more in order to try to meet the directive of 600 miles of freeways and 900 miles of non-freeways,” Richard said.

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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