MN-DOT is finishing a five-year study and increasing speed limits from 55 to 60 miles an hour on over three-quarters of the two-lane, rural state highways in Minnesota. Engineering specialist Nathan Drews says setting more “realistic” speed limits which more drivers obey, might actually reduce crashes — and data show it certainly will not *increase* crash numbers. He says, “Ultimately the goal is to have more drivers going the same speed, or close to the same speed, to reduce inter-vehicle conflicts.” Drews says studies show that drivers going under or over the speed limit get in the most crashes.
Drews says the higher speed limits might actually make it easier for law enforcement to catch serious speeders, because more drivers will stay at or near the new posted limits. “By making a more realistic speed limit legal — one that more people are willing to obey — we open the door for law enforcement to more accurately target those drivers that are at risk,” he says.