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Ricketts backs bill to raise speed limits on I-80, highways

Ricketts backs bill to raise speed limits on I-80, highways

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is backing a bill that would raise the speed limit on parts of Interstate 80 and other state highways.

The bill introduced Tuesday would allow the state Department of Transportation to increase the limits to 80 mph on sections of I-80, up from the current 75 mph.

Sen. John Murante of Gretna, who introduced the bill, says the department would immediately raise the speed limit on I-80 between Omaha and Lincoln if the proposal goes into effect. Many other rural highways and expressways would see speed limit increases of 5 mph.

Transportation committee chairman Senator Kurt Friesen said this is an opportunity to finally standardize limits that will reflect the engineering that is put into the roads.

Kyle Schneweis, Nebraska’s Department of Transportation Director said decisions on specific zones would be based on defined factors, with safety always being the top consideration.

Ricketts says the measure would make Nebraska’s transportation system more effective, efficient and customer-focused.

It’s likely to face resistance from highway safety groups, which argue that higher speed limits have been linked to more fatalities.

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