Lawmakers look at lifting speed limits in Michigan
Some Michigan lawmakers are looking at lifting the 70 mph cap on highway speeds and making other changes to reduce speed traps.
Grand Ledge Sen. Rick Jones is working on a bill with fellow Republican Tom Casperson from Escanaba they want to introduce this fall. One upshot could be speed limits rising to 75 mph or 80 mph on some freeway stretches.
Jones - a former Eaton County sheriff - says some speeds are deliberately set low to trap drivers and make money from traffic tickets.
"I want to stop this abuse to citizens," said Jones. "I've been able to close down a speed trap in East Lansing and a number in Lansing. Been working with the Michigan State Police who are experts in this area. For four decades they have known that the safest and the best speed to post is the one that is scientifically based."
Based off of a scientific study that would be conducted by city officials, or MSP, the bill will force all speed limits to be posted by following an 85th percentile rule, meaning that the limits will correspond with a speed that 85% of vehicles travel safely at.
"If there is something that has been mis-posted, it could go up 10mph, said Sen. Jones."
MSP Sgt. Jerry Hilborn says that road becomes dangerous when some people speed, and others do not.
"There's a misconception that a lower speed limit is automatically safer, and that's not always true," said Hilborn. "You want to utilize speed. If you have people going one uniformed speed, that's better and right now people are traveling faster than the posted limit."
"This is an effort to get everyone traveling in the same speed, in the same direction. In the highway, that's the safest way to go."
Senator Jones tells 7&4 News that he hopes to introduce the bill to the house by this fall.