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Higher speed-limit bill headed to Senate floor

@tbtia

A proposal to increase speed limits to 75 mph on Florida's interstates is ready for the full Senate's consideration.

The Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 392 with four dissenting: Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and Chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart.

The rest of the commitee sign off on the bill co-sponsored by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, and Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. Clemens argued that the state Department of Transporatation should be allowed to adjust speed limits using data and statistics.

“This bill takes myth and politics and replaces it with facts and engineering," Clemens said.

Safety advocates have argued that higher speed limits would lead to more accidents and fatalities and that drivers would push speedometers past the posted maximums. Clemens' bill also would allow speed limits to be increased 65 mph on four-lane highways outside urban areas and 60 mph on other roads the state manages.

The House version of the proposal, HB 761, has one more committee stop before it makes it to the floor. If the bill is passed by both chambers, it would go into effect July 1. The FDOT would have final say on which roads would allow faster vehicles.

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