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As promised, Gov. Rick Scott vetoes speed limit bill


Gov. Rick Scott said last month that the death of a state highway trooper who was killed investigating an interstate accident convinced him a speed limit increase was wrong for Florida. Today, Scott made good on his promise to veto Senate Bill 392, which would have authorized state officials to raise the limit 5 mph to a maximum 75 mph if deemed safe.

"Although the bill does not mandate higher speed limits, allowing for the possibility of faster driving on Florida's roads and highways could ultimately and unacceptably increase the risk of serious accidents for Florida citizens and visitors," Scott wrote in his veto letter.

Scott added that he rejected the bill after hearing from law enforcement officers who believe higher travel speeds increased the severity of accidents and led to more deaths and injuries.

The death of Florida Highway Patrol trooper Chelsea Renee Richard, whose funeral Scott attended, politicized the speed limit issue, bill sponsor Sen. Jeff Brandes said today. Richard was killed while investigating an accident on Interstate 75 in Ocala; two others also died when struck by a passing pickup truck.

"It became a political issue even though Officer Richard’s death was not directly related to speeding, and I think the report would ultimately vet that out," Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, said.

Nevertheless, he believes Scott has made his position clear and Brandes does not plan on proposing another speed limit hike next year, although he may focus just on increasing minimum speeds on interstates.

"Based on his veto letter I don’t think he could sign it in the future," Brandes said.


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If it isn't law, then with this veto, there should be enforcement of slow drivers in the left-hand lane.


Rick Scott is an idiot. Why doesn't he leave determining speed limits to the unbiased traffic engineers?

That accident that killed the state trooper was likely a DUI and a violation of the move over law. The trooper was still killed AT CURRENT SPEED LIMITS!!!

Why focus on speed when the main cause of accidents are distracted driving and drunk driving?

the bong is great

The governor is in bed with AAA, which profits from insurance surcharges on speeding tickets, and some state troopers like Cloud (this guy is a nut, wants 55 mph speed limits) who simply want to write more speeding tickets at the expense of safety. Rural traffic flows better at 75 mph due to less speed variance.

Stephen Donaldson

Way to use a Tragic MOVE over accident as a CHEAP VETO NANNY SCOTT!

Vetoing a valid 5 mph speed limit increase over a MOVE OVER ACCCIDENT THAT HAD NOT ONE THING TO DO WITH THE SPEED LIMIT!

Maybe it is time to VETO SCOTT!

Both of his opponents SUPPORT the 75 mph!

http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/blog/adrian-wyllie-jabs-rick-scott-vetoing-raising-speed-limit on Adrian Wyllie.

and http://www.clickorlando.com/news/charlie-crist-makes-campaign-stop-in-orlando/26103836 Quote: Crist doesn't see a problem with voters driving a little faster.
"It seems to me if citizens want to go 75 miles per hour and they're safe and they wear seat belts, and all that, I don't have a problem with it," he said. "


Stephen Donaldson

Also note that the FARS data of 75 mph state show this is SAFE!

AZ 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.36 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.38
ID 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.99 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.05 (Now 80 mph)
KS 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.89 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.29
ME 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.32 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: .95
MT 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.12 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.79
NE 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.80 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: .95
NV 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.18 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.02
ND 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.26 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.62
OK 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.96 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.47
SD 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.24 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.23
TX 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.02 2011 with 75 mph AND 80 MPH speed limit death rate: 1.27.
UT 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.64 2011 with 80 mph speed limit death rate: .92
WY 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.94 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.46 (Now 80 mph)

TX which is of similar size to Florida has ALMOST THE SAME DEATH RATE as FL. (FL 1.25 in 2011).


James Walker

Facts about the veto.
1) Governor Scott's veto was essentially "purchased" by AAA that wants to surcharge the insurance premiums of safe drivers caught in speed traps caused by posted speed limits set less-safely and below the safest levels. The AAA Foundation does enough safety research to know the 75 limits would have been safer.
2) Allowing 75 limits would NOT have increased the actual travel speeds, any such claim is false.
3) The safest speed limits to post are almost always the 85th percentile speeds of free flowing traffic under good conditions. Most good rural Florida Interstates already have 85th percentile speeds of 75 to 80 mph, so posting 75 or 80 limits in those areas would have improved safety statewide. Any claim the 75 mph limits would be less safe are flatly false.
4) Basing a traffic control law decision on one crash, particularly one that is not likely related to speed, is improper under all circumstances.

MONEY won this decision, at the cost of lower safety.

James C. Walker, Life Member - National Motorists Association

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