• Senate bill approved to increase Florida speed limits


    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida drivers could soon be allowed to push the pedal to the metal a little bit more.
    The Senate Transportation Committee approved a bill Thursday that would allow the Florida Department of Transportation to raise speed limits 5 mph.
    The bill doesn't mandate an increase, but only gives the transportation department the ability to raise limits on a case-by-case basis on a particular roadway. The bill was approved 6-1.
    Current maximums are 75 mph on limited-access highways, 65 mph on four-lane highways outside urban areas and 60 mph on other roads the department manages.
    The bill also grants the transportation department the authority to set minimum speed limits.

    Channel 9's Bianca Castro spoke to many drivers on Thursday who said they had serious concerns about increasing speed limits.

    "I think the faster you go, the more dangerous it is," said driver Pete Sandberg.

    Similar complaints came from critics in Tallahasee who said they fear accidents on rural roads will go up.

    The Florida Highway Patrol told Channel 9 it will look at statistics from other states when the speed limit was raised before deciding whether to support the idea.

    One state that would be researched includes Texas, which has the highest speed limit in the country to 85 mph, Channel 9 found.

    The bill could be considered by the full Legislature this spring. If passed, it would take effect July 1.

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