A bill approved by the Maryland House that would raise the speed limit on expressways and Interstate highways from 65 to 70 mph has Patch readers talking.
The bill was unanimously passed in the Maryland House, and now goes to the Senate, reports The Baltimore Sun. The change would apply to parts of the federal interstate highway system and limited-access highways such as the Intercounty Connector.
It’s not a done deal that the bill will win passage, which must still be approved by the Senate and signed into law by the governor. But our story has received 50 comments so far.
Some readers worry that increasing the speed limit would boost the accident rate and waste gasoline. Others say that drivers will pay more attention if they drive faster, taking a page from Germany's autobahn, which has no posted limit in many sections, yet is comparatively accident-free.
Here's a sampling of what readers think about the proposal.Mark: "Roads in Maryland are in the worst condition. I recently returned from a trip down North Carolina and everyone in the left lane also known as the fast/passing lane would get over immediately when they saw someone coming...however on Maryland no one will get over even if you tail them for miles(idiots) no one will use their blinker."
Buck Harmon: "Solutions are very rare, that's the reason that the cycle of playing with speed limits will continue...no big deal either way."
skip hall: "Having lived in Texas until recently, I can say that a higher speed limit is long overdue in Maryland. From central Texas to San Antonio the speed limit is 85mph, accidents are almost unheard of on that route, people tend to pay more attention to what they are doing at that speed and the stats prove it. It would be nice to see Maryland go back to the pre gas crisis speed limits."
Robin L. Brodkin: "Right now people drive 70-80 with a 65 MPH. Make it 70 & they'll drive 80-90. This does include the gas saved and lives that'll be lost with the increased speed limit. Leave well enough alone!!"
VisciousInMD: "I drive on the autobahns of Germany every summer, especially between Frankfurt and Munich. They DO NOT have more enforcement and patrolling that we do. … What they DO have is less volume, more driver discipline regarding staying out of the passing lane, and consistent of speeds. ... To those that think 70 is too fast, please, take a bus or call a cab or something."
Blvd Bruce: "It's about time they raise the limit. Just my opinion."
Martin Layman: "They need to spend some of the lottery or casino money to fix the roads before they raise the speed limits. … Is raising the speed limit an answer? No, the answer is widening the roads so they can accommodate the flow of traffic and better road design, properly banked turns, you are just going to kill more people if you raise the speed limit."
Pam Hamburg: "Raise it to 70 mph. Start ticketing slow drivers who deliberately hog the left lane. … Another pet peeve of mine is two big rigs having a 'drag race' and hogging both lanes."
Sara: "Absolutely this is a good idea. It's bad drivers that kill, not the speed alone. 55 mph is way too slow and that creates more dangerous conditions because you have such a variety of speeds between the lanes."
What do you think? Could Maryland drivers handle a 70 mph speed limit? Tell us in comments.