Drivers may soon be able to drive faster on some Minnesota roads.
ROSEVILLE, Minn. - Drivers may soon be able to drive faster on some Minnesota roads.
After pressure from constituents, the legislature has ordered the Minnesota Department of Transportation to review all two-lane state highways with speed limits of 55 miles per hour and consider raising the speed limit to 60.
"We've been asked to do it in five years. I think it's something that we can do in five years," says state traffic engineer Sue Groth.
MnDOT has already raised speed limits on 1,724 miles of state highways since 2006, but there are still more than 6,000 miles that need to be studied.
"It's quite a bit of work," says Groth. "We actually do have to pull crash data, go out and drive the roads, take a look at the geometry and the lane width."
The review comes at a cost. MnDOT estimates the study and implementation of speed changes costs $117 per mile and will cost taxpayers an estimated total of $700,000 over five years.
Is it worth it?
"Well it's worth it if lives are involved. We want to make sure we make good decisions," says Groth.
Not everyone is on board.
"Seems like a waste of time to me," says Jon Cummings, the founder of Minnesotans for Safe Driving. "What are you going to gain, five minutes? But people will die because of it."
In fact, MnDOT admits two-lane state highways are the most dangerous roads in the state. They will only approve a speed increase if it is deemed "safe and reasonable."