State Senate Republicans Rick Jones – Grand Ledge and Tom Casperson – Escanaba are working on a proposal that may lead to higher speed limits on some Michigan roads.
Essentially, Senator Jones said he wants to fix a loophole in the 2006 law that was intended to require speed limits be based on traffic studies. He said there is a lot of political pressure not to follow the law and set up speed traps with artificially low limits in order to increase revenue through speeding tickets. This is much less common where the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) or even the Michigan State Police set the rate based on scientific studies.
MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi said"There's a misconception that the faster the speed limit, the more dangerous the road, and that's not necessarily true... Speed limits are most effective when the majority of people driving are comfortable at that speed."
While the maximum speed limit in Michigan of 70 mph is consistent with neighboring states, Jones wants all communities to follow the “85th percentile” rule which would set the speed limit where 85 percent of vehicles can safely travel based on congestion, cruves, visibility, etc...
Jones and Casperson plan to introduce a bill that addresses the problem of inappropriately set speed limits in the next couple of months.