LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas has opened a 45-day comment period on whether highway officials should let motorists drive at higher speeds. Legislators this year approved raising interstate highway speeds to 75 mph, and also OK’d increases on other roads, if doing so can be done safely.
As it opened a public comment period Monday, the state Department of Transportation said technology could have a greater impact on fatalities than speed. It noted that better vehicle safety is reducing the fatality rate, but texting and telephone use offsets part of that.
Several other states have raised their speed limits to 75 mph or higher, but highway department spokesman Danny Straessle said those states have long stretches of straight, flat roads through unpopulated areas. Much of Arkansas is hilly, with plenty of truck traffic.