80 mph speed zones expand across the state
Drivers across the state will notice increased speed limits on over 250 miles of road in the coming week. That’s because the Utah Department of Transportation has decided to raise the speed limit from 75 to 80 mph on sections of Utah road including Interstate 15 and Interstate 80.
House bill 83, which passed earlier this year, allowed state officials to take a look at research conducted on stretches of road where the speed limit had already been changed to 80 mph and consider expanding the limit to other portions of road.
UDOT’s John Gleason said the speed increase will make travel safer for drivers.
“In the existing 80 mph zones we’ve noticed fewer speed related crashes. We’re attributing this to the fact that there’s less variation in speeds now,” Gleason said.
Gleason said UDOT’s research shows most drivers will drive around 80 mph independent of whether the speed limit is posted as 75 or 80.
“It actually disproves the old myth that if you raise speed limits people will continue to drive five over that speed limit. In the studies that we’ve conducted, we’ve seen that 85 percent of the people are driving between 80 and 82 mph—or under.”
Gleason believes the change will bring more divers into compliance with state law.