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Posted on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

State lawmaker proposes raising some freeway speed limits to 80 miles per hour

By Kyle Feldscher

A state lawmaker wants to raise speed limits to as high as 80 miles per hour on some freeways, according to an MLive report.

State Sen. Rick Jones believes some Michigan communities are setting artificially low speed limits in order to gain ticket revenue, according to the report. His solution: Lift the state’s 70 miles per hour cap on highway speed limits and be more in line with the “85th percentile” rule.

That rule states speed limits should be set at or below the rate at which 85 percent of vehicles safely travel.

State officials told MLive faster speed limits don’t necessarily mean more dangerous roads.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 5:52 a.m.

I think it's a terrible idea. Most drivers feel safer and more in control of their vehicles driving at slower speeds, between 60 and 75 on highways, but faster drivers put pressure on everyone else to speed up and drive faster than what they feel safe going. This is only asking for more accidents by raising the speed limit. Not to mention there will be a larger difference between the low and the high end of the speed limit on the road, which also causes more accidents. The other problem is many speeders are also tailgaters who allow little to no stopping time between them and the car in front of them, causing even more chance of bad accidents. There is no reason anyone needs to travel at 85 mph. while putting other lives at risk. If people need to get somewhere by a certain time, they can leave earlier. I think saving lives, which has been proven that slower driving does save lives, is more important than allowing people in a hurry to drive 85.


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

I vote for 80 mph


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

I guess the freeways are not dangerous enough? The average driver, average Michigan roadway and their average vehicles are not capable of handling higher speeds not to mention, driver distraction, texting, road rage, deer hits and trash on the roadway. Let the fun begin. How many wrecks have we had locally in the recent past? I always wear my seatblet and drive defensively.


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 3:55 a.m.

80 with those pot holes? No thanks.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

Extra-heavy trucks are already tearing up our roads, and those trucks aren't paying their share. "And despite claims from state officials and the trucking industry that spreading that additional weight over multiple axles reduces the wear and tear on state roads, the Free Press found that Michigan has never studied just how much road damage these heavy trucks cause each year. Ohio has, and it doesn't allow 164,000-pound behemoths on its roads. In 2009, the Free Press said, Ohio estimated overweight trucks with special permits do $144 million in damage to that state's roads and bridges every year. The Ohio Department of Transportation reportedly said "Increasing a single axle load by 20 percent ... doubles the damage." If that's true — and Michigan has never studied the issue to know if it is — imagine what trucks double the weight of those allowed in Ohio do to our roads every day. This is a scandal. If Gov. Rick Snyder is serious about spending $1.2 billion a year to improve state highways, getting truck weights under control must be the place to start."


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:14 a.m.

I've heard the auto industries have the state by the balls, threatening to take their factories elsewhere if Michigan actually starts using their weigh stations and enforcing the weight laws. Since they don't want to lose all the auto factories and all those smaller factories/companies who supply the auto factories, along with all the jobs that go with them, they turn a blind eye and let them get away with carrying far more than what our roads are made to hold.

P. J. Murphy

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

First consider the physics. This is a proposal for a 14% increase in speed. It is also a proposal to increase the kinetic energy of a car by 31%. Why does this matter? Because kinetic energy is what crashes are all about. If the numbers sound too abstract just think about bended metal, shattered glass, and broken humans. 31% increase in all catagories. Second, consider custom. Many if not most drivers assume at least a 5 mph window above the limit and drive accordingly. Increasing the limit means many will drive at 85. It would be naive to suggest otherwise. And for many, with older vehicles, badly maintained vehicles, this is definitely not a good idea. Finally, I've heard apostles of the 85% rule preach that variations in vehicle speed on a road directly corelate to safety on the road. More variation equals more danger. Let's assume this is true. This increase will definitely increase variation in vehicle speed. Therefor more dangerous roads. So you've got more destructive crashes, vehicles operating beyond safe limits, and a more demanding and dangerous road environment. All to save a few minutes on the average trip. No thanks Senator.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:38 p.m.

I don't support raising the limit because in the last decade or so it became apparent that reckless driving is at an all time high, on both the interstates and urban roads. I agree we need cameras attached to mounted radar to enforce the speed limits. Raise the fines to improve the roads. Especially here in Ann Arbor we can't have all these crosswalks with higher speeds in the city or on the freeway with ramps like Baron/Main. I also see people speeding up to get through the roundabouts and have to brake while I am in them. No more increases in speed limits, it is just too dangerous with this level of unsafe driving.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

I see people driving way too fast now but I do not think that is a reason to raise limits and I do not believe it is safer to raise limits. I take my time because it saves me gas and I consider gas prices and availability to be an issue that will not improve in the future but get worse. Recently news has come out (researched at U of M) that developing countries with huge populations are demanding more air conditioning: Also driving is becoming more widespread too:,,contentMDK:22806935~pagePK:64165401~piPK:64165026~theSitePK:469372,00.html This demand includes oil for either vehicles or power for electricity. This started before the recession which caused it to slow, but with the economy picking up the demand is increasing. So I am more in favor of enforcing speed limits as is or even lowering them some for the purpose of saving gas. I am not an environmentalist concerned with carbon emissions, it is the price of gas that concerns me. There seems to be many more severe accidents on our highways lately and I think-from what I see- it is more due to reckless drivers going too fast than people driving too slow.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

"It is a total myth that "people always drive 10 over". On I-10 in Texas in VERY rural counties with light traffic and a limit of 80 mph, the 85th percentile speeds are 81 to 84 mph with only 1.2% at 90 or higher. WHY? Because most people are not comfortable at speeds above the low 80s so they don't go faster. People comply with correct limits, they ignore incorrect ones. Many cities prefer incorrect limits - they create very profitable speed traps to catch safe drivers. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor" Jim I never said that "people always drive 10 over". I said that "Many drivers already go 80 mph on our freeways". This is not a myth – I regularly observe drivers recklessly exceeding the speed limit by a significant margin. One area where this is prevalent is the M-14 bridge over the Huron River near Main Street, which has a speed limit of 65. On a daily basis, many drivers here ignore the "correct limit" and fly by me at 75 to 80 mph, causing countless accident and even deaths. I welcome speed traps in such areas, as well as the revenue it generates.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

I would only be in favor of raising it if they also adjusted enforcement to actually enforce the exact posted limit. We don't actually need to be driving any faster. Sure, 80mph seems safe until somebody changes lanes with somebody in their blindspot. Energy goes up with the square of speed, and in an accident, that energy must be dissipated. Changing from 70mph to 80mph means a 31% increase in energy, easily the difference between living and dying in many cases.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

I have never been in favor of cameras with radar to generate instant tickets but I am not after the last few years of not only people driving too fast, but also recklessly. I would only require that if the registered owner was not driving they have the option or requirement, of naming the driver. With cuts in officers, I think we should do this.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Senator Rick Jones coming bill will not raise actual travel speeds enough to matter, maybe by 1 or 2 mph. It will make today's actual safe travel speeds legal. Most actual 85th percentile speeds on rural freeways are 78 to 84 mph, so posting 80 is correct. The 85th percentile method is 70+ years old and is one of the most proven traffic safety principles IF safety is the goal. The State Police and MDOT want the safest speed limits, even if cities like Ann Arbor refuse to post limits for safety and defy state law. I have done speed studies in Texas on I-10 in very rural counties where the posted limit is 80 mph. The 85th percentile speeds are 81-84 mph with only 1.2% of the vehicles at 90 mph or higher. WHY don't people "always drive 5 or 10 over" in places like this? Because most people do not feel safe and comfortable at speed above the low 80s. Most people drive above the speed limit where the speed limit is wrong, and they comply with correct limits set for safety with proper engineering. Correct 80 mph rural freeway limits would improve Keep Right Except to Pass behavior, reduce tailgating, eliminate speed traps on freeways, draw more traffic off surface highways where the fatality rate is more than double that of the freeways, and generally improve safety statewide. Correct posted limits on urban arterials and collectors improve safety and end predatory speed traps for ticket revenue. That will be another goal of the bill. Enforcement for ticket profits is wrong 100% of the time. The bill will be opposed by those in the speeding ticket revenue stream including the insurance companies, some cities and many local police agencies. It will be opposed by those with no real understanding of traffic safety engineering principles. It will be supported by MDOT, the State Police and the National Motorists Association because it is correct traffic safety engineering. James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor

Jim Walker

Sun, Aug 25, 2013 : 4:53 a.m.

For glacialerratic No two people or groups agree on every point. But if you oppose the NMA position on using 85th percentile posted speed limits, then you oppose the Michigan State Police and MDOT who have made Michigan safer over the last 20+ years with that methodology. James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

The NMA opposes tolls to pay for the upkeep of highways and bridges; police safety checks at holiday time to keep drunk drivers off the road; mandatory seat belt and other safety laws; all traffic calming efforts even in residential areas; efforts to lower allowable blood-alcohol limits; breathalyzer testing for traffic accidents; additional penalties for drunk drivers who are involved in accidents; automatic license suspensions for impaired drivers who refuse to submit to alcohol level testing; restricting texting or other cell phone use while driving. And all this at 80+ mph. Know who you share the road with.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

The NMA is a band of obsessives who (in their own words) "want to drive what we want to drive, go where we want to go and in the process not be unwitting cannon fodder for self-serving government programs, over-bearing police departments or greedy courts." Mr. Walker and his friends oppose the efforts of MADD, among other enlightened activities. Just pay your fine, Mr. Walker, slow down, and make the roads safer for everyone. Thanks to your efforts, driving Washtenaw has become considerably more dangerous.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

For A2comments: Michigan's fatality rate is lower than the national average. Correct 85th limits are what are safer. If the actual 85th speeds are 74 mph, it is NOT safer to post 70 or 65 or 80 or 85. Current reality is what is safest. James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 7:49 p.m.

I'd like you to correlate your data with states where cars are inherently safer than cars in Michigan, for example where they have state inspections. In Pennsylvania, we had to get our car inspected annually for safety items - tires, brakes, suspension, making sure nothing was falling off... If you lived in a dense area like Philly or its suburbs or Pittsburgh or its suburbs, they checked emissions (special cars, very old cars, and cars driven very low miles a year were exempted). PA's law used to be much more restrictive, we once got cited for having the drain hole in our muffler the size of a quarter instead of a dime. The annual inspection ensured that these death traps you see in some parts of Michigan weren't on the road. I fundamentally disagree with your assertion that faster is safer. Many of our roads are unsafe already at the speeds people drive, and your saying that increasing the speed limit barely increases the speed is not logical. If the road is built for it and the cars are maintained, then maybe. But a road like M-14 with 2 lanes has no business being 80. Or 23. And driving 275 with cars flying all over is frightening at times.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

No so Joe. On our rural freeways under good conditions, about 70% of drivers are above 70 mph. Are there a few reckless idiots, sure. Are 70% reckless, NO. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

Isn't it true, Jim that there are studies that show that, the frequency of accidents increases with the speed of traffic, and the higher the speed the more rapidly does accident frequency rise with increases in speed? Also aren't there studies that show that increased speeds can result in more severe accidents unless the increase is moderate, like 65 to 70? And much worse on urban streets. As a former law enforcement officer and a person who drives a lot, what concerns me is that people who driver faster than 70 also drive very recklessly, more now than ever before.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

Careful Jim, facts have no place in A2... ;) Great post, thanks for sharing.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

This is absurd, as there are numerous interchanges throughout Michigan that were not designed with adequate merging room to handle the present 70 mph limit.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.

MDOT has absolutely not lowered the speed limit in such places. Numerous interchanges around Jackson (Cooper St, West Ave) are 70 mph death traps, and 94/Jackson Rd should mandate a 55 max limit, not just yellow interchange signs. Michigan road engineering has put top speed and capacity ahead of safety. Our present transportation system is a major strike against us, and replacing this failed model is a critical part of reinventing Michigan.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

And it will be the responsibility of MDOT and the State Police to use lower limits in the small number of areas where there are other issues - as they have done on several urban freeways to post lower than 70 limits where justified for safety. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

We need to pass a law mandating that all traffic fines can only be used for driver's education (including high school driving schools) or victim's funds and specifically prohibiting any other use. Any excess monies should be used to improve our freeway rest areas.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:10 p.m.

- Speed doesn't cause accidents, differences in speed cause accidents. Whatever the speed limit is, it should apply to all vehicles. I can't count the number of times I've seen a car come up behind a slow truck, slow down, and Then change lanes, right in front of a stream of 75+ traffic. -

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

Hi Jim, can you provide a citation for that?

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

Truck speed differentials were proven useless to more dangerous decades ago. Michigan is one of the few states that still have this counter-productive rule. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor

Ed Kimball

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

Just got back from France, where the speed limit on their "autoroutes" (roughly our interstates) are as high as 130 kph, which is about 80 mph. Although I drove that speed, it felt very fast to me. I will say that few drivers were going faster than that, so apparently the French pay more attention to speed limits than we do. Also, no semis are allowed on the autoroutes on Sundays, which helps with congestion those days. I get where I'm going fast enough at 70 -- and get much better gas mileage than I get at 80. I vote to leave the speed limits unchanged.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

If france is like germany, driver ed is a LOT better.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

130 kph = 81 mph is one of the most common freeway limits worldwide. Please note that people do NOT have to go that fast if they find it uncomfortable. Just please keep right except to pass - as is the law in most states. The 10 mph Pace, the band with the most vehicles, tends to be about 73-82 mph on many Michigan freeways. Those that want to be about 70 or the low 70s are welcome to do so. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.

It's funny how a lot of you are saying don't raise it but I can guarantee that the majority of you drive over the speed limit. Also, cities do make a revenue from ticketing. Apparently, you don't drive in Livonia and Romulus. The rental car companies warn everyone that Romulus cops sit on 275 just waiting to ticket. I know someone who is a Taylor cop and they make so much money sitting on Telegraph ticketing people going 5mph over. Many other states speed limits on expressways are 80mph and they've noticed accidents have gone down.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

If people were not driving at excessive speeds they would not get tickets. They only have themselves to blame.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

Clownfish...There are 14 states that have speed limits at 75mph. Those of us that drive that fast aren't really concerned about our how much gas we use. I actually get better gas mileage going 80 on the expressway than 25 in the city. I'm assuming you must drive a Prius. So....if you're concerned about foreign oil you should be concerned about driving a foreign vehicle and buy American.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

There are currently two states that have a speed limit over 70, Texas, and three highways in Utah. Other states have raised, then lowered, their limits, for a reason. In Texas, the limit can be raised to 85 if the highway has been designed for that speed, which MI highways are not. I drive the speed limit, unless conditions dictate a slower speed. I get where I am going just fine. Have not had a ticket in almost 25 years.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

Note the responses from the "pro" crowd. They say, "Yes raise it, but only if people learn how to drive better.". What do you think the odds are of that?


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

low odds


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

Stupid idea. Highways are not designed for that speed. Drivers are not trained to drive at that speed (yes, many of you do it, and we read about the 3 hr long back up on the highway caused by your inability to drive) Driving that fast uses more (foreign) oil. If the rep is concerned about ticketing, maybe he should pass some funding for driver education.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

some highways are. some drivers are. speed is not what causes most accidents, a factor? sometimes, but not the cause.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

Where is the vote for 120mph? ;)


Sun, Aug 25, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

Just to the right of your name, where it says "voter score".


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

I support raising speed limits, but only in conjunction with instituting (and enforcing) the concept of "stay to the right." High speeds only work (especially on two-lane roads such as M14) where drivers instinctively understand that slower-moving traffic should stay to the right.

Leslie Darrell

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

80 MPR from AA to Detroit on I-94 the best freeway in Michigan I thought it was 80 miles per hour already. Now if we can only get those other states to raise the speed limit past 65 road trips will be just wonderful


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

"I-94 the best freeway in Michigan " You are kidding, right?


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 10:36 a.m.

How is this impacted by federal highway funds? Used to be they cut you off if you went too high. Lousy idea. Michigan residents drive cars in poor condition that will increasingly fail and have disastrous consequences at even higher speeds. Put an annual vehicle inspection law in place.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

The counter-productive National Maximum Speed Limit was repealed in December 1995, largely through the efforts of the National Motorists Association. States can now post correct speed limits for safety, not for artificial reasons or to create speed traps for revenue. SOME states have posted more correct limits, Michigan needs to do the same. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

100000% we need vehicle inspections. I dont want to be in front of someone who has bad brakes and tires. But I dont want emissions tested, that would eliminate a lot of modified sports cars!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 10:12 a.m.

Until our roads are in better condition, raising the speed limit is a VERY bad idea. Imagine hitting a pothole at 90 mph in an SUV. Hold on to your hats, folks!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

actually, most of the time hitting things like that at higher speeds lets the suspension work better... but not a huge pot hole, doesnt matter what speed you hit those at.

Jon Saalberg

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:30 a.m.

This, from the party that brought you the repeal of the helmet law and an attack on women's reproductive rights. What incredibly important legislative matters will they think to tackle next. I mean, who cares about making sure all Michiganders have enough food to eat, a roof over their heads, are educated, and have jobs? As one who has done a lot of highway traveling in Michigan, this is an incredibly poor idea. Unless Senator Jones plans on banning cell phone use in cars, he is just asking to make Michigan the poster state for automotive mayhem. From lane wanderers, to people speeding up erratically due to their complete attention on their texting and inattention to the road in front of them, our state will most assuredly see a rise in highway deaths. Add in the serious lack of driving ability that many Michiganders exhibit, and you have to wonder if Senator Jones thought this through. I rarely, rarely see police cars running speed traps, driving dozens of times from Ann Arbor to the U.P. and back. The only place I have seen a ton of speed traps is our very own town.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Remember Jon, we are NOT talking about raising the actual travel speeds. The goal is to make today's actual travel speeds legal. This bill will improve safety, end speed traps which are COMMON all over Michigan, and raise respect for traffic laws in general - and the officers who enforce them You are correct, Jon, Ann Arbor is one of the most predatory speed trap towns in the state. Ann Arbor simply refuses to post the safest speed limits and most of our main road limits in the city are illegal under state law. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : noon

I think we spend too much as it is for social programs proving housing, food, education etc. We need to get people off of the gov't boob not more on it.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:57 a.m.

Most of the fuel consumed at highway speeds is fighting drag (wind resistance). Drag is proportional to velocity cubed. Thus drag nearly doubles as speed increases from 60 to 80 mph, i.e. it does not scale linearly which would be 33% increase rather than 100%. The social cost of low fuel economy is not fully recovered by the price at the pump. If we want to let vehicles drive 80 mph, we should charge for the privelege. just as some regions have congestion pricing for using roads at peak hours.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

You are neglecting engine efficiency - they operate more efficiently in certain speed/torque regimes than others. With my car, there is very little net mileage difference between 70 mph and 80 mph - I suspect most modern vehicles are the same.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

so are we to soon force everyone to drive a hybrid? I get 22mph on the highway, using 93oct, and could care less about it bec I love the car!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:39 a.m.

I stand corrected. It is the power needed to overcome drag (i.e. the fuel economy impact) scales with velocity cubed.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:14 a.m.

Drag is proportional to V squared. Power at the wheel is V cubed. We don't give partial credit around here. Sorry.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:56 a.m.

Very bad idea. Many drivers already go 80 mph on our freeways, and the historic safe practice of one car length spacing between vehicles per every 10 mph is all but lost. Raise the limit and they'll go 90 mph. Combine this with trucks traveling at lower speeds, the lane weavers, and the current epidemic of distracted driving, courtesy of the cell phone and in-dash displays, and you have a recipe for disaster. Higher speeds reduce fuel economy and reaction time. Expect many more deaths and injuries, and higher insurance rates, if this ill-conceived proposal is enacted.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

It is a total myth that "people always drive 10 over". On I-10 in Texas in VERY rural counties with light traffic and a limit of 80 mph, the 85th percentile speeds are 81 to 84 mph with only 1.2% at 90 or higher. WHY? Because most people are not comfortable at speeds above the low 80s so they don't go faster. People comply with correct limits, they ignore incorrect ones. Many cities prefer incorrect limits - they create very profitable speed traps to catch safe drivers. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:57 a.m.

reaction times remain the same. stopping distances are what change. Agree 100% on too many distractions in newer cars. fuel economy is a personal choice. I get 22mph on the highway and dont care.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:44 a.m.

To all the people who say "everybody is driving faster" consider this: you NEVER see the people who are driving the same speed as you are. They remain ahead of you or behind you. You only see large numbers of drivers (who may actually be fairly rare percentage-wise) who are going significantly faster, or slower, than you are going. The viewpoint of a driver on the expressways is hopelessly biased.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

"NEVER see the people who are driving the same speed as you are. " This makes no sense at all.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:14 a.m.

Sounds like we are not hearing the whole truth about what these R lawmakers want to do, TV 2 just gotten done with the story and said right now, Michigan drivers can not be arrested for speed only, however they (the R's) want to change that part of the law so drivers can be arrested just for speed alone. (even if nobody else was in danger) That is what they are really up to by changing the speed laws, just make it easier for the police to arrest you, that those R's for U.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

If they want to raise the limit to 80 MPH, then a number of the exit and entrance ramps need re-design. Can you see coming up on the I-275 exit North at 80 or 90 MPH late at night and trying to slow down enough to not slide off? (note I said late at night because during the day, it is always backed up with slow traffic). Many even rural exit and entrance ramps don't work well at that speed. Look at the ones between Whitmore Lake and Flint, about half of them have little or no room to get up to speed. Oh, well time to get out the nitrous kit.


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 1:25 a.m.

"Oh, well time to get out the nitrous kit" LOL :)


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2 a.m.

It doesn't matter, 80% of MI expressways have orange barrels and reduced speed limits during the summer anyways (about the only time 80 mph is possible).


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:54 a.m.

Cars 80 MPH...Semi trucks 60 MPH.Accidents waiting to happen,


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:14 a.m.

My jet pack allows me to avoid using the highways and pay no mind to any speed limits. It runs on magic.

Fat Bill

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:41 a.m.

Most of the actual speed traps I see are on surface streets, not freeways. Every morning at 7:30 I see an Ann Arbor traffic car, slick top and only half marked nailing somebody coming south on Main by the railroad tracks. It is four lanes with very little southbound traffic on a steep descent; easy pinch to make it appear they are doing something important when the speed limit is so low.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

There are MANY speed traps on MI freeways. Among other places are I-275 in Livonia, many areas of I-94 east of Mt. Clemens, some areas of I-94 towards Battle Creek, and others. These predatory ticket revenue traps are often run by local or county authorities - along with some State Police officers. It is about $$$, not safety. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

Try driving Mich Ave in Canton. Canton PD 'loops' from Mich/Denton - Mich/Haggerty. I once asked why we never see them on Ford Rd. They're answer "too many lights".

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:55 a.m.

Are you suggesting the people ticketed for speeding in that location do not speed elsewhere? Or is it that they just happened to get caught? I suppose it's more work to ticket speeders on plymouth.

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:31 a.m.

Please? Actually, 85 would be better.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

80 is correct in most of the midwest, 75 in most of the east, and 85 in the far west. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

do I hear 100?


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

They hear the roar and sense the fear. A glimpse of steel and a flash of light, from a streak of fire as they strike. Oh the days of 130 mph, lol


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:42 p.m.

I'm in favor of this but only if they put flashing yellow lights all over the place in case some pedestrian wants to randomly cross wherever they feel like it - or read their iphone by the side of the road.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

You forgot to mention the drivers who will still be "reading their iphones" on the road.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:41 p.m.

The freeway system was designed for 70mph, and people drive faster. No way should we set limits higher just "because everyone else is doing it"! Enough carnage already with texting, cell phones, eating!

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3 p.m.

When the Interstates were designed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it was required to engineer and post them for a minimum of 70 mph in most areas. Virtually no engineer designs to the absolute minimum standards, they design a bit above. 70 mph was a good number to drive in a 1959 Chevy with drum brakes, bias ply tires, sloppy steering, etc. 80 is fine today in virtually any modern car. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

designed for 70? Care to cite that? There are many, many cars that could drive every freeway around SE MI at 120mph without any issues at all...

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:26 p.m.

What does this do to the minimum speeds and truck speeds? Trucks tear up the roads. Faster trucks are much worse. This also gets unsafe because there will still be people trying to save gas and drive slower. Some people will feel they are entitled to drive 85, 90 mph, and when they force passes on those driving 65 it probably won't end well. And what about the inexperienced drivers driving 80+?


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Once again...trucks don't tear up the road, they bring you everything you use and wear and eat every day. They are limited to how much weight can be allowed on each axle. Please finally educate yourself on that issue you keep bringing up.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

Clearly some cars will explode. Tires. Engine. All of it.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:10 a.m.

Clearly cars would explode and everyone will die...


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

There is a limit how fast people drive-no matter the limit. Back in the 55 mph day, 90% of the traffic went 60 mph. Today with 70 mph, I guess 40% do 70 mph or under and 60% do 75 mph max most of the time. If it went to 80 mph (which I can't believe it ever will in Michigan) few cars would be speeding, IMO. Besides, most cars today start pooping out after 85 or so unless you really start burying the gas pedal to the floor. 75 mph would be nice and right through the city of Livonia would be awesome, ha ha.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

You are correct, Paul, there is a limit to how fast most people will drive because they are not comfortable going faster. That speed range is the low 80s today, the 85th percentile speed range found on rural Texas freeways posted at 80 and only 1.2% are at 90 or higher - even in areas where 100 mph would be perfectly safe. The goal of the law will be to make today's ACTUAL safe travel speeds legal. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

The A2 way, vote down simple statements of fact, LOL! Love it!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

pooping out at 85? LOL, im not even out of 3rd gear then.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

That's on I-275, that freeway looks like a PD parking lot on some days with all the patrols.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Whoever voted 55 in the poll needs to have their license revoked.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

The 55 mph limit was ordered by President Nixon because of an oil embargo against the US. You were also allowed to buy only 10 gallons at a time, to keep the lines moving quicker. If President Obama was really concerned about carbon emissions, he would invoke the lower limit to save gas.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

Whoever voted other than 80 in the poll needs to have their license revoked.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:24 p.m.

Did U know, back in the day-mid to late 70's-a few folks used to drive 55 mph in the left lane cause after all, that is what the law said the speed limit is. It was easier to pass back then thou since traffic was moving at all different speeds and lots of gaps opened up. U had a few folks doing 55 mph-many in the right lanes, most folks doing 60-63 mph and then a few folks doing 70 mph plus--some triple digits and back then it wasn';t as big as a deal as it can be today. Heck, long as your car hit nothing (the law was different back if your car hit nothing, any accident was the other drivers fault for overreacting) well anyways, if you had no accident the most you could be charged with was a one year misdemeanor for fleeing and that can be a 15 year felony--even murder if somebody dies during the chase even if the fleeing car stuck nothing. So much has changed on the roads in just 40 or so years, so much.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 10:16 p.m.

I am absolutely all for it if: 1) The state somehow educates all drivers to learn that the left lane is for faster moving traffic ONLY. 2) It is not up to the people that know better to police people going faster than them by staying hunkered down in that left lane and blocking traffic. Speed does not kill, speed differential does. Going 80 mph is really not that fast compared to many other countries, but the drivers are FAR MORE educated about the dangers of speed differential and blocking traffic while in the fast lane. It is OK to go slower than the speed limit on a highway, just STAY TO THE RIGHT and don't get upset when someone comes up behind you in the left lane and expects you to move over, that is how it is supposed to work!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

So JoeKidd, you just want to be rude to everyone else then? You'll cause more accidents doing what you're doing than someone driving 75 or 80. You're the reason people pass on the right. Or are you trying to relive your police days and "enforce" traffic laws on your own? You cant complain if someone cuts you off and you're being a left lane rolling roadblock. You talk about safety? Well, a properly maintained sports car is safer at 90mph than a minivan with bad brakes and worn-out tires doing 60.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:09 p.m.

I do not buy the left lane for fast traffic baloney. If I am driving the speed limit I will drive in any lane I want to, most based on safety. If I am going the speed limit and you pass me you need a ticket. I should say when I drive under, I do try to stay to the right, but there are intersections that are dangerous to be in right lane, like Jackson Rd at I-94, especially for E/B. If you have a brain you get in the left lane, especially in the winter. Also because of all the deer roadkill, over 70,000 deer/car accidents in MI, I do not like to be close to the places they come from.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

AA-Johnny, Here is what I was referring to, in which the Idaho state police issued this in a statement regarding blocking the left lane (I understand that each state is different, but as stated in my original post I just want Michigan to adopt this). The last sentence is what I was referring to in particular: "Troopers say drivers should check the rear-view mirror from time to time so they can see when another car is coming up on them quickly, or one that's riding their tail. Above all, remember it's not your job to slow that motorist down even if you think he or she is speeding."


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

@A2J, not if they're only doing 65 in a 70. The Germans I know here go CRAZY driving her!!! why? Bec people drive slow in the left lane, dont get over, dont move if you flash/honk at them(totally ok in Germany), forcing people to pass on the right.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:06 a.m.

Gonna pick a nit: The left lane is for *passing*. If you're going 65 in the left lane because you're passing traffic going 60, you're absolutely kosher.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

One of the biggest problems on the freeways are those "left lane cruisers", clueless and often on their phones. But mostly clueless.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

A slight addendum to my comments; State Legislators do NOT care about fuel efficiency since they Love the taxes they collect on gas, etc. They will never help us at all!


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:27 p.m.

Depends on who they are. Good point on how gas is taxed, same with not caring if gas prices go up alot since they collect % of tax on the total price, not per gallon like it should be collected.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

It's all well & good to up the speed limits as they have in many western states especially, BUT, there are two issues; we have much more traffic in our state & Are we serious about saving gas & fossil fuels??? Because I will continue to drive 65 - 70 MPH regardless since my gas gauge stays real steady at those speeds saving me hundreds of dollars and gallons. I don't care what you drive but over 70 mph, you have lost fuel efficiency big time!

Hot Sam

Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

I owned a VW Passat for about 6 years...six cylinder, five had a highway "sweet spot" of 76 MPH...could get 33-35 MPH at that rate...not as good lower or higher...


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:47 a.m.



Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:29 p.m.

Yeah but to some folks, their time saved on the road is more important. I laugh at these drivers of $50,000 plus cars that try to drive slow to save on gas. Like ah, why not just buy a $30,000 car and save $20,000 right then and there ?

Basic Bob

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

My car handles well at any speed I have tried to drive it, but I keep it around 73 because the fuel economy is substantially better. There are times I go much faster in order to blend with traffic - mornings going eastbound on M-14 between US-23 and Beck Road can be surprisingly fast for a rush hour drive. With the German sedans going well over 100mph, you would think it was the Autobahn.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:47 a.m.

and a properly maintained german sedan at 100mph is safer than a minivan with bad brakes and tires doing 65.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

I've referred to M-14 as The Michigan Autobahn for years. Raise the speed limit there to 80 mph and a lot of people, maybe most will be driving 100 mph. I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, just an observation and irresponsible speculation.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 10:37 p.m.

Except that the Germans actually keep their roads in serviceable condition.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

Lets see. Go faster, use more gas, gas prices high, pay low. Sure why not. Lets drive gas prices and emissions higher.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

So, im guessing you wouldn't like the fact that my car has had 2 of 3 catalytic-converters removed then? Two down, one to go! ;-) I would bet my total emissions(CO2, garbage, recycling etc.) are still lower than the majority in A2. "free choice only applies until it affects somebody else." Tell that to a dead baby.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Bcar, free choice only applies until it affects somebody else. Your emissions affect me, hence you shouldn't necessarily be free to emit as much as you may want.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

BWAAhahahahaa! I love getting voted down for PRO CHOICE, "only if you agree with us can you have a choice." ha ha ha!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

I thought A2 was all about PRO CHOICE ;)


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.

The part of the article reprinted here doesn't make a lot of sense, however, as local communities don't have any authority over "freeway" speed limits, and local roads are obviously not candidates for 80 mph speed limits.

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

Of course, local roads are not candidates for 80 mph limits. They ARE candidates for correct 85th percentile speed limits which would raise the numbers on the signs by 5, 10 and sometimes 15 mph over current incorrect posted limits. NOTE this means changing the numbers on the signs to be correct, it will make no real changes in the actual travel speeds. What it will do is eliminate the for-profit speed traps so many cities love. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

That is how it is right now but looks like some want to change that part of the law. OK if the min. on expressways would be 70 mph but what if 65--even 60 mph the city could lower it to, with others raising it to 75 mph ? I rather have 70 mph on all expressways vs 75 on some and 65 on others


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:16 p.m.

It would only be 80 in very rural areas with few driveways. I heard the guy interviewed on WJR this morning and he is a former sheriff who is working with the state police on this. He said too many people are unnecessarily ticket and that research (which is something this town should like) says that fatalities fall in areas where limits are at the 85th percentile. He said he feels this is used by local governments to raise cash and gives insurance companies a reason to jack up rates. Those who can least afford it are hit the hardest (he even has a little liberal in him). What's not to like about this proposal?

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

Not exactly true Clownfish. I know an officer who worked for while in a metro department and at the time that dept pushed officers to write vast amounts of tickets, a major source of revenue for that department. Under the UTC you get a chunk back from fines.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Municipalities do not ticket to raise revenue, they ticket people because they are breaking the law. Easy answer to getting the speed limit.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Most of that is fine, except the "those who can least afford it are hit the hardest" nonsense. Those who don't obey the speed limit, whatever it is, are the ones "hit the hardest." Income has nothing to do with it.

An Arborigine

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:16 p.m.

Hear hear! About time government made a good decision. Now if they could only make slow drivers move to the right!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

Tag, I used to think like you, then I realized that self driving cars will be 100% predictable (computer driving them) so they'll just be like big rolling cones for the rest of us ;) +1 on getting the left lane rolling roadblocks to MOVE OVER!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:42 a.m.

They used to teach "slower traffic, keep right" in driver's ed - apparently not anymore, as more and more slugs hog the left lane. The California Highway Patrol did a study a few years back which concluded that slugs cause more accidents because they impede the natural flow of traffic, and force others to pass them on the right. Nothing worse than the self-righteous claiming the left lane in the name of the posted speed limit - we need an autobahn.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

Self driving cars are a bad idea. If you don't want to drive take a: cab, bus, carpool or train. Take your vehicle off the road as THAT will actually have an impact on reducing congestion.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

Aren't they working on self driving cars--its coming the question is, when.

Amy Biolchini

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

I can only imagine what pushing the speed limit to 80 mph would do to the opinion of Ohioans on "those Michigan drivers" ... speaking as a former Ohioan who is now very much a Michigan driver.

you can't handle the truth

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

Michigan drivers go fast through there to get out of that hell hole (Ohio) as quickly as possible.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

The great thing about being a Michigander is that you really don't give a care about what people in Ohio think of you. Having lived elsewhere where the speed limit was the speed limit, I would say that it is dangerous for Michigan drivers in other states and vice versa.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.

The opinion of Ohioians ... let me think ... nope, there is nothing I care less about.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

What about Ontario--over there, 30 mph over the limit is "stunt driving" and you lose your lesince and car for a week and face fines of $2,500 or more. Here in Michigan, 95 in a 70 zone is a 3 point ticket, over in Ontario, 95 gets you arrested and off the road for a longtime--often more then a week.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

Ohio, the acknowledged leader in the "more speed traps mean more revenue" competition, has no room to talk.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

I guess he hasent been driving on the e-ways because that's what they drive now. its 80+++ on most freeways now so why change it I traveled east on m-14 the other day and yes I was speeding 75-80 and guess what the still blew by me

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

Yeah, hmsp it would be nice once and a while, but typos happen and there's more important things to sweat over. Paul- Hence the temporary change idea, I recall seeing it while traveling one time, but cannot remember where it was.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:01 a.m.

Yeah but we had 80 degrees days in March and besides, if the roads are dry and its only 40 degrees outside, you still can drive safe at higher speeds. Drivers need to learn how to adjust their speed to road conditions--not what their radar detector might be doing.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

Hey, Kyle, No problem with your post, but Gee, don'tcha wish had an edit function?

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.

Hi jc- I drive that section pretty regularly as well and it is pretty crazy sometimes. The worst time I've noticed it is in the morning when it's not often to get passed by drivers going 95+, I've come to assume they are rushing to their place to employment. The biggest problem I could see with raising the limit on roads like I94, M14 or 23 is the fact that while it may make sense for cars, semi trucks are also sharing those same roads. Sometimes I've also wondered if there should be seasonal speed limits (ie: 65 mph Dec-March and 75mph the rest of the year) or some type of way to put mandatory temporary speed limits in place during bad weather by using electronic limit signs.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

My husband drives M-14 to Novi twice a week and he says it's unbelievable how fast people drive on that commute while at the same time ducking in and out of lanes, tailgating and flipping other driver's off...all at the same time. I'm always glad to see him pull in the driveway at night.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

No matter what it is set at most people drive 5 mph over because they feel they will avoid a speeding ticket. Yes, most drivers on some freeways are driving 10 over and more...especially if they drive it every day. The 85% rule is a crock in my opinion. Especially now. Leave it alone.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

In fact you could extend that penalty to things like running red lights as well and the logic is just as sound. Like speed traps, there are many accusations that places that have installed red light cameras have shortened yellow lights and use the cameras for revenue. Changing the penalty from a fine to community service would make such accusations moot. Again, this would provide an appropriate penalty in direct opposition to the benefit that the offender is after. While also removing any accusations of conflicts of interest on behalf of the police. This was just a random thought, but the more I think about it the more I believe that this is a good idea and something that should be done. Obviously you should be able to complete your community service back home where you reside since you could be caught speeding while traveling across the country.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

Not true, the majority of drivers drive at the flow of traffic regardless of the speed limit signs. This is a good thing because traveling at the flow of traffic is far safer than obeying the posted limit. The person doing 10 under and the person doing 10 over and both dangerous to have around. This is why the speed limits are supposed to be set the way they are (85th percentile of the free flow of traffic) rather than making them artificially lower or higher. This is ultimately the goal of this proposal, getting the speed limits set the way they were supposed to be set in the first place. There are of course always outliers, we've all seen the guy doing 20 over the flow of traffic down I-94. Using this sort of outlier as a justification to set the speed limit artificially low (or artificially high) is incredibly poor logic. You do not punish everyone for the misbehavior of a few individuals, you punish the individuals. Now the trick is finding a suitable penalty to actually discourage those outliers. I think its only suitable that the punishment for someone in such a rush involves their time rather than their money. (This has the added bonus of reducing the incentives for speed traps) How about X hours of community service for each MPH over the speed limit?

Jim Walker

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

The bill will correct almost all the posted speed limits to the safest levels, the 85th percentile speeds or close to that safest level. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

That is not true, many folks drive what the speed limit is. Maybe some towns and cities are different and Ann Arbor has more younger drivers--with better reflexes driving on the roads--plus the local roads in Ann Arbor have low speed limits. In 25 mph zones, yeah, most drivers speed a little. In 45 mph zones, not as many. Seems to me, its the secondary roads that really need the limits raise and sadly, there is no talk of doing that.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

"most people drive 5 mph over"..."most drivers on some freeways are driving 10 over and more" hmmmm....