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Bill 709 to Increase NC Speed Limit Passes in Senate 45-1

As car accident lawyers in Raleigh, we are paying close attention to Bill 709.

 

On April 11th, the North Carolina State Senate voted 45 to 1 in favor of raising the maximum speed limit across the state. As car accident lawyers of Raleigh and the Triangle, we are paying extra attention to the bill and its outcome. The bill now moves forward to the State House of Representatives, but it is expected to pass. The proposed legislation gives the Department of Transportation the authority to increase the present 70 mph cap on interstates and limited access highways throughout North Carolina to 75 mph.

Our state will be the first East Coast state to increase the limit. Since most East Coast states are more densely populated than the rest of the country, no other eastern state has increased speed limit caps. Sixteen states already have similar caps of 75 and 80, and Texas has a speed limit cap of 85 mph on Highway 130 between San Antonio and Austin–the highest in the nation. North Carolina would be the 17th state with an increase.

The Department of Transportation will have the responsibility to discern the sections of roads that will have the 75 mph cap. Its determination will be based on engineering and traffic flow. The highways that are expected to have the increase are I-40 in Eastern North Carolina, I-77 above Statesville, and U.S. 64 near the Outer Banks. As auto accident lawyers in Raleigh, NC, we believe that although the increase can be reasonably implemented in less congested stretches of road in the state, the safety of the roads ultimately lies with in the driver.

As speeding ticket attorneys of Raleigh, NC, we believe safe roads rely on personal responsibility.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Neal Hunt, Republican-Wake, spoke briefly about the bill and received little debate concerning it. Sen. Hunt advocated that responsible motorists should be able to travel at reasonable speeds without the fear of receiving a ticket for speeding. Currently, the law set forth by the Division of Motor Vehicles is a 30-day license suspension if a driver is convicted of speeding in excess of 80 mph. This new bill will help mitigate this, at times, erroneous outcome.

Although many in the state support the bill, the AAA Carolina Metro Club warns that higher speed limits would encourage unsafe drivers to speed even faster. The club contends that this reckless speeding would increase traffic fatalities. At Hardison Wood, we would like to remind you that you ultimately have the responsibility for safe roads—not only for yourself but the others you share the road with. We will keep you updated as the bill now goes before the House of Representatives.

If you believe you have wrongfully been charged with speeding or another driving infraction, contact us today for expert counsel.  Stay Safe!

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