Speed limits on Florida highways could go up if Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill heading to his desk. The bill gives the transportation department discretion to raise top speeds from 70 to 75 mph on roads it deems safe enough. But AAA is urging Scott to veto the measure because it says higher speeds lead to more crashes.
AAA spokeswoman Karen Morgan says, "In 2012—a total of 10,000 deaths, or more than a third of all motor vehicle fatalities, occurred in speed-related crashes. So we didn’t hear any argument for the legislation.”
She adds, of the 16 states with speed limits over 75 mph, 13 have speed-related crash death rates above the national average.
But the bill’s sponsor says opposition to the 5 mph increase is not based in science. Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) says he wants to take road safety out of politicians’ hands and give control to road engineers.
“If people realize that they can drive a faster speed on a particular road safely, then those speed limits should be set accordingly," he says.
Scott's press secretary says he will review the legislation once it reaches his desk.