Gov. Scott To Veto Speed Limit Bill; Sponsor Says He'll Continue Discussions Next Year

May 13, 2014

Credit MGN Online

A measure that could have allowed for speed limits to be raised as high as 75 miles per hour on certain Florida highways is no longer in play.

While he admits there are times he’d like to go faster, Governor Rick Scott says he decided to listen to the advice of opponents to the measure and veto the bill.

“I was at a funeral last week for Trooper Chelsea Richard. I heard from a trooper and he asked me during the funeral to veto that bill. I’ve heard from Sheriffs around the state and other law enforcement asking me to veto the bill. I’m going to stand with law enforcement, and I want everyone to stay safe and I don’t want anyone to be injured. So, I’m going to veto that bill,” said Scott, following a Cabinet meeting Tuesday.

Passions ran high, before the measure cleared the full Legislature, and even passed the House in a close vote of 58-56.

The bill would have allowed the Florida Department of Transportation officials to raise the maximum and minimum speeds on certain highways, only after they’ve done a study.

The bill's sponsors are Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) and Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg).

Below is Brandes' response to the news via twitter:

Opponents of the bill reacted as well, including AAA. Here's their response:

"AAA is extremely pleased with the Governor’s decision to veto Senate Bill 392 which would have allowed higher speed limits on Florida roadways," said Kevin Bakewell, Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs Officer, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Speed-related crashes are a major contributing factor in traffic crashes including 30 percent of traffic fatalities. Maintaining Florida’s current speed limits will undoubtedly prevent injuries and save lives on our roadways. For citizens and our nearly 100 million annual visitors, the Governor’s action should send a message that safety in Florida is a top priority."

Here's a snippet of Rep. Irv Slosberg's (D-Boca Raton) response:

"Today Governor Scott announced his intention to veto SB 392 – the Speed Limit Increase bill. This is a huge victory for road safety and will save lives in our state. Countless studies confirm the simple fact that speeding kills and causes more severe injuries. Increased speed limits have attributed to a 9.1% increase in speed-related deaths on rural interstates, and a 4% increase on urban interstates. Florida has the 6th worst drivers and the number one most careless drivers in the nation. Add constant congestion, millions of tourists, and the rise of distracted driving to the mix, and we would have a recipe for disaster. I would like to thank the AAA Foundation and all law enforcement in our state for speaking out about this dangerous proposal...."
 

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