House Speaker Tom Lubnau (R-Gillette) knows you just can’t drive 55. He doesn’t want to limit Wyoming drivers to 75 mph, either.
No, 80 mph is the maximum speed Lubnau wants motorists to be allowed to drive, if the superintendent of the Wyoming Department of Transportation considers that limit to be safe and reasonable. The superintendent now has the power to lower speed limits if he deems it necessary for safe travel; Lubnau wants him to be able to go in the opposite direction, too.
House Bill 12, sponsored by the speaker, easily won introduction on Friday, 56-4. Lubnau said the state of Utah raised its speed limit to 80 mph on interstates in a similar bill. Utah’s traffic fatalities, he said, have since decreased under the higher limits.
“When the Utah population can drive 80 mph and our citizens can’t, I have to wonder why,” he said.
In 2013, Utah added 289 miles of highways where the higher limit went into effect. Highway officials there said studies showed that drivers were averaging between 80 to 82 mph before the new law went into effect.