UPDATE: State highway speed limits could increase by the end of the year

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 6:12 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - 75 and even 80 miles per hour. That could be a possibility for some Oklahoma highways thanks to State Representative Daniel Pae’s House Bill 1071. It has been in effect since last November, but changes have yet to be seen on the roads.

Representative Pae said the idea for the bill came from conversations with constituents, as the speed limits had not been updated since 1995.

“I believe in pursuing policy that is common sense, that is reasonable,” said Rep. Pae. “This just made logical sense in terms of having the discussion about why hasn’t the speed limit been increased, in as you mentioned earlier, since 1995.”

Since introducing the bill, Rep. Pae has worked extensively with several state agencies.

“I had several excellent meetings with folks at ODOT and OTA and Highway Patrol,” said Rep. Pae.

Those agencies have been hard at work since the bill passed back in November 2019, conducting speed studies to ensure drivers are safe on Oklahoma highways.

“We actually have people standing by the highway and counting the cars and lasering the speeds to be sure that we’re accurate with what studies we have,” said Terri Angier, transportation spokeswoman. “Then we go back and spot check certain areas in the state to make sure we weren’t there on an off day.”

Angier said after a couple more meetings with ODOT and OTA, then getting the commission to approve the measure is when they can start getting the new speed limit signs made.

“They’re really hoping by the end of the year the system is in place, but until then we have to obey the posted speed limits,” said Angier.

Angier said if all goes well with this first phase for rural highways, the urban areas could follow suit.

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