An Iowa Department of Transportation study says the number of drivers topping the speed limit has increased as the state budget’s decreased for the agency charged with enforcing the limits. The D-O-T study shows 89-percent of Iowans traveling the state’s four-lane highways are exceeding the 65-miles-an-hour limit. On highways posted with 55-mph speed limits, 82 percent of drivers broke the speed limit. State Patrol spokesman Robert Hansen says budget cuts have forced them to target their troopers.He says they’ve targeted the roadways with higher than normal accidents rates, and he says since the interstate roadways don’t have higher than normal accident rates, so they have a lower presence of troopers. Hansen says there’s an overall increase in poor driving. He says more people are using their cellphones, more people are tailgating, and trying to fill the gaps in their busy schedule by doing things while driving. State legislators have failed in past attempts to raise the speed limit, but the top republican legislative leader says they’ll look at it again in January. Hansen says could make the situation on Iowa’s highways worse. He says he’s concerned that raising the speed limit would make people think it’s an invitation to drive faster than they’re already driving. Sergeant Hansen says the troopers will continue working hard, no matter what happens with the speed limit. He says they still have the job of enforcing the speed limit whether it’s raised or not, and he says they’ll do the best they can. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, a Democrat, has been against attempts to raise the speed limit. Vilsack and some lawmakers from both parties say traffic deaths would increase along with the speed limit.
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