A new D-O-T report finds traffic deaths increase “significantly” when a state raises the speed limit. Senator John Redwine of Sioux City says he’s found reports that show exactly the opposite. Redwine is the chief sponsor of a bill that would raise the speed limit to 70 on Iowa’s Interstates. Redwine challenges Department of Transportation officials to do more than just oppose the 70 mile-per-hour limit. He says if lowering the speed limit is safer, then the D-O-T should find the safest speed and lower the limits to meet that speed.Redwine, who is a doctor, says he believes it’s safe to go 70 on the Interstate. Redwine says the Interstates were designed in the 1970s for cars to go 75 miles per hour, so today’s much improved cars should be able to safely travel at 70 miles per hour. He says the two states to the west of his district have a speed limit 10 miles-an-hour higher, which provides him more rationale for raising the speed limit.Redwine admits the D-O-T report will hurt his effort to get the speed limit raised. Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota had a 10-point-seven percent increase in highway fatalities from 1992 to ’99. In Iowa, where 65 is the law, traffic deaths were down one person during that time period.
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