The effort to raise the speed limit on Iowa Interstates has hit a bump. The Senate Transportation Committee voted eight to three against a bill that would have raised the speed limit to 70 miles an hour, and the speed limit on primary highways to 60. Senator Doug Shull, a republican from Indianola, says he served on the state Transportation Commission and learned a few things about speed. “One of the first things that we always had to look at was safety, and they taught me that speed kills,” Shull says. The number of traffic fatalities in Iowa was at an all-time low in 2004. “If isn’t broke, we don’t need to fix it,” Shull says of the posted speed limits on Iowa’s highways and Interstates. Senator Matt McCoy, a democrat from Des Moines, argued for raising the speed limit. “I think this is an idea whose time has come,” McCoy says. McCoy says neighboring states have raised their Interstate speed limits and it’s time to set the limit at the speed people are actually driving. A bill making its way through the Iowa House would raise the speed limit on Interstates and raise speeding fines, too. McCoy’s next plan is to try to get that bill through the Senate rather than his bill which raised the speed limit on the state highways, too.
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