Indiana interstates and highways could soon see a new pace. Hoosier lawmakers are considering raising the state's speed limit from 70 mph to 75 mph, which will undoubtedly ignite a debate about safety and efficiency, as well as our need to be in such a hurry.

Indiana State Representatives Ben Smaltz and Chris Judy recently presented House Bill 1308 to the State House Roads Committee. Here is what the bill proposes (in part)...

Increases the maximum speed limit, from 70 to 75 miles per hour, on: (1) a highway on the national system of interstate and defense highways located outside of an urbanized area with a population of at least 50,000; and (2) a highway that is the responsibility of the Indiana finance authority; for a bus or other vehicle that has a gross weight that does not exceed 26,000 pounds.

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More than a dozen states already have speed limits of 75 or 80, so Indiana would be following a trend that seems to be increasing around the country.

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My initial reaction is that this just makes sense - it's the natural progression of things. I mean, the first speed limit in Indiana was 40 mph back in 1937. I think the interstate speed limit was 55 mph when I was growing up, and it increased to 65 mph by the time I started driving. Our cars (and our world in general) go faster each year, so the occasional speed limit increase seems logical.

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And the fact remains that most drivers go at least five miles over the speed limit anyway. A majority of drivers on the interstate are already cruising along at 75 or 80 mph, so I don't think a five mph increase will have much of an impact.

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Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

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