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Gustavson proposes legislation to increase Nevada highway speeds

By ThisIsReno

DON GUSTAVSON NEWS RELEASE

Nevada Legislature logoCARSON CITY – Nevada State Senator Don Gustavson (R-Dist. 14) has introduced Senate Bill 191, legislation that would grant the Nevada Department of Transportation the flexibility to increase highway speeds on roads it deems safe. His bill has bipartisan support from both houses.

“Some legislators have expressed to me what a long, lonely drive it is from Las Vegas to the State Capitol,” Gustavson mentioned. “Passage of this legislation could make them less lonely.”

Presently, Nevada state law restricts NDOT to set highway speeds of no more than 75 mph. Passage of the legislation would allow NDOT additional authority to increase maximum speeds to 80 or 85 mph on corridors it deems safe. Utah and Texas currently allow for higher speeds than Nevada.

Flexibility to enhance speeds would help ease travel time for motorists, and findings have shown lower accident rates in areas where speed limits were legally amplified, Gustavson reported. “My first concern is safety, but studies have revealed fewer mishaps on highways where speeds actually increased. This is likely due to the fact that many travelers were already going these speeds, and are now observing what’s ahead of them instead of concentrating on their rear-view mirror for ticket-bearing troopers.”

Gustavson has already consulted with NDOT, and there is likelihood that NDOT could begin approving remote stretches of Interstates 15 and 80 for increased speeds of 80 mph if given the autonomy to do so, he speculated. “Texas specifically designed a new corridor with 85 mph in mind. Putting this allowance in place now will allow our traffic engineers to design Nevada’s future highways for elevated speeds so long as we allocate them some leniency to do so.”
The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation.
Don Gustavson serves Senate District 14 in Washoe, Esmeralda, Humboldt, Lander, Mineral, Nye and Pershing counties.

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