Bill to Allow 85 mph Speed Limit Clears Nevada Senate - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Bill to Allow 85 mph Speed Limit Clears Nevada Senate

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A bill increasing the maximum speed limit to 85 mph on some open stretches of Nevada highways has cleared the state Senate.

SB191 was approved Wednesday on 15-6 vote. It now goes the Assembly.

Existing law gives the Department of Transportation authority to set the speed limit on highways it builds or maintains, such as Interstate 80 that stretches 410 miles across northern Nevada from Utah to the California line.

The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Don Gustavson of Sparks would allow NDOT to up the speed limit to 85 mph on roads if it determines the higher speed limit is safe.

Right now, the top speed on rural highways in Nevada is 70mph. On the interstates outside of town you can go to 75. There's only one state in the country that allows speeds up to 85mph, and that's Texas.

In February, Trooper Chuck Allen of the Nevada Highway Patrol told us, "The injuries are much more serious, and that's why we always throw the seat belt message in. We've had crashes on the highway where a vehicle was not even recognizable."

Senator Gustavson has referenced studies in Utah that show fewer mishaps on highways when speed limits were raised.

Other experts call that into question citing improvements in vehicle safety over the years leading to fewer fatal accidents. Regardless, transportation department spokesman Scott Magruder tells us that NDOT is not taking a stand in the issue, and will stay neutral on the bill.

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