Kansas drivers could potentially be driving 80 miles per hour on state highways if house bill 2450 gets approved. If Kansas were to increase the speed, it would change the safety of the highway as they were designed for lower speeds. For the future, since higher speeds are a factor now, they will be kept in mind while planning the designs.
“We would be designing our highways for a higher speed and that’s not necessarily bad, it’s just more expensive,” said Steven Buckley, Kansas State Highway Safety Engineer.
With trucks’ speed limit capabilities having them max out at 65 miles per hour, raising the speed limit could further increase the gap between the slower and faster traffic.
“If everybody in the traffic stream is going the same speed, that’s the ideal speed,” Buckley said. “And so, we raise the speed limit to 75/80 (mph), so now we have people going 85/90 (mph), while we have trucks out there going 65 (mph).”
The reason that Kansas hasn’t increased K-10’s speed is because of the younger traffic commuting from Overland Park, KS to Lawrence and further west. For some KU students, this would make the commute a more enjoyable experience at a higher speed.
“I think it would help me out a lot because I’m an out-of-state student and I live in St. Louis,” said KU Sophomore Dan Garrett. “And it’s pretty much just a straight drive home, but the speed limit’s around 75 and being able to go that much faster would just make the trip home go by a lot quicker.”
The legislature is still looking at the bill as no further action has been discussed.