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Bill would raise speed limit to 70 mph

By Margo Spann,
Published On: Aug 20 2013 07:07:42 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2013 07:48:40 PM CDT

The rules of the road could be changing in Wisconsin from 65 miles per hour to 70 mph.

Wisconsin is now the only state in the Midwest where drivers can't go more than 65 miles per hour on interstates and highways.

Monday, the governor of Illinois signed a bill raising limits in that state to 70 mph.

Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, is still looking for co-sponsors for the bill but said he is confident it will pass the legislature and be signed into law by the end of the year.

Legally the cars and trucks zipping down the interstate throughout the state may soon be pushing the pedal farther and driving even faster.

"I think 70 on the highways is the logical way to go," said Harry Katz from Illinois.

At a news conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, Tittl introduced a bill to raise the speed limit.

"It's about spending time with their families. It's allowing people who are working to get home faster and spend more time with their families,” said Tittl.

He said more Wisconsinites are living farther from their jobs with an average commute time of 22 minutes in each direction.

Tittl said increasing the speed on the freeways will get people out of their cars and to their destination.

"Five percent of the commuters in Wisconsin actually spend 60 minutes or more, one way, in their cars going to their jobs each day,” said Tittl.

News 3 caught up with some drivers at a truck stop near DeForest. Some say higher speeds won't have much of an impact on travel times.

"To me, it doesn't really matter because I only drive 65 because if I drive any faster I'm losing fuel mileage and that's money out of your pocket,” said truck driver Steve Engstrom.

"I think it's a bad idea. People are going way to fast any way. At 65, they'll go by you at 75, 85. Right now I don't think it benefits anybody," said Loren Lamphear of the McFarland area.

Gov. Scott Walker and Department of Transportation officials declined to comment on the proposed bill.

Lawmakers get back to work for the fall session in mid-September.

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