Rep. Dan Winslow wants to raise the speed limit on certain stretches of interstate highways in Massachusetts from 65 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour.
Winslow's bill is cosponsored by Reps. Angelo Scaccia of Hyde Park, Randy Hunt of Sandwich and Cleon Turner of Dennis, a former police officer in Maine and on Cape Cod.
"Our roads are designed for 70. Our cars are designed for faster than 65," Winslow told the Committee on Transportation Tuesday.
What the bill changes
If approved, the bill (H 3175) would increase the speed limit on parts of the Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate 91, and Interstate 95.
The bill states, "Unless otherwise prohibited by federal law, the maximum speed for motor vehicles traveling on roadways with posted speed limits of sixty-five miles per hour shall be increased to seventy miles per hour."
Newton resident John Carr, who told the News Service highway speeds have been "an interest of mine for about 15 years," favors an increase in the speed limit, and said highways where the 55 mile per hour speed limit is disregarded by all but a small percentage of drivers are dangerous. He named Rte. 3 in Burlington as an example.
Carr said other areas of the country with higher speed limits, which includes much of the southern, midwestern and western states, have safer roads where people obey the higher speed limits.
Present speed limit is not enforced
"If you set your cruise control to 80 out there, you're the fastest car on the road," Carr told the committee.
"By having a law that's on the books that's not being enforced, we actually incur sort of a lawless approach to driving in Massachusetts, which makes it all the more fun," said Winslow, a Norfolk Republican. "But my hope is that we can at least join the majority of states by having the maximum speed be 70 rather than 65."