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Michigan Once Again Looking at Increasing Speed Limit on Some Freeways

This spring, legislation is once again being introduced to the Michigan House considering increasing the speed limit on rural freeways from 70 to 80. Introduced not too long ago, the bill has been revived and lawmakers are again considering these increases.

This topic has been one of more than just a little debate over the years. Already in states across the nation, speed limits have begun to rise and in states like New Mexico, Texas and North Carolina, as well as many others, average speed limits range from 70 to 75 and even 80 and 85 in some states. In Michigan, the speed limit increase was first proposed by State Representative Brad Jacobson. Mr Jacobson is leading the charge saying that it isn't the fast drivers which are causing the accidents but the slower motorists. Further advocates of the increase say that the average motorist on the highway is already going 76 mph so changing the limit to 75 or 80 on some highways won't do much to the highways.

As exciting as this may be for some motorists, it is important to note however, that the bill is not seeking to change the limit on all roads with a 70 mph limit but only those known as rural limited access freeways. Some suggest that portions of Michigan freeways which may likely see the increase include portions of I-75 or I-69 near Flint, certainly not the areas which are most urban or have limited access.

The actual portion of the proposed legislation stipulating these changes originally read as follows:

"The speed limit on all rural limited access freeways upon which a speed limit is not otherwise fixed under this act is 80 miles per hour, which shall be known as the "rural freeway general speed limit". The minimum speed limit on all rural limited access freeways upon which a minimum speed limit is not otherwise fixed under this act is 55 miles per hour. No later than 1 year after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection, the state transportation department and the department of state police shall designate all rural limited access freeways within this state. As used in this subsection, "rural limited access freeway" means a freeway segment that has been designated by the state transportation department and the department of state police to be rural in nature."


Denied in 2014, the proposal is once again making news and encouraging debate by Michigan lawmakers and drivers alike.

Collis & Griffor, PC is an affordable and experienced Ypsilanti attorney serving primary the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas.

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