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Speed limits increasing on some Arkansas roads

Updated: Jul. 22, 2019 at 3:03 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) -Drivers are going to be able give their cars a little more gas.

Act 784 raises the speed limit to 75 miles an hour on four-lane controlled access highways, but it won’t go into effect until July 1, 2020. The controlled access highways must also be divided by a median strip and in rural areas.

The speed limit will be 70 miles per hour for commercial vehicles.

But, the increases won’t happen for every four-lane highway.

Danny Straessle with the Arkansas Department of Transportation says in the next year before the increases take effect, the department will be working on engineering and traffic safety studies to determine which roads might be good candidates.

“Just because everyone wants the speed limit to be raised, you can’t do so across the board,” Straessle said. “The reason is, you have to take into account the geometry of the highway, how many vehicles travel that highway on a regular basis, how congested is it, and then through what type of populous areas do those highways pass.”

Straessle told Region 8 News that roads in our area like Interstate 555 and Interstate 40 could see changes.

But he does warn that with increased speeds, may come increases in severe and fatal accidents.

There is no word yet on when we’ll see a set list of roads getting higher speed limits.

When that time comes, citizens still have a chance to get their opinion heard. People have 90 days from the effective date of a new law to file a petition seeking to overturn or amend any acts passed by the legislature.

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