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Bill to Increase Speed Limit Max to 75 MPH Passes Florida House

There are two types of drivers in Florida: snow birds who drive 15 mph under the speed limit, and everyone else who pretty much ignores the speed limit.

Despite that, Florida still has a speed limit maximum of 70 mph. A bill to raise the limit to 75 mph in some areas narrowly passed the Florida House today. The bill has already passed in the Senate, but is headed back there for a final vote. After that it will wind up on Rick Scott's desk.

The law would not likely affect speed limits in South Florida's urban core. It would allow the Florida Department of Transportation to study stretches of road, most likely rural and less trafficked, where the speed limit could be raised. Think more Alligator Alley than southern I-95.

The bill passed 58-56, the closest margin of any bill this session. 39 of 45 Democrats and 17 Republicans voted "nay." It had passed 27-11 in the Senate.

The 70 mph speed maximum was set back in 1996. Only 16 other states allow speed limits of 75 mph or higher, and most of those are west of the Mississippi.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, detractors say that the bill could lead to more traffic fatalities. Supporters say it would simply give the FDOT more authority and options, and that the speed limit would not be raised on many roads.

The bill would also allow the speed limits to increase by 5 mph on other state roads where the current speed limit if capped at 60 or 65 mph.

In related news, Floridians will continue to blaze down isolated highways at 85 mph regardless of the law.

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