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Hassan mum on whether she’ll sign bill raising I-93 speed limit

Gov. Maggie Hassan isn’t saying whether she’ll sign or veto a bill that would increase the speed limit to 70 mph on Interstate 93 north of Concord.

“I’m going to continue to talk to our Department of Safety about that. I understand why people want to raise the speed limit, but I do want to get some more feedback from the Department of Safety,” Hassan told reporters yesterday.

(The Department of Safety is one of several state agencies that opposed the bill.)

The Democratic-led House in March voted, 292-65, to raise the speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph on I-93 between Canterbury and the Vermont border, except on the narrow stretch of highway through Franconia Notch in the White Mountains.

The Republican-led Senate passed the bill last month on a voice vote, sending it to Hassan’s desk.

Hassan, a Democrat, has signed six bills into law since taking office Jan. 3, and has vetoed none. Most legislation filed this year is still working its way through the Legislature, or has died in either the House or Senate.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

With luck the Governor will sign the bill to improve safety with the higher 70 mph speed limit on some rural Interstates. IF safety is the true goal for speed limits (rare in the USA), they are set at the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions, the method that almost always produces the smoothest and safest traffic flow. Virtually all rural Interstates in the east would be posted at 70 or 75 mph for the best safety. In the midwest, most would be 75 or 80 and in the far west most would be 80 or 85. NOTE: these limits would not raise traffic speeds, they would merely make today's actual, current, normal, safe traffic speeds legal. James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

I bet she vetoes it.

I hope so.

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