1/1/2007Iowa: Speed Limit Up, Deaths Down
After a year of 70 MPH speed limits, deaths are down in Iowa and average speeds are up just 1.6 MPH.
Following last year's raising of the Iowa's maximum speed limit from 65 to 70 MPH, the number of road fatalities in the state has fallen. Traffic deaths for 2006 are estimated to be 440 -- equal to the number of deaths twenty years ago. Last year, the number of deaths stood higher at 450.
Raising the speed limit had a negligible effect on the average speed of motorists on Iowa's rural interstates. A comparison of speeds from three months before the limit change (April-June 2005) to three months after (July-September 2006) shows an increase of only 1.6 MPH.
Despite the good news, the Iowa State Patrol will continue to issue expensive speeding tickets. From July 2005 to July 2006, the force issued 27,000 speeding citations generating up to $3 million in revenue.
"One of the things that you are going to be seeing is more use of unmarked cars," Department of Public Safety spokesman Jim Saunders told the Des Moines Register.