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New Hampshire May Raise Speed Limit, Ticket Dawdlers
New Hampshire could be the first northeast state to break the 65 MPH speed limit barrier.

New Hampshire highway
The New Hampshire state House Transportation Committee on Tuesday heard testimony on legislation that would make New Hampshire the first northeastern state to increase its maximum speed limit to 70 MPH since the federal government ordered the state to drop its speed limits from 70 MPH to 55 MPH in 1974. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by David L. Smith (D-Nashua) was designed to bring New Hampshire into line with the states outside of the northeast, most of which already have roads posted at 70 MPH or greater with Texas holding the top position at 80 MPH. The measure would also make it a $50 offense to hold up traffic in the fast lane.

Smith intends to boost highway safety by allowing state police and other law enforcement to crack down on passive aggressive drivers who insist on driving slowly in the far left lane, obstructing the flow of traffic. The legislation requires that police issue a warning on the first offense and a $50 ticket for any subsequent offense.

The legislation applies the 70 MPH limits to any four-lane divided highway in the state and sets speeding ticket rates that range from $65 for being accused of driving 71 MPH up to $350 for 91 MPH. Anything over 96 MPH would require a court appearance.

Article Excerpt:

AN ACT relative to speed limits and keeping right except to pass.

SPONSORS: Rep. D. Smith, Hills 22; Rep. Vaillancourt, Hills 15; Rep. L. Hammond, Graf 11; Rep. Emerton, Hills 7; Sen. Gallus, Dist 1

COMMITTEE: Transportation

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eight

AN ACT relative to speed limits and keeping right except to pass.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Paragraph; Drive on Right Side of Roadway; Fines. Amend RSA 265:16 by inserting after paragraph III the following new paragraph:

IV. Any person violating this section shall receive a warning for the first offense and shall be fined $50 for the second and subsequent offenses.

2 When Overtaking on the Right is Permitted; Highways. Amend RSA 265:19, II to read as follows:

II. Upon a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for more than 2 lines of vehicles moving lawfully in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle;

3 Speed Limits; Interstate and Divided Highways. Amend RSA 265:60, II(e) to read as follows:

(e) 70 miles per hour on the interstate system, the central New Hampshire turnpike and the eastern New Hampshire turnpike in locations where said highways are 4-lane divided highways, or other divided highways of 4 or more lanes.

4 Speed Limits; Fines. Amend RSA 265:60, VI to read as follows:

VI. The fines for violations of subparagraph II(e) shall be as follows:

Miles above the 70 mph limit:

1-5 $65
6-10 100
11-15 150
16-20 250
21-25 350
26+ Must appear

Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2009.

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