Higher Speed Limits in Idaho Led to More Traffic Citations; in Utah, the Opposite


Four months after speed limits on certain stretches of interstate highways were raised from 75 to 80 miles per hour, the Twin Falls Times-News reported that a larger number of traffic citations were issued along I-84 than prior to raising the speed limits. But in Utah, raising speed limits has resulted in greater traffic compliance and fewer citations being issued, the Missoulian reports.

Between 2008 and 2014, speed limits on interstate highways in Utah have increased from 75 mph to 80 mph in phases. Currently, 36 percent of the state's interstate highway miles have speed limits at 80 mph, and along I-15, the number of crashes reported have decreased yearly. A study, released by the Utah Department of Transportation in 2009, reported that drivers complied better with the raised speed limits, and there was a 20 percent reduction in the number of drivers driving over the speed limit.

In July, the Idaho Transportation Department increased interstate highway speed limits to 80 mph, but months into the new speed limit regime, it was reported that between late July and mid November, Idaho State Police handed out 2,066 tickets—up from 1,731 during the same period in 2013.

Currently, the Montana Legislature is also considering raising its interstate highway speed limits to 80 mph.