Wed., July 6, 2011 3:23pm (EDT)

No Hurry To Raise Speed Limits
By Noel Brown
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Georgia's maximum speed limit is set at 70 miles per hour and will likely stay that way. The state is bucking a national trend of state's raising their speed limits. (GPB image)
Georgia's maximum speed limit is set at 70 miles per hour and will likely stay that way. The state is bucking a national trend of state's raising their speed limits. (GPB image)
State transportation officials say Georgia isn't likely to join a national trend of states raising speed limits.

All of the 14 states that allow speeds faster than Georgia's 70 mile an hour limit are in the western and midwestern part of the country.

Miles of flat, straight highway in those state's are a stark contrast to Georgia's often winding roads surrounded by dense pine forests.

Jill Golberg with the Department of Transportation says Georgia's roads are also busier:

"We have a lot of tourist traffic. We have a lot of freight traffic with the semi trucks on our roads. We have lots of commuters on our roads. We have numbers of major cities all the way through our interstate system where as some locations don't have very many cities along their routes. We're just a lot more congested than these places that are raising the speed limit."

And, Goldberg says, many roads aren't designed for higher speeds, which restricts the state's options under federal regulations:

"The policy guideline is to allow a speed limit that is no more than 5 miles above the road design speed so we're limited on how much we can raise speed limits anyway in the state."

Raising the speed limit would require a change in state law.

Right now there are no legislative proposals calling for that to happen.