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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
You may soon be zipping down Mississippi interstates are a higher rate
of speed. The Mississippi House of Representatives has passed a bill to
increase the speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour on certain roads.
That bill now heads to the state senate.
As you might expect, police are
concerned about the possible change. Surprisingly though, some drivers
aren't too keen on the idea either.
Police officers have claimed for years that speed kills. That won't change with a higher speed limit.
"It's our position that the majority of accidents that we investigate are based on speed violations," said Assistant Chief Rodney McGilvary with the Biloxi Police Department. "Speed in the city of Biloxi is one of our top priorities. Whatever they say, we'll enforce."
People who drive the interstates on a regular basis have mixed feelings. Henry Nettles is one of them.
"Oh yeah, it's a pretty good idea. It will help the motorists to keep traffic flowing. You know, most motorists, they go 70 or a little bit over, so it's a good idea to go 75," Nettles said.
Not everyone agrees. James Bynum is a long haul trucker. His livelihood depends on getting places quickly.
"For me, it's a bad idea. Sixty-five is good enough for me, really. I think 65 is fast enough for me. Saves fuel," Bynum explained.
Road conditions dictate how others feel. Uriel Icaza is traveling I-10 today.
"Seventy-five miles per hour, I think, is a good speed for all the drivers. You have wonderful roads, the interstate is wonderful and I think 75 is a fairly good speed," Icaza said.
Among motorists, there's always been this popular notion that you're allowed a certain discretion over the speed limit, five to 10 miles per hour. However, if the speed limit increases to 75 on the state's interstates, that may no longer be the case.
"There is a misconception that we, as officers, automatically give you 10 miles over the speed limit and that's not correct," said Captain Vince Nicholson with the Gautier Police Department.
If the law passes and is signed into law by the governor, the Department of Transportation would decide which interstates and primary highways would use the higher limits.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in both Louisiana and Alabama are considering similar legislation.
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