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Speed Limit in New Mexico increases to 75 mph

Monday, October 29, 2012 - 10:40pm

New speed limit signs have been going up as of Monday along Interstate 10 from the state line up to Mesquite.

The change in speed limit comes after the New Mexico Department of Transportation conducted a speed study and determined it would be safe to increase the limit from 70 up to 75mph.

"It doesn't really concern me," said El Paso commuter Salvador Solis. "It's not that bad driving from Anthony all the way to Las Cruces."

The change in speed is also attributed to of the interstate into a three lane freeway in both directions.

"If you go slow you can go on the right lane," Solis said. "If you go quicker you can go on the left."

Throughout the country, speed limits vary depending on traffic and state laws.

"Most of them about 65 that's the average, but some of them are up to 70-75 mph," said Jim Burton, who is travelling from Alaska.

Burton said higher speeds could pose an extra danger on the road.

"Stopping distance will be a lot longer and I think it is a higher potential for accidents," Burton said.

From his experience on the road, Burton said most people tend to speed.

"Almost everywhere we've been if it's posted at 70 they're doing 75 or 80 so it's human nature to go a little faster than what they post," Burton said.

Even with a faster limit, drivers are urged to always obey the law and follow posted speed limits to help keep everyone safe on the road. 

The NMDOT expects most signs to be changed by as soon as Wednesday.



Reader Comments

Can anyone tell me the current speed limits on Interstate 84 and 64?

Stephanie R.

The new 75 mph limit will improve safety and smooth traffic flow and has a good chance to reduce the accident rate. It is likely that posting 80 would have even better results, as it has in Utah and Texas. IF safety is the real goal, the limit is set at the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions which likely rounds to 80 mph here. At least it is a step in the correct direction.
James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

Rural interstates are the fastest, safest, most fuel efficient rural roads. Interstates can easily handle higher speeds due to safety features like interchanges that eliminate deadly side impacts, barriers against head on crashes, etc.

NM DOT Traffic Engineers should be commended for using proven principles. Naysayers prefer hand-wringing, "radar-gun slinging", and other political pablum.

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