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Bill would increase rural Interstate speed limit to 70 mph

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A freshman state lawmaker says his bill to raise the speed limit to 70 miles an hour on rural four-lanes would speed through the Legislature by December.

However, Governor Scott Walker refused to endorse the measure – and neither did the state DOT or the Senate’s majority leader.

GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos came out last weekend in support of what Manitowoc Assembly Republican Paul Tittl introduced Tuesday morning.

Tittl said 70 would be just as safe as the current 65. He claims that nobody drives that slowly anyway. Tittl said he proved it on a recent commute from his home to the Capitol, claiming that he drove 65 the whole way, and was the slowest driver on the road.

A number of studies show that raising the speed limit would cause more dangerous crashes and more deaths. Andy Franken of the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance says his group is still evaluating the issue, and has not taken a stand.

Vos said he wants the Assembly to pass the bill next month after it returns to session. Senate GOP leader Scott Fitzgerald did not have an immediate comment, and there’s no Senate sponsor for the measure.

DOT spokeswoman Peg Schmitt said her agency is not taking an official position, either.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill Monday raising the speed limit on his state’s four-lanes to 70. The Badger State is now the only one between Oregon and Pennsylvania to still have a max of 65.