New Push to Boost State Speed Limit to 75mph

10:44 PM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
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Albany, NY -- You could soon legally drive 75 miles per hour in New York if a downstate lawmaker gets his way.

There is a new push to increase the maximum speed limit in our state, and it could happen within the next year.

"I drive the Thruway every week driving back and forth to Albany, and I can tell you that most of the traffic is not going 65 miles an hour," says State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak.

Gabryszak has logged countless hours on the state's highways, and as a member of the transportation committee, thinks increasing the speed limit to 75 miles per hour on the Interstate is worth looking into.

"New York State did an earlier study, or a past study, by the NYS Department of Transportation, after they increased the speed limit last time, it actually showed there was a 29-percent drop in accidents, a four-percent drop in fatalities after they increased the speed limit, and a five-percent drop in accidents with injuries," says Gabryszak.

A bill introduced in the NYS Assembly Thursday would set a maximum speed limit of 75 miles per hour in New York.

The majority of states already has speed limits higher than 65. Sixteen states have speed limits of at least 75, with Utah allowing drivers to go 80, and parts of Texas setting the maximum at 85.

The proposed increase would still leave it up to the NY Department of Transportation, municipalities and counties whether they want lower limits in certain areas.

"I don't think it's something that's going to zip right through. You're going to have concerns relative to safety, and that's a legitimate concern. I think you're probably going to also hear from environmental groups that are saying a higher speed limit, you're going to be burning more gas, cars become less efficient in terms of mileage, so I think there are going to be some concerns on that point, also," says Gabryszak.

Gabryszak says a new speed limit might also mean NY State Troopers could become less lenient when it comes to handing out speeding tickets.

"I think that if you do that, everyone may have to understand that there may be tougher enforcement on that," he says.

According to the DMV's website, every 5 miles per hour you drive over 60 miles per hour is like paying an additional 24-cents per gallon for gas.

Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda introduced the bill. He was traveling Friday and did not return our phone call.

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