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Snyder OKs speed limit increase on certain Michigan roads

I-94 in Michigan
Corey Seeman
Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Gov. Rick Snyder is letting Michigan drivers go a little faster.

Snyder signed a package of bills Thursday that will, among other things, raise the speed limit on certain roads to 75-miles per hour.

The legislation also calls for lower speed limits on certain gravel roads and allows school district superintendents to adjust when speed zones are in effect around the schools. 

Speed limit increases on certain freeways will only happen after a speed safety study is done by the Michigan State Police and Michigan Department of Transportation.

Former representative and bill sponsor Bradford Jacobson said, “There’s a variety of different things, and overall we’re trying to encourage the use of scientific method rather than emotional method for setting the speed limits.”

Jeff Cranson is the Director of Communications for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He says although they likely will not be finished with the studies for several months, there are some areas that look ripe for a speed limit increase.

“The most logical candidates - and by no means have any decisions been made yet - are largely, you know, the rural, rural roads up north. North of the population centers where the heaviest traffic is,” Cranson said.

Cranson said their department remained neutral while the package of bills was making its way through the Legislature. Going forward, he said, safety is their number one concern.

“We have a zero deaths goal which sounds lofty and ambitious, but we have a lot of people really dedicated to having a road system that someday doesn’t allow for people dying in traffic crashes,” he said.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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