Should Iowa Lower Its Interstate Speed Limit?

Traffic travels on Interstate 380 south of Cedar Rapids in a section of the highway with a 70 mph speed limit on Tuesday, August 18, 2009. Iowa raised the maximum speed limit four years ago. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)


By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa — State records suggest higher interstate speeds have proved fatal for more Iowa motorists, according to new state statistics.

Fatal crashes on rural interstates were up about 10 percent since the speed limit was raised to 70 mph from 65 mph.

Iowa records show 250 people were fatally injured on the rural interstate system between July 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2011.

he figure was 227 fatalities for the 6 1/2 years before the limit was raised.

Traffic deaths on other Iowa highways and roads dropped last year to the lowest level since World War II.

Russ Rader with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said "the bottom line is that when speed limits go up, deaths go up. When speed limits go down, deaths go down."

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