New 80 mph speed limits go into effect throughout Utah

In this undated photo provided by the Utah Department of Transportation a worker installs a highway sign. Utah is increasing the speed limit to 80 mph on several stretches of highways around the state. The state legislature approved the new, faster zones during the last session. The change was spurred by a Utah Department of Transportation study that found that fewer crashes occurred on the existing stretches of highway with 80 mph speed limits. The new fast zones include Interstate 80 from the Nevada border to Utah Route 36 in eastern Utah and Interstate 15 from Brigham City to the Idaho border in northern Utah. Speeds will also be increased on Interstate 15 between Santaquin and North Leeds in central-southern Utah. The 75 mph zones remain on that stretch through two mountain passes and Cedar City. (AP Photo/Utah Department of Transportation)

The Utah Department of Transportation has just completed speed studies on several rural freeway sections and crews have installed new 80 mile per hour speed limit signs. The speed limit has been increased to 80 miles per hour in several areas of the state including I-80 from the Nevada border to SR 36, I-15 between North Leeds and Santaquin with sections of 75 miles per hour zones through two mountain passes and Cedar City, and I-15 and I-84 from the north Brigham City interchange (with SR 13 in Corrine) to the Idaho border.

The speed limit increase is the result of House Bill 83 passed during the 2013 legislative session which allowed the department to study and establish speed limits higher than 75 miles per hour on the interstate.

UDOT’s data from speed studies of existing 80 miles per hour zones showed that vehicle crashes have slightly dropped over the past three years, attributed to more vehicles traveling at the same speeds and less variation in the speed of surrounding vehicles.

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