Measure to add more 80 mph speed limit areas advances

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)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah is moving closer to making the speed limit 80 miles per on more stretches of highways.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the Utah Senate voted 23-4 to give initial approval to the measure. It now awaits a vote in the full Senate. If approved, it would move to Gov. Gary Herbert for consideration.

Opposition came from legislators who think the state should make its seat belt laws stronger before raising speed limits.

The measure allows Utah’s transportation department to decide what highway sections to increase speed limits.

Utah already has several stretches of highway, mostly in rural areas, where officials raised the speed limit to 80 miles per hour.

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