EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

March 14, 2013

Speed bills

House OKs speed hike on I-93

CONCORD — The New Hampshire House yesterday approved a 5 mph increase in the speed limit on Interstate 93 between Concord and the Vermont border.

The vote potentially raises the top legal speed to 70 mph on the rural stretch of highway, except for a winding section through Franconia Notch, should the Senate and Gov. Maggie Hassan approve.

The House, meanwhile, rejected an amendment that also would have boosted the speed to 70 mph on Interstate 89 between Concord and Lebanon.

Lawmakers killed two other bills that would have increased the top speed to 70 or 75 mph on highways statewide.

The I-93 proposal, House Bill 146, came to the floor with the support of the House Transportation Committee and easily passed, 292-65.

Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester, brought the amendment to the floor that would have boosted the speed on I-89 as well. But the House rejected the amendment on a close, 187-165 vote.

Vaillancourt, a longtime advocate for raising the speed limit, related how when he drives the 65 mph speed limit from Concord to Lebanon, he is regularly passed by other drivers.

“If 90 percent of people do something, that is what they are consenting to,” Vaillancourt said.

Raising the speed limit won’t force those who want to conserve fuel drive faster, he argued.

“All it will do is make us law-abiders,” he said.

Rep. Dan Itse, R-Fremont, agreed with Vaillancourt.

“Our current laws invite disrespect of the law,” Itse said.

The state Highway Safety Agency had opposed all of the bills, due to concerns about fatalities.

Rep. Christy Bartlett, D-Concord, pressed that argument in debate.

“Speed kills,” Bartlett said.

She also asked the House to reject the proposal for fuel conservation reasons.

“Fossil fuels are not limitless, nor are they inexpensive,” Bartlett said.

Rep. Sherm Packard, R-Londonderry, characterized the speed limit increase north of Concord as a practical step.

“Maybe we can increase the speed on the lower half, if we can ever get it widened,” Packard said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Photos of the Week