The legislature is intent on raising the speed limit on rural freeways from 70 to 75 (70 for trucks). But can they?

The Senate voted 32-1 Monday for HB 1631 by Rep. DeAnn Vaught (R-Horatio) HB 1631. The bill was endorsed, with Senate amendments, in House committee Tuesday and should be on the House calendar Wednesday.  For the record: the new limit would apply to controlled access highways outside urban areas with at least four lanes and divided by a median strip.

All done, right? I wondered. Because you perhaps recall the Arkansas constitutional amendment that gave independence to the Arkansas Highway Commission. Its power is presumably why an earlier law allowed the Highway Commission to raise the speed limit, subject to engineering and traffic study. The Commission has not done so. Some careful thoughts think lower speed limits hold down traffic fatalities.

Legislators apparently have gotten impatient, thus this year’s legislation.