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Nebraska speed limits will go up if bill gets the green light

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OMAHA, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - You might soon be able to push the gas pedal a little harder along Interstate 80 and on highways in Nebraska. One state senator is calling for a five mile per hour increase to speed limits in some areas, and that could put it up to 80.

"I go out to Lake McConaughy during the summertime," said Jeremy Degarmo, a driver.

That's just one of many places you can go by jumping onto Interstate 80. Under current law, if you go any faster than 75 miles per hour to get there you could get a ticket.

"Even going 75 I'm getting passed up quite a bit," said Degarmo.

If Nebraska State Senator John Murante gets his way, that 75 number would go up. A new bill would increase the speed limit to 80 driving between Omaha and Lincoln.

"It would help me get there at least a couple of minutes faster."

The bill would also raise the speed limit to 65 on rural highways and 70 on four-lane expressways, but not everyone is gung ho about the idea of allowing drivers to go faster.

"We would just ask the leaders of the state to be very cautious with this move," said Eric Koeppe, National Safety Council Nebraska's CEO.

Koeppe says the move could possibly be a dangerous one.

"We know that speed contributes to crashes both in the frequency of a crash and then the severity of the crash."

There is, however, another side to this debate.

"People are going to be burning more fuel," said Degarmo.

To Nebraska businesses, that would mean a big boost.

"I think it'll definitely increase the traffic into your truck stops and gas stations," said Degarmo.

It's been more than 20 years since the last speed limit increase along Interstate 80 in Nebraska. Back then it was raised from 65 to 75. State Senator Murante's bill currently has the backing of Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.

The state senator's bill was just introduced Tuesday, January 16th. That means it still has a long way to go before it becomes law.


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