North Dakota, Should We Be Driving Faster?
Full disclosure- I like driving fast.
I don't speed. If I'm on Highway 83 (which I have been A LOT lately), I'll have the cruise set on 72 MPH and you can be darn sure in Washburn my cruise is set at 46 and I get out and walk alongside the car. Would I like to be going faster? Yes, yes I would. But I'm of the frame of mind that getting pulled over for speeding isn't going to find me getting where I want to go any sooner. But I do love driving in the Twin Cities because we're all going 90 and you can't catch us all! Seriously, you have an eighth of a mile to get four lanes over so you flip on your turn signal and drift. It's a rush as long as everyone is paying attention.
Sadly, many North Dakotans don't practice the "we are all in this together" mentality of driving. That's not a slam, it's a fact. We must be the worst state in the union for merging. Just because you've been in a lane for the last ten miles doesn't mean it's YOUR lane...alas, that's a story for another day.
So once again, the North Dakota Legislature is bouncing around the idea of raising the speed limit on portions of both I-94 and I-29. The proposal looks like this..
Grand Forks Republican Rep. Jake Blum’s bill would raise the speed limits on I-94 and I-29 from 75 to 80 mph and on divided highways, like US 2, US 83 and US Hwy. 85 from 70-75 mph.
It's not a radical thought, but it is a similar thought that was shot down by the ND Legislature last session. I'll just say that two years ago I found myself going down the back highways of Nebraska and South Dakota and it seemed to take forever to get anywhere- that is until I hit South Dakota interstates posted at 80 MPH. My only problem was that I went so fast that my exit came too soon and back to 70 MPH.
I'm completely on the fence with automated vehicles. I would never be able to be in one without FREAKING OUT CONSTANTLY!! But, I do have to say that if there ever was a location to test driver-less vehicles it would be on I-94 between Bismarck and Fargo. There's barely even a bend in the road.
So what say you? Should we set our cruise a little higher without getting crazy? Or would people just start going 90 in an 80 MPH zone? I would bet the vigilance and fines would be a bit higher in a faster world.