Indiana bill would eliminate speed limit differential

January 6, 2023

Keith Goble


An Indiana state legislator has renewed the pursuit to do away with a speed limit differential on the state’s fastest roadways.

Indiana law now permits cars to drive 70 mph while vehicles in excess of 26,000 pounds are limited to 65 mph.

For the fifth time in recent years, a bill introduced at the Indiana statehouse would do away with the speed gap on rural stretches of interstate and on the Indiana Toll Road. Each of the previous four efforts originated in the House chamber and failed to advance from committee.

This year’s version will start in the Senate. Sponsored by Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, the bill would affect an estimated 124,000 vehicles registered in the state and thousands more that access Indiana interstates on a daily basis.

If approved, the Indiana Department of Transportation previously reported that 68 mph speed limit signs with the 65 mph restriction would need to be changed.

A fiscal impact statement attached to the bill notes that the expense to the state to change signage would be between $10,000 and $12,500. In addition, it is estimated the switch could result in fewer speeding citations.

The bill, SB13, will start in the Senate Homeland Security and Transportation Committee.

OOIDA support

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says roadways are safest when all vehicles are permitted to travel at the same rate of speed. The Association does not advocate for a specific speed limit.

Doug Morris, OOIDA director of safety and security operations, said that speed differentials are based on a flawed belief that slower trucks equal safer trucks. He adds that is simply not the case.

“It’s encouraging to see the legislative pursuit in Indiana to correct a law that was flawed in nature and did nothing to improve highway safety,” Morris said.

U.S. highways

A separate speed limit bill in the House would increase the speed limit on certain U.S. highways in the state.

Sponsored by Rep. Dave Heine, R-Fort Wayne, the bill would increase the speed limit on stretches of U.S. 24, 25, and 30 from 55 mph to 70 mph. As written, the change would apply to cars and large trucks.

Affected stretches of highway:

  • U.S. 24 between Huntington and Logansport.
  • U.S. 25 between Lafayette and Logansport.
  • U.S. 24 from the Ohio border to the Interstate 469 interchange.
  • U.S. 30 from the Ohio border to the Interstate 469 interchange.

Heine’s bill, HB1077, is in the House Roads and Transportation Committee. LL

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