Michigan bill would nix speed limit differentials

July 1, 2019

Keith Goble


An effort underway at the Michigan statehouse would eliminate the state’s speed limit differentials.

Michigan law now authorizes 70 mph speeds for motorists on certain highways while large trucks are limited to 65 mph. On about 600 miles of rural interstates cars are permitted to travel 75 mph while trucks are limited to 65 mph.

Most U.S. and state-numbered highways have speeds posted at 65 mph for all users.

Rep. Sarah Lightner, R-Springport, has introduced a bill to bring truck speeds up to par with limits set for motorists on the interstate highways. The speed limit differential would remain in place for school buses.

The bill, HB4441, awaits consideration in the House Transportation Committee.


The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has more than 4,700 members who reside in Michigan and thousands more who operate on the state’s highways daily.

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

Mike Matousek, OOIDA manager of government affairs, has communicated to Lightner the Association’s support for uniform speed limits.

“OOIDA and our members are opposed to differential speed limits because they are counterproductive to safety, limit the ability of truck drivers to fully control their vehicles, and negatively impact the behavior of other drivers and vehicles,” Matousek wrote in a letter to Lightner.

“Ultimately, they create more interactions between cars and trucks, which leads to dangerous passing, aggressive driving, and an increase in the number of accidents.”

Matousek adds that speed limit differentials are also a contributing factor to increased congestion and inefficiencies with local, regional, and national goods movement.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan, click here.

Lucas Oil

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.