When I moved to Bozeman there was no speed limit on I-90 or anywhere on Montana highways. The Rules of the Road were to drive at a speed that’s reasonable and prudent.

Montana is a big state. Not sure I’m telling you anything you don’t already know.

During the Carter administration when the speed limit was reduced to 55 mph all of Montana revolted.

If you were pulled over for speeding by the police the fine was usually $5.00, unless you were going 100 mph or more.

You paid the cop on the spot and went on your way. No ticket, no blot on your record.

Safety Vs. Commerce

There is a huge yearly loss of life on America’s highways. Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, — an average 3,287 deaths a day.

An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the significant increase in fatalities in 2015 was primarily driven by increases in pedestrian, motorcyclist, and pedalcyclist fatalities.

Is this due to distracted drivers or pedestrians walking around staring at their cell phones?

On the flip side, a large majority of the things we use in our daily lives are shipped to us by truck.

Trucks are big, the driver’s are under pressure to make their deliveries on time, and many are sleep deprived and any one of those things can result in loss of life.

The old saying, “The one with the most lug nuts wins,” holds true in most cases on our nations highways.

Bozeman City Commission Vote

For all the good it will do the Bozeman City Commission voted unanimously to ask the Montana Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit on I-90 from 70 mph to 60 mph around Bozeman’s urban boundaries. .

I doubt MDT will jump out of their chairs to get that done any time soon unless they see it as a potential speed trap and revenue source

Some Final Thoughts

My personal feeling on this is yes — drop the limit to 60 mph for a few miles. What can it hurt?

You’re talking about maybe a five-minute reduction in your time that you can make up on the next straightaway.

Maybe MDT will see the light and decide this might reduce some injuries and possibly deaths.

So for now the balls in their court — whether they will act or not — is anyone’s guess.

What’s your opinion on the I-90 speed limit? Comments below.

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