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June 28, 2011 3:00 PM, EDT

New Kansas Speed Limit Brings Safety Concerns from Trucking

A new, higher speed limit in Kansas could cause safety problems if trucks are governed at lower speeds than the new limit, the head of the state’s trucking association said.

Kansas set a new 75 mph speed limit on rural stretches of some interstate highways and other freeways effective July 1, its Department of Transportation said in a release.

The new limit applies to all vehicles on the highway, though trucks with speed limiters would still travel slower than other highway traffic, said Tom Whitaker, executive director of the Kansas Motor Carriers Association.

KMCA did not take a position on the speed-limit change, but the group wanted to make sure the limit was uniform and trucks would not have a lower limit than other vehicles Whitaker said.

“We already have, at 70 miles per hour, a differential,” Whitaker said, referring to the maximum speed in the state before the increase took effect. “[The new limit] does increase that somewhat, but we’ll have to wait and see,” he added.

Whitaker said he does not know of any carriers who plan to change their speed governors to match the new limit and eliminate the differential.