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Florida max speed limits amy soon increase

Two Florida state senators are feeling the need for speed. They just a filed a bill that would increase the states maximum speed limit to 75 miles per hour. Right now, the fastest you can drive in Florida is 70 miles per hour, and that's only in certain designated areas.

"If I do 70 everybody's passin' me," said Ed Stauffer, who was out on a road trip when we asked him about the bill, "So yeah, I do think they oughtta move it to 75."

Carlotta Stauffer, Eds wife, disagreed, saying, "They go faster than whatever it is so if you make it higher, theyre gonna go faster than that so I think they're goin' plenty fast enough right now.

The bill would allow authorities to increase the speed limit to 75 in places where traffic engineers say it would be safe. The bills sponsors say that would include rural interstates and toll roads only.

Gary Butler, a truck driver, said, "Most people are speeding."

Butler is all for the proposal, which he says would help him financially and could actually improve safety.

"I can get to my destination a lot faster and drop my load, pick up my load and come back rather than taking longer," Butler explained, "I may be a little bit more tired if it takes me longer."

The bill's sponsors are Republican State Senator Jeff Brandes, of St. Petersburg, and Democrat Jeff Clemens, of Lake Worth. A final decision on whether to let drivers speed up won't be made until Florida's next legislative session, which begins in March.

17 other states already have maximum speed limits of more than 70 miles per hour. Senator Brandes says research shows the increase is unlikely to have an impact on road safety.

Since 2007, the number of fatal traffic crashes in Escambia County has steadily declined, with smaller drop-offs in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties.