State troopers say drivers are taking advantage of 70 mph limit

State troopers fear the speed limit change changed the mentality of some drivers

With construction, road trips, and even road kill, driving on Wisconsin highways can sometimes be hectic and dangerous. State troopers said they now have a new worry this summer, with drivers taking advantage of the 70 mph speed limit on some highways and interstates.

More than 200 people have died on Wisconsin roadways this year. State troopers are worried that the new speed limit is going to make that death total climb, because more people than ever before are going faster than 70.

“You’re violating the law by going over 70,” said State Trooper Ryan Smith.

In the seven days since the 70 mph signs have been posted, Wisconsin State Troopers said more drivers going faster than the legal speed limit.

Smith thinks the speed limit change changed the mentality of some drivers.

“People think if they can drive a little bit over 65, well now, they can drive a little bit over 70,” Smith said.

Some people admit that is true.

“Yeah, I mean, I would say my typical driving speed was 70, and now it’s more 75,” said Dana Samuelson said.

But Mindoro driver Joe Cook said he’s not going to risk going above the speed limit.

“That might be a little bit too much, given the road conditions that we have right now,” Cook said.

Smith said now more than ever people need to obey the signs.

“It’s proven that higher speeds have increase in crashes, injuries and fatalities,” he said.

And in an effort to keep everyone safe, he’ll be watching.

“Yeah it’s a speed limit change, but that highway or freeway did not get any safer, so our tolerance isn’t going to change,” Smith said.

While there is a maximum speed limit of 70, there is no minimum speed limit, except in Milwaukee County.