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State decides not to raise speed limit to 75 mph in Eastern Washington

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OLYMPIA – The state decided Wednesday that 70 mph is fast enough in Eastern Washington.

After reviewing a proposal to up the speed limit to 75 mph on the stretch of Interstate 90 that runs from George to Spokane, the Department of Transportation announced that safety and cost concerns will keep it at 70 after all.

The study found that upping the speed limit would only save a few minutes per trip, but would cause an estimated 1.27 fatal or serious crashes every year and drive up the price tag for safety costs by more than $8 million.

WSDOT worked with the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission in making the decision.

“Our top priority as agencies is traffic safety,” acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar said in a press release. “We made this decision through a lens of safety, and it’s notable that all three agencies agreed the increased safety risks were too high.”

Lawmakers in Eastern Washington had requested the study after a 2015 law paved the way for the increase if it were deemed safe to do so.