- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A new law removes speed limits on many Oklahoma roads, but drivers should not expect wholesale increases in the limits, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.

Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 3167 on Monday. It deletes the speed limits for turnpikes, interstates, four-lane divided highways and “super” two-lane highways, which have a designated passing lane and shoulders at least eight feet wide.

The law gives ODOT authority to set the speed limits.

The department has “no intention of raising any of the speed limits across the board on any of the highways, but it allows us to look at specific situations, if requested,” spokeswoman Terri Angier told the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1ZQzVk3 ).

“This is a bill that removes the limits in statute to allow for possible exceptions based on engineering reasons,” she said.

The department did not request nor oppose the bill, Angier said, but it could result in additional agency costs by bringing an increase in requests for speed studies.

“In a tough budget year, that is definitely a concern,” Angier said.

The measure, by House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, gives ODOT the authority to make adjustments based on engineering and traffic studies on different stretches of highway, Hickman said.

The agency previously had no ability to make adjustments because speeds were set in statute, Hickman said.

Changes to speed limits on the state’s turnpikes would still have to be approved by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, said Jack Damrill, OTA spokesman.

Current law sets speed limits at 75 mph on the turnpike system and rural segments of interstates, 70 mph on four-lane divided highways and super two-lane highways and 65 mph in other locations.

Lower speed limits in areas such as school zones, parks and wildlife refuges are not affected by the law, which goes into effect Nov. 1.

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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