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New Speed Limits on Maine's Interstate

MaineDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt and Col. Williams of the State Police announced new speed limits on the interstate. Below you will find two maps outlining where the changes occurred. The changes take effect immediately.

Speed Limit Change Locations

View maps detailing where the speed limit changes are taking effect.

Facts

  • Studies have shown that the 85th percentile speed (the average speed that most motorists are traveling) is the safest to operate a motor vehicle
  • Most motorists will drive at a safe speed even without a posted speed limit
  • The ideal speed limit is typically higher than the average speed of all vehicles
  • An unrealistically low speed limit creates safety and enforcement problems
  • Speed does not necessarily cause crashes - speed differential does
  • In 2013 during the First Regular Session of the 126th Legislature, LD 654, An Act to Raise the Speed Limit on Interstate 295 (PL 2013, Chapter 107) was enacted.

MaineDOT staff used radar data from the 64 variable speed limit signs on the interstate to determine average and 85th percentile speeds. The radar devices in the signs were able, in most cases, to give the 85th percentile speeds 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. The data showed that most vehicular traffic was traveling in excess of 70 mph for a majority of the day. (Average speeds were 3 to 4 mph lower at night. Days with snow events were readily detectable as operating speeds plunged.)

MaineDOT staff performed test runs on the interstate with members of the State Police. The collaborative effort resulted in developing the proposed speeds based on the facts above.

This page last updated on 6/23/14