MoDOT to increase speed limits on US 71 - KCTV5

MoDOT to increase speed limits on US 71

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MoDOT traffic engineers did a study and found that letting drivers go faster could improve traffic flow and overall safety. (KCTV5) MoDOT traffic engineers did a study and found that letting drivers go faster could improve traffic flow and overall safety. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Highways rarely see an increase in speed limits but that is what’s happening for one of Kansas City’s most traveled thoroughfares.

For the thousands of people who drive on U.S. Highway 71, Wednesday will be an important day.

Speed limits are changing for parts of the highway.

MoDOT traffic engineers did a study and found that letting drivers go faster could improve traffic flow and overall safety.

Eighty thousand cars drive the stretch of road every day and MoDOT says the changes will also keep those drivers safe.

Experts say this stretch of road is similar to other highways in the area, and its best to keep the speeds consistent. 

"Research has shown that if you set the speed limit near where the majority of drivers are driving you have less risk of getting in a crash, if the traffic speeds are more uniform, people tailgate less, do less aggressive passing," MoDOT District Traffic Engineer Derek Olson said.

Speed limits from Three Trails Crossing to a half a mile south of 75th Street will be increasing from 55 to 65 miles per hour.

North of 75th Street, speeds will decrease to 55 miles per hour and then drop again to 45 miles per hour as drivers near downtown.

Drivers have mixed opinions on the change.

"I think that's good," Belton resident Michael Jones said. "It should be 65 the whole thing and they should remove those lights. It's still a dangerous intersection. If they do speed it up you have a potential risk of people getting hurt, more accidents, but for people like me who commute every day, it does benefit."

Officials say, with the higher speed, its always important to buckle up and drive carefully. 

MoDOT urges drivers to be alert during the change and to slow down for crews as they work.

The new limits will take effect once all new signs have been posted.

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