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Speed limits going up on Maine interstates

PORTLAND (WGME) -- Speed limits on some Maine highways are now a little faster. Officials announced Tuesday that the speed limit on 295 north of Portland will go up to 70pmh, and there are other zones that will see an increase of 5mph as well.

  • some parts of 95 North of Augusta
  • 195 in Saco
  • 395 North of Bangor
  • a stretch of rt 1 in Bath
  • several highway connectors

Officials say studies show that the 85th percentile,or the average speed 85% of motorists travel at, is best as the speed limit. They also say differences in the speed of traffic, not just speeding itself, causes accidents.

"It's much safer on any road if the operating speed and the posted speed are closer together," said Maine DOT Commissioner David Bernhardt.

The new speed limits are currently in effect though some signs are still going up. The MTA says they are considering similar changes for the turnpike and will hold a public hearing on June 19th.

"It's going to be more important that you have more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Reaction time may be the same but the distance you travel in the same second and a half it takes you to react, you'll be traveling further." said Colonel Robert Williams, Chief of the Maine State Police.