This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Utah Department of Transportation crews installed Monday new 70 mph speed limit signs on urban interstate freeways along the Wasatch Front, replacing the old 65 mph limit in most sections.
However, the Utah Highway Patrol is warning that it will strictly enforce the new limits. Col. Danny Fuhr, superintendent of the Highway Patrol, said it will target anyone for tickets who is traveling 75 mph or more.
The Legislature this year passed a law allowing UDOT to raise speed limits up to 80 mph on interstates where it figures it is safe.
UDOT began by studying Wasatch Front urban interstates. It said studies showed that most traffic already was traveling faster than 70 mph on those freeways, so it doesn't expect overall average speeds to change much.
In recent years when UDOT increased the speed limit to 80 mph on some rural freeways, it said overall speeds increased only 1-2 mph. It expects the same to happen now with higher speed limits on urban interstates.
UDOT said it figures the higher speed limit will smooth traffic flow by allowing those drivers that had strictly followed the 65 mph limit to go slightly faster to match the speeds of others.