Not so fast, Idaho! 80 mph not coming soon

April 8, 2014 

Idaho will join Texas and Utah in allowing a speed of 80 mph on some highways.


Drivers, cool your engines You likely won't be cruising Idaho's roads at a 5 mph higher speed soon - at least not legally. Yes, the Legislature did approve lifting speeds on Idaho's interstates to 80 mph. And, yes, new state laws typically go into effect July 1.

Slow down The new law authorizes Idaho Transportation Department to increase the speed limit but does not require it. It won't happen until ITD conducts engineering and other studies to see where it's safe and appropriate to increase limits to 80 on interstate sections and 70 on parts of state highways, officials say. Speed limits for big trucks will remain 10 mph lower than for cars.

Hurry up and wait ITD has not set a timeline to review highways and interstates or a deadline to have a decision for eager Idaho drivers.

Waiting for a sign Any new speed limit won't take effect until ITD crews install new speed-limit signs at the beginning and end of the sections where the limits change.

Speed club Texas and Utah are the only states with speed limits of 80 mph. Idaho and Wyoming both enacted laws this year allowing it. Like Idaho, Wyoming must do studies before boosting the speed limit.

Not so fast, Stephen Colbert The comedian used the Idaho legislature's passage of the 80 mph bill to take a shot at the Gem State during a recent opening monologue on "The Colbert Report":

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