Higher speed limits may be on the horizon for some W. Kentucky roads


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photographer - Mason Watkins

CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky - A Kentucky Senator is showing support for a fellow representative's bill that would increase the speed limit on some West Kentucky roads.

Rep. Kenny Imes already filed a bill this session that would raise speed limits from 55 mph (miles per hour) to 65 mph where safe.

The main target of the increased limits is KY-80, but Sen. Stan Humphries wants it to also include U.S.641 in Calloway County, too.

That's why Humphries is planning to file a bill that mirrors Imes' bill this week.

His hope is if he can get a show of support in the Senate, it will help push the House bill over any current speed bumps.

"We're also not just talking about transferring things through the county quicker, but we want people to do that without going to states like Tennessee, where speed limits are higher, so they will use our merchants and spend money at businesses here in Kentucky," said Humphries.

This is not the first time lawmakers have pushed for a change, but Transportation Commissioner Mike Hancock has said he doesn't think an increase for KY-80 should happen until after a new bridge over Kentucky Lake is built.

Imes and Humphries agree both US 641 and KY-80 are some of the best roads in the state and can handle the change now.

Drivers like Eric Harrison said they would support a faster speed limit because as it stands now, the limit doesn't feel right.

"It's straight, not too many curves. I mean you do have to worry sometimes about people pulling out but not really that much," he said. "Honestly people speed on it anyway so moving it up to 65 would keep a lot of people from getting speeding tickets, make the trip faster."

Other drivers argue that because people already speed, raising the limit is asking for trouble.

"You can go 60, 5 over, and if it was any higher than people would go a lot faster and there'd be a lot more accidents," said Matthew Kohlenperger, from Marshall County.

Humphries plans to file his bill this week. Imes' bill has been filed but hasn't made it into a committee yet.