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Going fast to pass a vehicle

published 2/25/2009
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Nobody likes to be stuck driving behind someone going below the posted limit on a two-lane highway. In many cases, the rear vehicle will cross the dashed yellow line to pass the slower vehicle.

The problem is that to do so usually means accelerating beyond the posted speed limit.

Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia) wants to give drivers a break.

He sponsors HF464 that would permit a passing driver to exceed the posted speed limit by 10 mph when passing on a two-lane highway in areas where the speed limit is at least 55 mph.

Approved by the House Transportation and Transit Policy and Oversight Division, the bill heads to the House Transportation Finance and Policy Division.

State Traffic Engineer Sue Groth is fearful the bill would encourage aggressive driving, which is contrary to the Transportation Department's safety program, and State Patrol Maj. Michele Tuchner expressed concern about drivers thinking they get the extra 10 mph when preparing to pass or after returning to the right lane.

A companion, SF601, sponsored by Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm), awaits action by the Senate Transportation Committee.

- Mike Cook

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