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2/14/2017
Idaho: Legislation Would Excuse Speeding While Passing
Lawmaker in Idaho proposes to allow some speeding while passing on two-lane roads.

Lance W. Clow
Getting past a slow-moving vehicle on a two-lane road in Idaho may become a less nerve-wracking experience if a new proposal makes its way through the legislature. State Representative Lance W. Clow (R-Twin Falls) introduced legislation Thursday that would, if enacted, excuse drivers for exceeding the speed limit while passing on a two-lane road.

"Subject to all other applicable motor vehicles laws, a driver of a passenger car, motorcycle or pickup truck, not towing any other vehicle, may exceed the posted speed limit by up to fifteen miles per hour while passing another vehicle traveling at less than the posted speed limit, in order to safely pass the vehicle," House Bill 132 states.

The bill only applies to two-lane roads where the speed limit is over 55 MPH and no construction is taking place. The passing driver would also be afforded a brief amount of time to return to the speed limit once the pass has been completed. The measure would not apply to passing situations on other highways or freeways.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that half of all traffic fatalities nationwide occur on rural roads, even though only one-fifth of the population lives in those areas. In Idaho, 81 percent of the fatalities take place in rural areas. Most of the incidents take place on two-lane roads with low traffic volumes and a 55 MPH or greater speed limit.

"The danger occurs largely from the passing vehicle occupying the opposing lane of travel, making sufficient passing sight distance critical in such a passing situation," a NHTSA report explained.

Clow's bill seeks to minimize the amount of time the passing vehicle is exposed to risk. While it did not study the question directly, a simulation of two-lane passing collisions by University of Texas researchers published last year found that overtaking maneuvers with the greatest amount of acceleration and initial speed resulted in the fewest collisions. Often rural roads are seen as having too little traffic to justify the expense of constructing dedicated passing lanes.

A copy of the bill is available in a 60k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File House Bill 132 (Idaho Legislature, 2/9/2017)



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