The N.C. House of Representatives slammed the brakes on legal 75 mph speed limits Thursday, after the N.C. Senate had taken speedy, bipartisan steps in favor of the initiative earlier this year.
The bill — amended from the Senate’s version — would have directed the N.C. Department of Transportation to study the higher speeds on four approved highways in the state, but it failed on the House floor by a 44-64 vote.
The Senate passed the original bill in April by an overwhelming 45-1 margin — an impressive degree of bipartisan agreement on a controversial issue.
Kristin Nevels, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said the risks of increasing speed limits almost always outweigh the benefits, leading to more motor vehicle injuries and deaths.
A 2002 study done by the institute found states that increased speed limits to 75 mph saw 38 percent more deaths per million vehicle miles traveled than expected.