Next week this time the speed limit on Wyoming’s interstates will increase to 80 miles per hour, but there are some things that have to happen before you put the pedal to the metal. Wyoming Department of Transportation Spokesman Jeff Goetz says, "Until we get the signs replaced the speed limit will stay at 75 miles per hour. So that's important for everybody to realize. They don't change until the speed limit sings are changed."
The speed change will also not be the entire length of the interstates. "The area through town will not change that will still stay at 65 miles per hour and then through Douglas, what we call the Douglas Marginal will stay at I believe 75," Goetz said.
Troopers say a majority of Wyoming drivers are already speeding on the road, but add 80 means 80. Wyoming High Patrol Trooper Daniel White says, "I would tell you that now that the speed limit is officially going to 80 that our enforcement efforts are probably going to be stepping up. We're going to be a lot more aggressive of that speed limit and that 80 means exactly what it means it's 80."
Although, that’s not the only type of enforcement drivers can expect to see on the road. Troopers are cracking down on motorists not moving over. "I would say you're going to get our attention a little bit more when you go by our patrol cars and you do not change lanes and you're required to do so. It's not an attempt to, it's not signal and I tried, it's required to change lanes," White said.
The increase is only five miles per hour; but a difference of ten feet when a motorist has to make a quick correction on the road. "You're going to be going 117 feet per second and you're going to cover the distance of a football field in 2 and a half second. So it's even more important at that speed that you're keeping that distance from that car in front of you," White said.
If driver start to abuse the new speed limit, the state can drop it back down to 75. Governor Matt Mead says, "If we see raising it and we see a correlation between raising the speed limit and more accidents, more fatalities, then absolutely we have to re-visit."