AAA Pumps the Brakes on Speed Limit Legislation



Karen Morgan, manager, Public Policy, AAA - The Auto Club Group, Office (813) 289-1442, Cell (813) 842-3003



TAMPA, Fla. (March 4, 2014) - Legislation that could increase speed limits throughout Florida will be heard in both House and Senate committees this week. If passed, Florida would join Maine as the only states east of the Mississippi River with speed limits higher than 70 miles per hour.

AAA opposes such an increase and urges state legislators to vote against this bill. Other states that raised their speed limits saw an increase in speed-related traffic fatalities, according to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“We’re deeply concerned for the safety of Florida’s roadway users with cars traveling at increasingly higher speeds on our interstates and other highways,” said Kevin Bakewell, Sr. Vice President, Chief Public Affairs Officer, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Based upon similar action in other states, this change in state law will likely result in more crashes, injuries and deaths on our highways."

According to the NHTSA, a total of 10,219 deaths, or nearly a third of all motor vehicle fatalities, occurred in speed-related crashes in 2012. NHTSA estimates that the economic cost of speed-related crashes is more than $40 billion each year.

Sixteen states have raised speed limits above 70 mph. In the majority of these states, speed-related fatalities are above the national average of 30 percent.

The proposal, Senate Bill 392 and House bill 761, is sponsored by Senators Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), Senator Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), and Representative Matt Caldwell (R-Lehigh Acres).

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 8.8 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 54 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

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