HB289 (2013) Detail

Increasing certain speed limits to 70 miles per hour.






AN ACT increasing certain speed limits to 70 miles per hour.

SPONSORS: Rep. Vaillancourt, Hills 15; Rep. Burt, Hills 6; Rep. D. McGuire, Merr 21; Sen.?Sanborn, Dist 9

COMMITTEE: Transportation


This bill increases the speed limits on certain highways to 70 miles per hour.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Thirteen

AN ACT increasing certain speed limits to 70 miles per hour.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Speed Limits Raised. Amend RSA 265:60, II(e) to read as follows:

(e) [65] 70 miles [an] per hour on the interstate system[,]; 65 miles per hour on the central New Hampshire turnpike and the eastern New Hampshire turnpike in locations where said highways are 4-lane divided highways or other divided highways of 4 or more lanes; except that the speed limit on portions of the interstate system which had a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour on January 1, 2014 shall be 60 miles per hour.

2 Minimum Speed Increased. Amend RSA 265:64, I to read as follows:

I. No person shall drive a vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law. Under this provision a minimum speed limit of [45] 50 miles per hour shall be posted and prevail on the interstate highway system in the state.

3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.





AN ACT increasing certain speed limits to 70 miles per hour.


      The Department of Safety, Department of Transportation, and Judicial Branch state this bill, as introduced, will decrease state revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2014 and each year thereafter. The Department of Safety states the bill will increase state highway fund expenditures by $26,750 in FY 2014, and the Department of Transportation states the bill will increase state highway fund expenditures by $5,625 in FY 2014. The Judicial Branch states this bill may decrease state expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2014 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on county and local revenue and expenditures.


    The Department of Safety states this bill raises the speed limit on certain sections of highway within the state. The Department states it expects the bill to lead to a decrease in speeding tickets being issued, but is unable to estimate the extent of the decrease. As such, the Department predicts the bill will result in an indeterminable revenue decrease to both the general and highway funds in FY 2014 and each year thereafter. (General fund revenue may decrease because beginning in FY 2014, revenue from plea-by-mail tickets, which is currently agency income for the Department of Safety, will revert to the general fund. Revenue from tickets adjudicated in court is highway fund revenue exempt from block grant aid to municipalities. In addition, pursuant to RSA 188-F:31, a penalty assessment is levied on each fine imposed on a criminal offense; of the revenue generated by this penalty, 66.66 percent is deposited into the police standards and training council training fund.) The Department states the bill will require it to update the uniform fine schedule and plea by mail forms, as well as make programming changes to the mainframe system. The Department anticipates programming changes will cost $26,250 and form revisions will cost $500, for a total cost to the state of $26,750 in FY 2014.

    The Department of Transportation states this bill will increase state highway fund expenditures, as the change in speed limits will entail costs to revise all regulations to reflect the modified speed limit, replace the speed limit signs, and analyze speed data to determine if the limit change corresponds to a change in overall driver speed. The Department states 250 signs will need to be replaced and estimates material costs at $5,625, which is the only incremental cost the Department will incur as a result of the bill. The Department estimates the costs of employee time and trucks to replace the signs at $23,985 ($870 for traffic operator technicians, $6,570 for heavy sign crews, $2,236 for heavy sign trucks, $11,940 for district sign crews, and $2,369 for district sign trucks), but as these are existing employees and Department-owned trucks, the costs do not represent additional expense to the Department. Likewise, the Department estimates the revisions to the regulations will take 2 employees (principal engineer and administrative secretary) approximately 50 hours each, with an associated cost for salary and benefits of $4,192 ($2,774 + $1,418), but these are existing employees who do not represent additional expense to the Department. The Department further estimates the compilation and analysis of speed data before and after the change in speed limit to determine the effects of the change will require the time of 3 different employees: (an engineering technician III for 40 hours, a civil engineer III for 16 hours, and a civil engineer IV for 4 hours). The Department estimates the cost for these three employees to be $1,941 ($1,080 + $689 + $172) but as with the other employee costs, these do not represent additional expense to the Department. However, in each case existing duties the employees perform may be postponed or curtailed as a result of the additional duties necessitated by the bill.

    The Judicial Branch has no information on which to estimate how many fewer speeding violations, if any, will result from this bill, so it cannot predict the amount of any revenue or expenditure decrease. The Branch can provide the average per case cost for processing this type of case. The Branch states the case cost estimates are based on data that is more than seven years old and does not reflect the changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on the processing of these types of cases. The Branch states each violation will cost $42.85 per case in FY 2014 and $44.36 per case in FY 2015.