JAMESTOWN — A Senate bill introduced in the North Dakota Legislature proposes raising the speed limit on interstate highways, but speeding fines in the state remain lower than in Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota.
Sen. Lonnie Laffen, R-Grand Forks, introduced Senate Bill 2057 to increase the speed limit from 75 mph to 80 mph on “access-controlled, paved and divided, multi-lane interstate highways.” The bill, which would affect Interstates 29 and 94, was debated in the Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday. No further action has been taken on Laffen’s bill as of Tuesday.
Sen. John Grabinger, D-Jamestown, previously said he has heard concerns about speeding fines, and that people are saying fines need to increase so drivers will respect the speed limit.
A driver is fined $5 for each mile per hour over the speed limit on a highway with a speed limit above 65 mph, according to North Dakota law. For going 5 mph over the speed limit, the fine is $25, for 10 mph over the fine is $50, and the fine increases by $25 for each 5 mph increment over the speed limit.
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Lt. Tom Iverson with the North Dakota Highway Patrol said the patrol hasn’t seen issues with drivers speeding in North Dakota when entering from neighboring states with higher speed limits.
South Dakota and Montana raised the speed limit on interstate highways to 80 mph in 2015.
The South Dakota law affects Interstate 29 running north and south and Interstate 90 running east and west.
The fines for speeding in South Dakota range from $85 to $220, said Tony Mangan, public information officer for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
Montana raised the speed limit to 80 mph on interstate highways in October 2015. The speed limit is 65 mph on stretches of interstate that pass through urban areas, according to the Montana Code, and some areas are set to 75 mph by the Montana Transportation Commission.
Speeding fines in Montana increased when the change in speed limit took effect. Fines for speeding in the state now range from $40 to $200, according to the Montana Senate bill.
Minnesota’s interstate speed limits may be lower than North Dakota’s, 65 mph on urban interstate highways and 70 mph on rural interstate highways, but the fines are still higher.
The fines for speeding in Minnesota range from $115 to $375, according to the Minnesota Judicial Branch website.