OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – In the first use of Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto power in 2015, he struck out a section of a bill Wednesday morning that would have enabled raising the speed limit from 70 to 75 mph on state highways.
Inslee’s partial veto left intact sections of House Bill 2181 that authorize investigation of the potential safety effects of raising the speed limit.
The governor, who wore an orange tie in honor of a transportation workers’ safety commemoration Wednesday morning, said his experiences meeting the family members of people killed in auto wrecks had influenced his consideration of the bill.
“I understand that for all of us, shaving a few minutes off here and there is handy,” Inslee said, “but … I know the face of speeding, and it can be deadly.”
He noted the bill would originally have authorized a 75 mph limit on a section of Interstate 90, but its reach had been extended to affect potentially thousands of roads before it reached his desk. He also said that before he struck out the language, the bill was “putting the cart before the horse” by enabling a 75 mph speed limit at the same time as it commissioned a study of the change’s risk.
“We’ve got to do things in the right order,” Inslee said, “which is to study the safety, then make a decision about the wisdom or lack of wisdom of increasing the speed with the attendant safety risk.”