CA Lawmaker Wants to Eliminate Speed Limit for Parts of I-5 and Highway 99

February 19, 2019 - 8:26 am
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(KNX 1070) - A local state senator says there's no need to build a high-speed speed rail through the Central Valley, instead he suggests eliminating the speed limit.

Sen. John Moorlach (R-Orange County) introduced SB 319 last week to the California Legislature. The new bill would eliminate the speed limit between Bakersfield and Merced on two vehicle heavy highways: I-5 and Highway 99.

If the bill becomes law, it would mandate two, no-speed-limit lanes in each direction of Interstate 5 and Highway 99 through the Central Valley. 

The bill, which would also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, would require the construction of two additional traffic lanes on northbound and southbound Interstate Route 5 and Highway 99.

Highway 99 crosses through the Central Valley, connecting Southern California to the Bay Area. People would be able to drive as fast as they want from Bakersfield to Stockton.

Moorlach said the buildout of the lane expansion would happen much more quickly than high-speed rail.

"So why don't we provide people with vehicles the opportunity to just drive at 100 miles per hour and get to San Francisco in a shorter period of time than the train would?" he told KNX reporter Craig Fiegener. 

He says he has no idea how much it would cost to add the extra lanes but believes it would be a great alternative to building the high-speed rail.

"If you look at what happens in Germany, the freeway accidents on the  Autobahn are a lot less than what's happening on our roads," he said.

The existing California law doesn't allow a vehicle to drive greater than 65 miles per hour on a state highway.