The Crash Data is In Since the Speed Limit on I-295 Went Back to 65
When the Maine DOT decided last March to lower the speed limit back down to 65mph after raising it to 70 four years prior because of an increase in accidents, drivers claimed the speed limit change had nothing to do with it. Many claimed it was distracted driving or that people will still do 70 or more anyway and that drivers need to go with the speed of traffic.
Well now the crash data on I-295 from 2017 is in and it seems it may support Maine DOT's decision.
According to the Portland Press Herald, data released by the Maine DOT show that there were 107 crashes on I-295 in 2017, 31 of them injury causing. Compare that to 156 crashes with 45 injury related in 2016. You can see the data of crashes from before the speed limit was raised and while it was at 70 at the Press Hearld's website.
However, like those drivers who say that it's not the speed limit that caused the crashes, traffic engineers are cautious to attribute the drop just to the reduction of the speed limit and say more data is needed.
Regardless, it's clear that there are still a high number of crashes on the stretch of I-295 between Topsham and Portland than probably anywhere else in the state. So what's the solution?
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