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Release: Rep. Rehm’s Bill to Adopt Safer Speed Limits Passes; Included in House Transportation Policy Bill

Thursday, April 4, 2024

St. Paul, MN - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed House File 3436, the House Transportation Committee’s package of policy proposals. The bill builds off of last year’s historic budget that capitalized on state and federal funds to deliver a generational investment in transportation statewide.  

The policy package includes a provision authored by Rep. Lucy Rehm (DFL-Chanhassen) that would allow Minnesota to improve roadway safety by updating new rules on speed studies to enable MnDOT and localities to reduce the speed limit on problematic roadways. 

“Speed is a key contributor to traffic fatalities and injuries,” said Rep. Rehm. “The policy bill we passed today addresses this and puts safety at the forefront of our focus as we work with the Minnesota Department of Transportation planning future infrastructure.

Rep. Rehm’s provision directs the Minnesota Department of Transportation, when performing traffic engineering studies to set or adjust speed limits, to conform to the latest version of the federal manual on traffic control devices rather than the current equivalent state manual (which is the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices). The latest edition of this federal manual was adopted in December of 2023 and includes revisions to the guidance around criteria to consider in setting a speed limit. 

Last year’s Transportation Budget invested $650 million to unlock more than $7.8 billion dollars in federal funds. The comprehensive, multimodal, regionally balanced budget delivered sustainable, dedicated, ongoing funding for roads, bridges, and transit over the next four years, including a first-ever dedicated, ongoing funding source for small cities with populations less than 5,000. DFLers prioritized safety with a new Transit Rider Investment Program (TRIP) to enforce fare payment via administrative citations, monitor passenger activity, act as a liaison to social services, and assist and accompany riders. The transportation budget Democrats advanced also placed a high priority on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing public safety with ongoing investments in non-motorized transportation options.

Video of today’s floor debate can be found on the House Public Information YouTube channel.