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Speed limits rising on more than 5,000 miles of Minnesota highways

Data suggests the drivers go about the same speeds anyway.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is in the process of replacing 55 mph speed limit signs with 60 mph signs on approximately 5,240 miles of state highways. 

By the time all of the signs are in place this spring, 81 percent of Minnesota's two-lane, two-way highways will have 60 mph speed limits. 

MnDOT officials from districts across the state have been studying drivers on these highways since 2014, and they found that 85 percent of travelers on highways with 55 mph limits drove 65 mph or lower, with an average speed of 59 mph. 

The same data was collected on highways with 60 mph speed limits, and 85 percent of travelers on those stretches of road drove 65 mph or lower with an average speed of 60 mph. 

All in all, drivers tended to go the same speeds regardless of the limit being 55 mph or 60 mph. With that, MnDOT has deemed it safe to raise the speeds to 60. 

"This is a desirable outcome, but this change is very slight and may not impact the frequency or severity of crashes," MnDOT's report says. 

The new speed limit signs are being installed this winter and spring. 

Click here and scroll to page 24 to see the full list (a very long list) of highways seeing the increase. 

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