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MnDOT raised the speed limit for nearly 1,200 miles of state highway

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation has raised the speed limit for more than a thousand miles of road across the state, the department says in a news release.

The two-lane highways were evaluated in 2014 and 2015. Of those roads, 1,190 miles were raised from 55 mph to 60, and 305 miles will remain at 55 mph.

It's part of a five-year study (which they're three years in to) to evaluate the highways and determine whether or not it makes sense to bring up the speed limit.

Julie Whitcher, an assistant state traffic safety engineer, says in the news release they want to make sure Minnesota has speed limits that maximize safety and that are realistic for drivers to follow.

The department uses crash rates, current driver speeds, highways shoulder widths and several other factors to determine whether or not they should up the speed limit.

In 2015, road fatalities were the highest they've been since 2010, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. However, the department of transportation says higher speed limits do not necessarily mean more crashes. They say crashes are usually the result of driver error or drivers not paying attention.

According to the report, Minnesota has about 7,000 miles of two-lane two-way highways. MnDOT will continue the study in 2016, evaluating 1,068 miles of roads.

You can check out the full report here.

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