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Northwest News Network

Washington State To Drivers: You Can't Drive 75 On I-90

File photo. The speed limit on I-90 between the Spokane County line and the Columbia River Gorge will stay at 70 mph.
File photo. The speed limit on I-90 between the Spokane County line and the Columbia River Gorge will stay at 70 mph.

Drivers on Interstate 90 through eastern Washington won’t be able to legally go 75 miles per hour. That was the announcement Wednesday from the Washington Department of Transportation, the State Patrol and the state’s Traffic Safety Commission.

Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane just wants to get to Olympia a tad faster. That’s why he tweeted he’s “disappointed” at the decision to keep the speed limit on a 100-mile stretch of I-90 between the Spokane County line and the Columbia River Gorge at 70 mph.

He’s not the only one. The public liked the idea of boosting the speed limit in that area to 75. But Al Gilson with WSDOT said an analysis showed even a five mph increase could lead to more serious injury and fatal crashes. The analysis showed the faster speed limit would save drivers five minutes on that stretch of I-90 but could cost an additional life each year in a fatal accident.

“We want to reduce collisions in this state rather than do anything to increase them,” Gilson said.

In fact, Washington has a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injury collisions by 2030.

Undeterred, Senator Baumgartner tweeted he’ll pump Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55” and reintroduce legislation next year to boost the speed limit. In the meantime, he said he was in Seattle -- going 20 miles per hour, listening to Jimi Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic.”

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network