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The Geyser

New interstate speed limit through Bozeman catches drivers off-guard

Drivers going through Bozeman are now plagued by a new sign that reads “Speed Limit 65”. The new sign was posted out of the blue, surprising everybody with a new restriction that is 10 mph under the previous one of 75 mph.
After talking to various students, it was clear that the general response to this new speed limit is negative. “People were still going 85,” said Ava Petry who drove over to Bozeman recently after the sign was posted, “that’s how people do it anyways,” she finished. “People are gonna be stupid and reckless no matter what the speed limit is,” stated Kae Devries, concurring with other students that were talked to. It becomes unsafe to have a speed limit so low when there are others on the road that may not follow the speed limit, bringing up the chances of some kind of accident happening in the area.
Drew Fuller, a math teacher here at Park High, commutes back and forth from Bozeman almost every day. “I understand why they are doing that, but as a local who has been there for over three years, I don’t see the necessity of it,” Fuller shared when asked about the change. Kate Lende, the Park High school librarian, mentioned the fact that the speed limit also changes right back to 75 mph when heading back through the canyon between Livingston and Bozeman. But the question arises if it would be unsafe to have such a sudden change to the speed limit in that area as well.
When looking at the bigger picture though, it is understood why the speed limit was changed at all in the first place. When entering Laurel and eventually Billings from Livngston, the speed limit posted there is also 65 mph and has been for quite a while. Bozeman is growing very fast with all of the people who have escaped there from other states, so it seems that this change may have been inevitable. With so many exits branching off the interstate in that area, safety becomes a concern with a speed limit as fast as 75 mph. The issue with what was done is the fact that the signs were not marked in any way before they were posted, so many people were pulled over for going too fast.
After doing some research, it was found out that the change was made due to the population of Bozeman now exceeding 50,000 people. It is a state law that in urbanized areas, vehicles traveling on the interstate may not exceed a speed of 65. So, it is safer to have this lower speed limit, but it would have been nice of them to have posted signs of some kind of warning of the change.

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