From 55 to 45
Following six accidents on a stretch of U.S. Highway 71 currently under construction, local law enforcement officials requested a lower speed limit for the portion of the highway within Spencer city limits.
The Iowa Department of Transportation granted that request Tuesday.
"They had a meeting in Ames," Spencer Police Chief Mark Lawson said. "Once they had their information, everyone was in agreement.
"It falls under their transition area," Lawson continued.
Speed limit reduced in northern Spencer
"The original speed was 65 mph, so they dropped it to 55 mph. When it was brought up that we requested the city limits portion to decrease from 55 mph to 45 mph, that fell within their parameters and they made the adjustment."
The speed limit will now remain 45 mph until the turnoff for Spencer Livestock Sales, though the chief had hoped it would stretch to the local Morton Buildings headquarters.
"We'll take what we can get," Lawson said.
He added that local law enforcement is happy with the change and he hopes drivers will obey it.
"You can make all the changes in the world, but it's still up to the drivers to comply," Lawson said.
Failure to comply will come with a price. For example, a ticket for driving 5 mph over the speed limit increases from $87 to $262.50 in a construction zone.
The speed limit will be strictly enforced.
"We will be enforcing that, but we will also be working with the sheriff's office and Iowa State Patrol to enforce that," Lawson said. "Just because of the layout of the highway, it will be difficult for one department to get drivers to slow down, so we will be working hand-in-hand with them."