Why the Nebraska Road Rules Matter
With the weather starting to improve, Nebraska lawmakers are trying to make sure the state’s road rules are as safe as possible.
“When it comes to road safety, there’s no excuse,” said state Rep. Mike McFarland, R-Hutchinson, who represents parts of the state with some of the most stringent road rules in the nation.
“There are not a lot of people who are driving on public roads, and if they are, it’s because they’re on public roadways.”
The Republican lawmaker says his constituents need to know that they can be safe.
“My constituents want to know they can walk their dog on a public road,” he said.
“They want to have the ability to get around the city in a safe manner.”
The Legislature’s new road rules aim to make it easier for people to drive on public streets, with new signage, speed limits, and speed limits that can be adjusted over time.
New road rules would allow people to use crosswalks, bike lanes, sidewalks, and traffic signal signals when possible, even when driving alone.
In addition, lawmakers are considering adding a speed limit of 65 mph to some state roads.
State Sen. John Buehler, a Democrat from Lincoln, has introduced a bill that would add a 50 mph speed limit to the state highway system, but he says the speed limit should be closer to 60 mph.
“I think the most important thing is to keep the speed of 70 to 75 miles per hour from being too fast,” he told The Associated Press.
“You can’t really get that on a freeway.”
The new laws could help make roads safer, but the goal is also to get people off the road faster, said McFarlands’ colleague, state Sen. Mike Ellis, R, a former law enforcement officer.
“We need to have some common sense,” Ellis said.
He’s concerned that too many people are driving recklessly, but that’s not something he’s concerned about.
“People are driving with the mindset that they’re going to hit somebody and get away with it,” he added.
Ellis said the speed limits could be adjusted to help people safely navigate traffic.
The lawmakers plan to push forward with the bill when it returns to the Senate floor for a final vote on Wednesday. “
The intent of the law is to make the roads safe for everyone,” Ellis added.
The lawmakers plan to push forward with the bill when it returns to the Senate floor for a final vote on Wednesday.
The changes are a first step, but Ellis and other Republican lawmakers say they want to make roads even safer.
The bills would require cars to be registered in a designated lane, and would require all vehicles to have a speed-limit warning system that includes the driver’s name, license plate number, and license plate expiration date.
If the speed was more than 50 mph at the time of the violation, the vehicle would be towed and a court-ordered payment would be made to the owner.
The bill would also allow drivers to take an alternative route to work if they’re not in a lane.
The state already has some of these rules in place, but most of the rules have been implemented by local jurisdictions and are often not enforced.
The Nebraska legislature is also considering a bill to make public college parking a requirement for students in rural areas.
The proposal would require students to register with the college within three days of graduating, and allow students to use the college’s parking lot if they want.
“Students are going to be able to use campus spaces at any time,” Ellis told The AP.
“This is going to make a difference in how we operate our communities, how we live our lives.”
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