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WSDOT says roads can't support 90 mph freeway passes


A candidate for governor in Nevada is proposing a plan to sell 90 mph freeway passes to bring a new string of revenue to the state, but the Washington Department of Transportation says our roadways wouldn't support a similar plan.

Nevada gubernatorial candidate Gino DiSimone came on KIRO Radio's Dori Monson show on Tuesday to explain his "free limit" plan which proposes selling one day passes that allow drivers to go up to 90 mph.

"It's nothing more than allowing people to pay for the privilege to drive faster than the speed limit, up to 90 mph on open highways," says DiSimone.

When Monson sent an email to the Washington State Department of Transportation suggesting Washington State adopt a similar plan, Steve Pierce with the WSDOT responded saying Washington roadways were built using 80 mph, or 70 mph, as the design speed.

"Our freeways can't accommodate the 90 mph operating speed proposed by the gubernatorial candidate in Nevada. In addition, the wide variety of traffic speed in the traffic flow and drivers' abilities to make a decision at a high speed potentially would result in more speed-related accidents."

DiSimone's "free limit plan" is part of his three step recovery plan to raise money for the state of Nevada.

To his critics that say the plan poses a danger to drivers on the road, DiSimone says accident rates have little to do with speed limits.

"If you go and you research the data, the data speaks loudly. There's not a significant safety hazard between the no speed limit era of the 60s and 70s and the speed limit eras thereafter."

DiSimone says the free pass would come with some restrictions. "This is not a free for all, let's keep our feet planted firmly on earth here. You have to be a licensed driver for at least two years. So no new driver 16 or 17-year-old person is going to be able to participate in this program. And there will be restrictions during rush hour."

DiSimone says his background is not in politics, and his business experience has taught him how to drive revenue.

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