Rural stretch of I-80 in state to see 80 mph speed limit

The maximum speed limit in Nevada is now officially 80 miles an hour.

But, at least for now, only on a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 80 between Fernley and Lovelock.

Senate Bill 2 of the 2015 Legislature was sponsored by Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, to increase the state’s speed limits on Nevada’s major rural highways.

He argued cars and trucks were much safer at higher speeds than they were in the 1960s when the typical highway speed limit was 65 mph. Gustavson, a retired truck driver, said tires, suspensions and the overall construction of vehicles is dramatically improved over the years.

He said the initial roll out of the higher speed was limited to that stretch of I-80 but he hopes to extend it beyond those two towns in the future.

The implementation of the 80 mph speed limit was announced on the floor by Sen. Ben Kieckhefer who thanked Gustavson, “since we all drive 80 there anyway.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval also noted the change.

“The Department of Transportation and Nevada Highway Patrol have concurred that this is a safe stretch of highway to increase the current limit and the state will continue to study other Nevada highways to possibly implement this policy,” he said in a statement.

NDOT is in charge of designating which highways actually qualify for the 80 mph limit.

Gustavson said the actual change won’t occur until NDOT crews finish installing about 30 speed limit signs along the interstate. He said they’ll start in about a week and plan to have it finished by June 1.


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