Just a friendly reminder: speed limits on the highway will be changing again on Monday.

At some point on March 27th, signs will be replaced (again) on the stretch of I-295 from Falmouth to Topsham, indicating that the speed limit has been changed back to the original posting of 65MPH.

Less than three years after the legislature authorized the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) to raise the speed limits to 70MPH in some places both on I-95 and I-295, speeds will come back down on a stretch of the coastal highway, partly because of a measurable increase in traffic incidents and crashes on that portion of the highway.

In an infographic on the Portland Press Herald's website, you can clearly see the uptick in crashes over just the last two years.

Officials at the Maine DOT also said that they had the option of waiting to change the speed limits back to 65 MPH, but a full, formal study would have taken two more years. Their data shows that on average, people now drive between 78-81 MPH on the highway, about 10 MPH faster than before the speed limit was increased.

“Bottom line, sitting back another year or two to get study results didn’t feel right,” Joyce Taylor, Maine DOT's chief engineer, told the Press Herald. “Doing nothing isn’t a real solution.”

And enjoy that extra 5 miles per hour this weekend... while you can.

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