Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed bills allowing speed limits on some Michigan highways to 75 miles per hour.

“Ensuring that all Michiganders are safe while operating vehicles on our state’s roadways is critically important, and these bills allow for appropriately increased speed limits on certain roadways after safety studies are conducted,” Snyder said.

The main bill requires the Michigan Department of Transportation and Department of State Police to raise speed limits to 75 miles per hour on 600 miles of rural, limited-access freeways if a safety and engineering study deems it safe.

The bills require safety and engineering studies before speed limits are raised.

The House initially approved the package in June, but both chambers passed the latest version in December. The Senate changed the bills from what the House had passed. Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, said the Senate-passed bills went back toward using the 85th percentile — that is, the speed that 85 percent of drivers on a stretch of road do not exceed — to help set speed limits.

Sen. Bradford Jacobsen, R-Oxford, led the package. The bills were HBs 4423-4427, and are now Public Acts 445-449 of 2016.

The bills also allow for speed limit changes in other areas, including:

Speed limits on gravel roads in counties with populations over 1 million would decrease to 45 miles per hour.
Up to 900 miles of rural state trunk line highways would see hikes to 65 miles per hour.