The Arkansas Highway Commission has authorized the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) to raise speed limits on certain highways from 55 mph to 60 mph.

The Commission stated that a recent analysis of rural four- and five-lane highways recommended that increased speed limits be allowed on a number of highways. This change will affect roughly 265 miles of rural, four and five lane, undivided highways.

“The Commission asked us earlier this year to study these rural highways to determine if modifications to the speed limits were warranted,” said AHTD Director Scott Bennett. “Based on a thorough engineering analysis, where safety is always first, we have determined that there are sections of these highways that may warrant a raise in the speed limit.”

According to the Commission, the AHTD reviewed all rural four and five lane highways currently posted at 55 mph, excluding sections of less than two miles in length. The AHTD studied a total of 87 sections in detail, which included a review of the design speeds, the 85th percentile speeds and crash rates, and locations of traffic signals and school zones.

Arkansas is the second state to announce speed limit increases recently. Texas increased the speed limits on certain highways to 80 mph in the Austin area.