There have been fewer crashes on Interstate 295 north of Portland since the speed limit was reduced, though officials say it's too early to say whether it's the start of a positive trend.
The number of collisions on the 24-mile stretch between Portland and Brunswick went up sharply after the state increased the speed limit to 70 mph four years ago. The Portland Press Herald reports that since the limit was lowered again to 65 mph last March, the number of crashes has dropped. In 2017, there were 237 crashes in that area, 18 percent fewer than the previous year.
Steve Landry, the state's head traffic engineer, says he hopes the numbers continue to go down but without more evidence, he can't say for sure whether the lower speed limit caused the change.