Is 55 mph too fast on the Jackson Hole Highway?

Officials think too many large animals are being hit. Speeding may not be the primary cause-

Speed kills? By Whitney Royster. Casper Star Tribune.






  1. mikepost Avatar

    The article fails to address a major issue with road kill: nighttime versus day. Most animal/car collisions occur during hours of darkness. Several states have reduced these events significantly by posting lower speed limits for night time driving while leaving the day time limits as they are. Interestingly enough, RMEF just posted some data on average total costs (collision damage, emergency response, medical, etc) associated with such accidents: deer/car about $7k, elk/car about $17k. Then there is the loss in wildlife which can be considerable. In some areas the road kill numbers exceed the hunting quotas.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I wouldn’t drive faster than about 35 through this area at night.

  3. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    But, during the day … 55 mph does seem like a reasonable speed, though many cars go significantly faster … a daytime speed of 50 might do the trick (figuring a fair number of cars will go faster); and I agree that at night, I also wouldn’t go faster than 35 mph on any road in the Tetons.

  4. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    It is well known, in the tri-state area, if it is posted 60 you do 80, if 55 you do 75, post it at 35 and you would probably come to a happy medium! heck the interstate highways are posted at 70 and they do 90!

  5. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Speed limits are simply an inconvenience in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and that is only if the lone cop is around!

  6. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Save bears, that is a good point. More cops would need to patrol the area. That and reduced speeds at night are about the only solutions the law can do. Otherwise, as one of the people said in the article, people need to stay off their phones.

  7. IzabelaM Avatar

    Well…natural selection. Too bad that wildlife pays for it also.

  8. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    Y-Net posted a rumour today that a grizzly has been killed by a vehicle within YNP, 7 miles from west entry. Nothing so far on Billings Gazette or the Park site.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan