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Texas Raises Speed Limit To 85, Becomes The New Montana


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Welcome to Texas

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When the 55 mile per hour national speed limit was amended in 1987 and later repealed in 1995, states were once again free to establish speed limits based on safety standards, not just fuel economy. States in the overpopulated and traffic-choked Northeast set a fairly conservative limit of 65 mph on interstate highways, while less population-dense Western states gave drivers a bit more free reign.

Montana, for example, initially set their interstate speed limit at “reasonable and prudent.” This turned out to be a bad great idea, since the definition of “reasonable and prudent” varied greatly from driver to driver. Until it was changed back to 75 mph on interstate highways, Montana probably had more tourists driving Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Corvettes than any other state in the nation.

Today, Utah and portions of Texas have the highest interstate speed limits, capped at 80 mph. That will soon change, since Texas just approved a new maximum speed limit of 85 miles per hour. It’s not all good news, however, since the new speed limit doesn’t go into effect right away and will only apply to certain (desolate) portions of interstate highway in the Lone Star State.  

The first step before Texas becomes the new Montana is a review of interstate highways, to determine which ones can have speed limits raised from 70 to 75 mph. Only after this is finished will the state review highways for an increase from 80 to 85 mph, and chances are good that only stretches of Interstate 10 in West Texas will get the nod.  The review, and the resulting changes, must be posted by 2013.

[The Consumerist]
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Comments (24)
  1. Finally! ... So many open highways that are perfectly safe at these speeds. This is making me want that S600 so much more ... must work harder, and this is motivation. Thanks Texas legislature!
     
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  2. I think the "safe and reasonable" idea was a good one, but too vague. The speed limit could be repealed if drivers were taught exactly what it mean to maintain control at all times AND if police *strictly* enforced laws against reckless driving. I think highway police need to be far more active in policing reckless driving.
     
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  3. Everything is bigger in the Lone Star State, and that's the way it oughta be.
     
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  4. The reporting on this is simply wrong. The 85 mph speed limit will only apple to NEW freeways. In practical terms, this means the new Texas 130 toll road that sort of will run from Austin to San Antonio. It will not apply out in West Texas, unless they build new freeways, and that ain't gonna happen.
     
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  5. @allmaya, so you're saying that the portions of I-10 in West Texas that are posted at 80 mph now WON'T be raised to 85 mph? Even though other Texas roads are being bumped from 70 to 75? That hardly seems to make sense.
     
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  6. Stupidity has no bounds. Now watch gas mileage goes in the toilet and deaths due to accidents go high ...Just what we need in US.
     
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  7. @Manto, at the risk of sounding cliche, speed doesn't kill. Driver inattention, or differing speeds between drivers, poses far more of a risk than a steady stream of high speed traffic.

    Want to make the roads safer? Ban hand-held cell phone use and texting, then implement a mandatory driver training program similar to Germany's.
     
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  8. You're right, speed doesn't kill. But speed DOES destroy your fuel mileage.
     
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  9. Well Eric, since we in Texas produce most of this nations gasoline its only fair that we celebrate its use.Plus in Texas we really don't give a crap about what everyone else thinks.
     
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  10. My Cobalt SS Turbo is rated at 31 hwy. Of course that will be a lot lower at 85 MPH, but I should be able to drive 85 MPH guilt free, while passing Suburbans and Sequoias doing 55 and getting poorer gas mileage.
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  11. Is it fair to say that 1. you are not from Texas 2. You are a "tree hugger" that drives a Prius 3. You are a democrat and believe that you need to control the way I think and act. If you answer yes to any of those comments I understand your answer.

    Oh and by the way, Texas does produce most of the gasoline produced in the US so we get to take a little more of the pie since we elected to live in a place with hundreds of refineries.
     
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  12. FYI, I am a BLEEDING LIBERAL, A PROUD DEMOCRAT (and not a bigot hater like republicans), somewhat of a treehugger and I FULLY endorse the 85mph speed limit. As someone earlier remarked, they can get much better gas mileage at 90mph than someone driving a suburban at 55mph.

    And also as someone else pointed out simply look at GERMANY. NO SPEED LIMITS on large sections of their Autobahnen and FAR FAR FEWER traffic accidents than here in the US.

    The key is VERY STRINGENT driver training (and if you get caught texting or some other idotic thing your ass gets thrown in jail).

    I would even endorse a 100mph speed limit, provided they completely reform the DRIVER TESTING AND TRAINING PROGRAM (make it almost as hard as getting a Phd)
     
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  13. Yippee-Ti-Ay! Go Lone Star state. Michigan should do the same for Gratiot and Isabella counties.
     
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  14. This would probably require some re-training of drivers. I personally rarely go over 65 even when the limit here in Colorado says 75. I am just not in *that* much of a hurry to get where I want to go. If someone wants to pass me, then they can... Just don't tailgate me and watch out for the slower drivers in the right lane. This new limit might also need to be accompanied by minimum speeds in the right lane of traffic.
     
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  15. Ever driven from El Paso to San Antonia? The speed limit should be 95 mph. And now people will drive 95 mph. No matter what the speed limit is people will drive 10 mph over the speed limit.
    If their is a wreck. Just call the morgue.
    I can see that pick up truck with 12 or 14 people going 95 mph.
     
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  16. Ever hear of Darwin. Destroying assets results in more production to replace them. Reduction in the number of workers seeking jobs - increases employment. This is a FREE country. Culling oneself from the population can have a benefit for those still around.
     
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  17. that's one way to stop texting .
     
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  18. The only winners to this, will be the oil companies.
     
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  19. I thought it was Wyoming that had no posted speed limit?
     
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  20. This article has a mistake. The nationally mandated speed limit wasn't repealed in 1987... it was 1995. The mandated speed limit was raised in 1987 from 55 to 65.
     
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  21. Geoffrey, for the repeal of the National Maximum Speed Law act, you're correct and I've edited the article to reflect this. I was actually referring to the first change in speed limits, from 55 to 65, back in 1987, even though this applied to rural highways only. I should have used the word "amended" instead of "repealed"

    Anyway, thanks for setting the record straight!
     
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  22. YEEHAW!!!
     
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  23. what they don't tell you is that they are lowering the "night time" speed limit in Texas to 55mph
     
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  24. I hope all states rise there speed limit's.
     
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