• May 16, 2006
Somewhere, Sammy Hagar is smiling. Texas' Transportation Commision will consider raising the speed limit on Interstates 10 and 20 next week. The Texas Department of Transportation's proposal would bump the speed limit to 80 mph to better reflect the rate of speed that traffic presently travels at anyway. A survey of the West Texas roads found that 85 percent of drivers regularly travel at up to 79 mph.

Of course, the proposed change has environmentalists and road safety advocates audibly concerned, but advocates maintain that raising the legal limit will make the roadways safer by encouraging a more universal pace.

What do you think? Sound off in 'Comments.'

[Sources: Associated Press via Houston Chronicle; Motomania; Lyricsbox]



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  • 70 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      I sure hope the 65 mph night speed limit is raised.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Increasing the speed limit on these two interstates in West Texas is not going to amount to much of a change in anything except happier gas station owners. When I drive on these roads, I set the cruise control on 75-80 mph and get passed all day long by Excursions, F350s, Yukons, and 10-year-old Honda Civics sporting asphalt-scraping fart cans. Grandma will still drive 55 in the left lane, armadillos still won't look both ways before crossing the road, and it'll still take hours and hours to get where you're going.

      Raising the speed limit isn't as big a deal as people seem to be making it out to be--on the wide, straight, divided highways out in the middle of big, flat, you're-the-only-person-for-miles West Texas where the DOT is proposing this speed limit hike, the speed limit is already 75 mph. The truck speed limit of 70 mph and the night speed limit of 65 mph will likely still apply (for safety reasons) no matter what they change the daytime limit for passenger cars to.
      • 8 Years Ago
      raising the speed limit to 80 mph.sounds great to me, my car seems to get better gas milage traveling over 75 mph. I very seldom keep it under 80 anyway.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "c) For the more high-powered/exotic vehicles, only
      allow those drivers who have amassed a certain number of years' worth of driving experience and undergone
      specific education/esting to own and drive the damned
      things;

      d) Ditto the above for larger vehicles and SUVs. It
      makes no sense that a 16 year old with no driving
      experience, or a 35 year old who has driven cars no
      bigger than a Honda Accord, to be given the keys to an
      Excursion, Surburban, H3, et al, without first being
      required to prove that they can handle the larger
      vehicle [with its extra weight, restricted views,
      additional HPs] in all situations."

      I totally agree. While I love the comfort and security of a large SUV, many of the larger SUVs on the road really are in the weight and handling class of smaller commercial vehicles, and should be registered as such. These are particularly dangerous in the hands of untrained, overconfident casual drivers.

      Plus, the driving age really should be raised. We can leave it up to the states, but there should be a national mandate requiring a minimum of 17 or 18 years.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow! Texas state raised speed limits leaving wandering armadillos and feral hogs a split-second less time to avoid becoming road kill.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Being born and raised in the UK but now living in
      Dallas, TX I can - sadly - confirm that American
      drivers could not handle an en-masse move to higher
      speed limits. As other posters have rightly stated,
      American drivers are simply woeful because, frankly,
      they are taught [barely] how to operate a car as
      opposed to driving a car. The use of mirrors and
      directionals are considered purely optional. Lane
      discipline is absent as is any notion of anticipatory
      and overall consideration for fellow road-users.

      I always drive at speeds in excess of 80MPH up and
      and down the Dallas North Tollway [limit is between
      55 and 60 mph] as the road is usually dry, visibility
      is excellent, and corners/bends few and far between.
      However, my attempts to stay at a constant 80MPH+
      are often impeded by idiots stuck in the far left
      lane impervious to those behind them or who change
      lanes at a whim. These people drive me nuts and
      the thought of these numptys pottering along at 80MPH
      as if they were only car on the road scares me to
      death.

      Anyway, if Texas - and all other states - wanted to
      seriously improve road safety, should they not focus
      their efforts on:

      a) Raising the driving age to at least 17? 16 is
      simply too young to be behind the wheel of one of
      today's cars;

      b) Ensuring that all drivers undergo a thorough
      education and testing process prior to obtaining
      a license. Today's programs are little more than
      rubber-stamping exercises;

      c) For the more high-powered/exotic vehicles, only
      allow those drivers who have amassed a certain number of years' worth of driving experience and undergone
      specific education/esting to own and drive the damned
      things;

      d) Ditto the above for larger vehicles and SUVs. It
      makes no sense that a 16 year old with no driving
      experience, or a 35 year old who has driven cars no
      bigger than a Honda Accord, to be given the keys to an
      Excursion, Surburban, H3, et al, without first being
      required to prove that they can handle the larger
      vehicle [with its extra weight, restricted views,
      additional HPs] in all situations.


      Raising the speed limits is good news for those who
      know how to drive and can handle today's vehicles but
      as this does not apply to the vast majority of the
      American driving population, I regret to say that
      60MPH for the masses may not be a bad thing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      So basically, #19 offered a fairly well thought out analysis, several others supported the thought that raising the limit would "legalize" a large portion of drivers already using I-10 and I-20, and the rest of you offered nothing meaningful or productive.

      So much for the internet and blogging offering an exchange of thoughts and ideas.

      Thanks #19 for consolidating all of those reports. Traveling through west Texas from basically 100 miles west of I-35 all the way to El Paso along I-10 is fairly straight and fairly devoid of towns, cities, cross streets or other obstacles that are not visible for many miles (except armadillos but that's another story). This is precisely why most motorists already travel in excess of the posted 70mph limit.

      Of note is that in Texas I-10 is *only* 70mph. It is 75mph in New Mexico and I believe I recall it being 75mph in Louisiana as well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree. I love to drive fast and my car easily do well over 100, but put me on a long trip and I'll cruise no more than 70 in a 65, I would probably only do 75-78 even if the speed limit was eighty. Im not usually in that much of a hurry to get anywhere.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Great idea...

      Now for the other states.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I like the idea because I like to drive fast. It will keep me from having to worry about cops' speed traps while driving. I think I can hold it to 81-82 if they raise the limit.

      I think the key is the cops stopping people for driving more than a few mph over the speed limit and being consistent about it. Then people will stress out less while driving.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Modern cars and interstates may be able to handle the high speeds... but cruising at 80 still eats a lot more gas than cruising at 60. Why are people in such a resource gobbling rush all the time?
      In Atlanta, everyone drives 75-80 in the 55, and you're likely to get pulled over for going only 62 because you're becoming a hazard by impeding the flow of traffic. I just worry about all the people who think raising the speed to 80 means they can start going 95 no-problem...
      • 8 Years Ago
      America is about Liberty right?

      Not anymore, and it hasn't been for some time. A bump in the speed limit is a great idea, but what about the other Interstates? The limit should go up across the board if the road can safely handle it.

      If you polled 100% of Highway users I bet you would find that most speed, period. Anyone disagree? If this is so, then ALL speed limits should be raised within reason.

      I always find it amusing that-
      Grandma in a Pinto, with skinny tires, at night, in the rain, in traffic is ..

      = to You and Me, in a high performance car, in clear sunny conditions, in "no traffic" conditions....

      in the eyes of blind justice!

      How stupid our Traffic Laws can be.
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