Texas Raises Speed Limit

Leave it to Texas to raise the speed limit in the face of ever-increasing oil prices… That’s right, the state of Texas is raising the speed limit along 500 miles of interstate to 80 mph. To be fair, the increase is limited to ten fairly desolate counties in west Texas. But still…

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is projecting an increase in highway deaths, and the Department of Energy estimates that every 5 mph translates results in the equivalent of paying an extra twenty cents per gallon of gas (though I have no idea what assumptions this statement is based on). With regard to the safety issue, Tom Smith (Texas director of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen) said:

You can repeal the speed limit law, but you can’t repeal the law of physics. People don’t survive crashes at these excessive speeds.

However, Transportation Commission Chairman Ric Williamson claims that the increased speed limit is safe on the roads in question. And with regard to the energy conservation issue, he went on to say that the state is responsible for drivers who “choose to consume their wealth.” Wow. Sounds like he’s bucking for an appointment as a White House energy advisor.

[Source: FOXNews.com]

10 Responses to “Texas Raises Speed Limit”

  1. 420: Yeah, it’s been that way since they made the change in 2006, when this article was published. Welcome to the party. Oh, and that “inherent northeastern, liberal bias”? Kind of a strange thing to accuse me of given that I live in the South. In case you haven’t noticed, people in 49 states love to make fun of Texas, not just those in the northeast.

  2. Anonymous

    This is OOOOOOOOOOLD news. It’s been that way for years.
    Also, your snarky “Leave it to the State of Texas to…” jibe just reveals your inherent northeastern, liberal bias.

  3. Anonymous

    The minimum speed in texas is, if you are impleading the flow of traffic. you are going to slow. So, the person going 55 mph should speed up to at least 65mph, In the 80mph speed limit.

  4. Anonymous

    This is wonderful news! Think of all the money we will be saving! First of all, although mpg decreases as mph increases, the value of people’s time usually offsets that. Secondly, people are driving at 80 mph (and greater) anyway. The roads will be much safer because differences in speeds is far more dangerious than speed itself (think about one car going 55mph and all the other cars going 80mph trying to swerve around the slow car).

    If you guys want to learn the truth about speed limits, check out the National Motorists Association. It’s a non-profit group. The website is motorists.org.

  5. Anonymous

    The speed-limit:death ratio is bogus. After Federal speed limits were raised in the early 1990s, highway deaths fell.

    Raising speed limits reduces traffic. It gets people where they are going, and off the road. We should raise the speed limits in other states as well.

  6. Anonymous

    If you’ve ever driven in those parts of West Texas, you know that it really doesn’t matter what you set the speed limit to, it will still be too slow. Also, many other western states (Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico come to mind) already have speed limits of 75 or 80 in sparsely populated areas, so this is nothing new. Those roads are lightly travelled enough that there shouldn’t be any real effect on the price of gas.

  7. Anonymous

    Reporter: Commissioner, the poor cannot afford gasoline to drive to the store to purchase bread. What are they to do?

    Commissioner Antoinette: Let them eat cake.

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