Texas Ups Speed Limit To 85 Miles Per Hour


Image credit CC AJSmith

One might think that in an era of dependence on foreign sources of gasoline, and the wars being fought in oil-rich countries like Iraq or Libya, that it might be in everyone's interest to use a little bit less of the stuff. Or that we should perhaps be reducing our output of greenhouse gases a bit because it is getting awfully hot and dry in Texas. Or one might even give a thought to the fact that in an era of rising health care costs, measures that reduced the carnage on the roads might be welcome.

But not in Texas, where they are considering the raising of the speed limit to 85 MPH.
According to USA Today, some people are against it:

Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety [says] Lawmakers are "willing to raise the speed limit even though we know that if people travel faster, we're going to have more deaths on highways."

Graph showing MPG VS speed MPG decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.gif

Image Credit EPA

It is also a lot more expensive. According to the EPA,

While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.

And of course, burning more gas means more CO2 and more climate change, but they don't believe in that in Texas anyways.

In fact, there are so many reasons to reduce speed limits, not raise them. We have noted that it is safer, it's easier on the infrastructure, it will spur innovation in alternative transport, and might even promote better urban design.

So what happens in Texas? They raise them to 85 MPH. Oil crisis and climate change be damned. More in the Consumerist
More on driving and speed limits:
55 MPH: It's time to bring it back.
Lowering The Speed Limit To 50 MPH Could Reduce CO2 By 30%
55 MPH Movement Is Gaining Speed

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