The Texas Department of Transportation said last week that they are testing 85 mph speed limit on a toll road under construction that will go between Austin and San Antonio. If it gets approved, the Texas 85 mph speed limit will be the fastest maximum speed limit in the United States and the Western Hemisphere. It’ll be the second highest in the world after the 140 km/h (86 mph) limit on some roads in Poland. And let’s not forget that no limit is higher that any limit—i.e. the German autobahns.
Texas and Utah currently have the highest speed limits in the United States—80 mph. But the Texas Legislature passed a law last year that allowed speed limits of up to 85 mph on newly constructed highways found to be safe for such speeds.
Darren McDaniel, the Texas Department of Transportation’s speed management director said that the safest roads are ones where all motorists are traveling the same speed. He said that most drivers travel at about 85 mph on this highway already. “The more people we can get to travel a uniform speed, the safer are the conditions that will exist.”
I think that Texas is making the right decision. If people are driving and riding 85 already, it could only get safer. I’m thinking the stretch of Interstate 15 (I-15) between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, mostly straight line through the desert—most people drive 85-100 mph and everyone driving with the maximum speed limit (mostly 65 mph) is a big nuisance.