Autobahn 2.0? Texas Legislators Ponder Increased Speed Limits


Texans boast that everything is bigger in their state and they are close to earning bragging rights for the fastest speed limit in the nation.  The state House recently passed a bill that would raise speed limits on some highways to 85 mph.

The bill, which must still pass the Texas Senate, would allow the state’s Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit on highways that are built on or after June 1, 2011 and pass engineering and safety studies.  Texas currently has a limit of 80 mph on some highways, as does Utah, while a handful of U.S. states have limits of 70 to 75 mph.

"They have high-speed roadways in Europe,” said Rep. Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham.  “There could be some merit in having some of those highways in Texas."

The autobahn in Germany is probably the most widely known European highway where driving enthusiasts enjoy the limitless “as-the-conditions-permit” speed limits.  But while Texas is looking to raise speeds, the opposite is taking place the German state of Baden-Wüerttemberg where the country’s Green party is making a new push to impose a 75 mph limit on some autobahn stretches.

It looks like this is shaping up to be the next biggest speed limit controversy since 1995 to 1999 when Montana allowed a limitless speed limit during the daytime and only asked drivers to exercise “reasonable and prudent” judgment.  With the upcoming F1 track in Austin, Texas, it seems as if the state is taking bold steps in the fast direction.

Do you guys think Texas could be the next autobahn 2.0?  And can Texans handle the speed?

Source: Automotive News, Houston Chronicle

I live in an urban setting and 70 mph in a 55 is the norm, when conditions permit. When I go outside the city, the interstate can be quite open. I don't see the harm in going 80-90 mph. Above 90, you get into real safety issues with poor quality vehicles. I have a great vehicle but I would not feel save above 90-95 mph on the Interstate. With that said, for me, it would be a safe speed in the daytime, in light traffic. Basically our interstate is a cop revenue source where few or zero deaths occur as a result of speed. It's not correct to say 90 mph is dangerous. It all depends on your vehicle, your skills and the conditions. For me it is absolutely fine. But would I want the idiot in a 1988 Chevy S10 going 90 near me, probably not.
I and many others drive 80 mph now on I-70 in the state i live in , yes most are breaking the speed limit which is just a way to make money for the state, legal speed traps..I never had a accident in all my 23 years of driving or caused any..80 or 85 mph are safe speeds when driven in a calm manor without weaving in and out of lanes or racing anther person. most roads I would think can handle 85 mph and all the sates should allow it. of cause gas millage will suck big time if we all do 85 mpg and speed traps will not work as most people would be happy with 80 or 85 mph and not brake it.. I guess it is a question of money rather then safety for most states
Ed Pedre
Absolutely! I agree with Bob that "German-style" lane discipline should be reinforced. I lived in Texas and let me tell you if there is a state that can enforce the law it is Texas. It is like having a thousand Giuliani patrolling the streets. I ain't no fan of Giuliani, but I must admit he brought order to NY.
I think it is high time that the interstate highway system be utilized properly and permit high speed motoring. They were originally designed for speeds above 70 mph, and that was back in the 1950s when contemporary suspensions and brakes were crap. Modern cars, say built in the last 20 years or so, can easily handle driving at 80mph or more out on the open road. Considering the vast stretches of rural highway that are prevalent in Texas and most western states, raising the daytime speed limits to 80 seems very reasonable. Maybe, just maybe there will finally be an American autobahn, and Texas seems to be more interested in upholding our God-given rights, which now properly includes freedom of movement--fast. I hope that Texas also adopts German-style lane discipline. I'll bet the safety nannies never thought of that.

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