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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

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