About 1,500 miles of Texas highways will be getting 75 MPH speed limits under an increase approved by the Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday.
The change came about after a series of studies convinced the commission that the speed limit could be lifted from 70 MPH to 75 MPH on the stretches without causing major new safety concerns, according to the Ft. Worth Star-Telgram. Many of the roads are long, desolate lengths connecting more densely-trafficked areas across deserts and other areas.
Many people are very excited about the new changes, including The Mad Hatta, a commentator for Houston's local 97.9 The Box radio station, who wrote the following: Hopefully, they will raise the speed limit throughout the state totally. I'm just saying.
Meanwhile, some communities are lowering speed limits in response to complaints about unsafe drivers, including the Sandwell Police Department in West Midlands, England.
The department Tweeted the following on Friday: A 20 mph speed limit is being trialled on Yew Tree. Members of the public have been thanking Community Speedwatch this morning.
All other states in the union have one single maximum-speed-limit law for the entire state, but Texas's laws allow different highs in different counties. The 80 MPH counties exist only in some western Texas counties, and Utah is the only other state in the nation with 80 MPH speed limits.
Meanwhile, most other inland western and southwestern states have 75 MPH speed limits. Hawaii is the only state at the lowest end of the spectrum: Drivers there can't exceed 60 MPH.
Guess they're cut from a different cloth than the red-meat-eaters in the Lone Star State. But Texans shouldn't break out the driving gloves yet:
The new speed limit is not official until the signs go up, Carol Rawson, Texas Department of Transportation traffic operations director, told the Star-Telegram.
The changes come on the heels of a number of other highways which were given the go-ahead for the 75 MPH designation last year, and western Texas already allows drivers to go up to 80 MPH limit on 521 miles of I-10 and I-20.
The Star-Telegram said the 1,500 miles of 75 MPH speed limits will be implemented on the following highways:
- I-10: 289 miles, El Paso, Gillespie, Kerr, Kendall, Bexar, Guadalupe, Caldwell, Gonzales, Fayette, Colorado, Austin, Jefferson and Orange counties.
- I-20: 423 miles, Crane, Ector, Midland, Martin, Howard, Mitchell, Nolan, Taylor, Callahan, Eastland, Erath, Palo Pinto, Van Zandt, Smith, Gregg and Harrison counties.
- I-27: 109 miles, Lubbock, Hale, Swisher and Randall counties.
- I-30: 139 miles, Hunt, Hopkins, Franklin, Titus, Morris and Bowie counties.
- I-35: 106 miles, Webb, Medina, Atascosa, Bexar, Hill and Cooke counties.
- I-37: 130 miles, Nueces, San Patricio, Live Oak, Atascosa and Bexar counties.
- I-40: 166 miles, Deaf Smith, Oldham, Potter, Carson, Gray, Donley and Wheeler counties.
- I-44: 11 miles, Wichita County.
- I-45: 143 miles, Walker, Madison, Leon, Freestone and Navarro counties.