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Old 01-27-2012, 10:15 AM   #1
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Texas Increases Speed Limit on 1500 Miles of Interstates

Texas has increased the speed limits from 70 MPH to 75 MPH on almost 1500 additional miles of Interstate highways. More information HERE.

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AUSTIN -- Miles and miles of Texas highway will soon see speed limit increases following Thursday’s Texas Transportation Commission action approving 75 mph designations for close to 1,500 miles of interstate.

The speed limit changes span 60 Texas counties making it the largest conversion since a new law was passed last year. The 82nd Texas Legislature passed and the Governor signed House Bill 1353 which allows the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to establish 75 mph speed limits on Texas highways providing speed studies show it can be done safely.

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Old 01-27-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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Ha! Drivers in Texas have been doing that for years, 75 mph. Now they'll have reason to do 94 mph, under the 10 mph for higher fines, but still a fine. They should have left it alone and just ignored the ones doing 75 on those highways.

Now they will really be zipping by me.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
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Now they will really be zipping by me.
Yep, that's the reason that I posted this. I wouldn't suggest that ANY RVers try to take advantage of the higher speed limits, but we need to be aware that those coming up behind us and coming around us in the left lane will be closing at a higher rate of speed than before, be that 75, 85 or the speed limit +9 MPH. I wouldn't suggest dawdling around in the left lane, either.

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Old 01-27-2012, 11:16 AM   #4
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When I was staying in Austin I heard there was a section of Texas highway already at 80 MPH.

Everything is big in Texas.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
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When I was staying in Austin I heard there was a section of Texas highway already at 80 MPH.

Everything is big in Texas.
Yep, I-10 west of Kerrville and I-20 west of Odessa was already 80 MPH - soon to be increased to 85 MPH in all likelihood.

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Old 01-27-2012, 11:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne M View Post
Ha! Drivers in Texas have been doing that for years, 75 mph. Now they'll have reason to do 94 mph, under the 10 mph for higher fines, but still a fine. They should have left it alone and just ignored the ones doing 75 on those highways.

Now they will really be zipping by me.
It is not just in Texas.. It seems Americans feel (well many Americans) it's their "God given Right" to speed.

This is so common that there was even a science fiction story (Very short) based on that theory. I will make it even shorter.

It appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction magazine years ago on their "Probility Zero" feature of the month.

The story is set in a car, Two researchers working on a Faster than Light drive are commuting to/from work in the story.. They are law abiding (not speeding) and notice others zipping past.. Over the course of the story the speed limit is raised and raised and still they get passed by violators zipping by.. Oh, and their research is not going well either.

Suddenly one of them gets a bright idea (Insert picture of light bulb) and visits with his congressman.. Soon the speed limit is raised once again, to about 300 million meters per second (Easier to type it in metric, but of course it's in English (miles) not meters).

Within a week, someone is breaking the speed limit

300 Million meters per second is, of course, the speed of light, slightly rounded, so they had their FTL drive.

Though the feature was titled "Probility Zero" Why do I believe that if FTL is ever developed... That is exactly how it will happen. Some good old boy breaking the speed limit.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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Don't Forget State Highways, Too

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Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
Texas has increased the speed limits from 70 MPH to 75 MPH on almost 1500 additional miles of Interstate highways...
It's not news to anyone owning a TV for the last dozen years that us Texans lack in intelligence what we possess in bravado.

While air ambulance companies and morticians are doing cartwheels at this grim news, I'm worried: DW traverses an incredibly dangerous stretch of state highway enroute to work each day. Anywhere else, these two lanes would have a 50 mph limit; but, here in the Dim Star State, we jacked the limit up to 70 mph. Even at that speed, a line of battered machines will quickly pile up on your bumper. The resulting carnage is breathtaking. The moment it spits rain, I can walk out the door and stand by the helipad: within 20 minutes, the chopper is inbound to meet an arriving ambulance, every time. Someone's child, or husband, or mother, or wife is rushed to the waiting Medevac helo, clinging to life. It never fails to happen, ever.

Now, Austin -- is it something in the water? -- has declared that stretch of road can be speeded up to 75.

At the root of this, something you've already mentioned: the same folks who insisted on waiving the open container law for pickup drivers feel that their liberty is threatened if anyone tries to set limits to what they do behind the wheel. Imagine what commercial aviation would be like, if us airline pilots thought that way. You'd be clawing through your armrest while your captain buzzed his homestead, or treated you to moments of weightlessness 'cause he enjoyed the sensation. My own favorite would be having the copilot turn on the landing lights just a second or two prior to touchdown, doing a carrier landing and then max braking to make the first available turnoff.

But, we have a duty to you our customers, and use of the public infrastructure is a privilege not an entitlement. Thanks to the thrill of flying jets at close to the speed of sound, our manhood is not threatened by that huge stack of regs governing everything we do. And, when you drop the grandkids off at the airport, you have a reasonable expectation that they will travel in safety and comfort.

Eventually, we in Texas will achieve that level of emotional security and civility towards others.

But, until then, watch out: our highways will continue to be war zones with speed limits like you might see in Germany or Italy, used by drivers like you'd see in the Philippines.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:44 PM   #8
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This is why Texas has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. Allstate says it is because Texas does not enforce it's traffic laws. A few years ago some insurance companies were going to stop writing auto insurance in Texas because the rates are controled by the state and they were loseing money. The state insurance commission told them if you do not write auto insurance then they will not write anything. The insurance companies backed down.
But for all of Texas warts and problems I would not live anywhere else and I have lived in a lot of states and countries and liked the all.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RVNeophytes2 View Post
Imagine what commercial aviation would be like, if us airline pilots thought that way. You'd be clawing through your armrest while your captain buzzed his homestead, or treated you to moments of weightlessness 'cause he enjoyed the sensation. My own favorite would be having the copilot turn on the landing lights just a second or two prior to touchdown, doing a carrier landing and then max braking to make the first available turnoff.

But, we have a duty to you our customers, and use of the public infrastructure is a privilege not an entitlement. Thanks to the thrill of flying jets at close to the speed of sound, our manhood is not threatened by that huge stack of regs governing everything we do. And, when you drop the grandkids off at the airport, you have a reasonable expectation that they will travel in safety and comfort.
I think this guy was flying the aircraft I was on last week returning home from visiting my wife. We did make the first turnoff!!!
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:23 PM   #10
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Last year the state of Utah raised the limit on I-15 through the entire state to 80 MPH.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:35 PM   #11
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Hey guys, its OK for folks in cars to go 85 mph in the wide open spaces. At one time I traveled the Gulf Coast by car and those higher speeds gave me a lot more time at home with my family.

On interstates in our rig today we travel at 65 miles per hour and 55 on two lane roads. This puts our diesel in the purrfect power rpm.

I don't begrudge those fast movers trying to burn up the road.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:15 PM   #12
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It is a commonly held belief that if you are traveling less than 10mph over the speed limit, you are pretty safe with regards to encountering law enforcement. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe this this mis-information was sewn by local governments in order to be able to pick any car on the road and pull them over. Fact is, if you're going 1mph over the posted limit, they can pull you over and go on a fishing expedition for other infractions (DUI, drugs, etc). Having everyone believe they can safely go 9mph over plays into their hands, and so they enforce this way.

Study after study has proven that lower speed limits actually increase traffic fatalities. NJ did one after the national 55mph limit was lifted. They expected fatalities to rise when they increased the speed limit from 55 to 65. The opposite happened, fatalities decreased.

There is no question that the faster you are going when you are involved in a collision, the more destructive that collision will be. But no one has shown any correlation between speed and likelyhood of collision. In other words, just because you're going faster than the posted limit does not make you more likely to be in a crash, contrary to what the 'speed kills' propaganda campaign would have you believe. But, if you're going faster than everyone else, then you're A) increasing your risk of crash, and B) increasing the likelyhood that the crash will kill you.

Now, really there are two major threats on the highway: 1. an economic threat associated with traffic tickets and fines, lawyer fees, insurance premium increases, and 2. a physical threat of being involved in a collision and being injured or killed.

The SAFEST speed to drive, from a PHYSICAL threat perspective, is the speed that everyone else around you is driving, regardless of posted limits. It's a numbers game; the fewer encounters you have (being passed, or passing) the fewer opportunities you have to be involved in a crash. NASCAR proves every week, you can go 200mph, door handle to door handle, inches apart, and have no problems. Its only when someone goes faster or slower than everyone else that the problems occur.

However, going the same speed as everyone else is the most dangerous speed to drive from an ECONOMIC threat perspective. Personally, I'll take the threat of tickets and fines over the threat of death any time.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:39 PM   #13
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Speed kills is a true statement due to the fact that at higher speeds the destruction is greater. The probability of death at the higher speed is greater than that of lower speed.

Speed and the likelihood of collision is not the factor, only the greater speed resulting in more deaths.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Speed kills is a true statement due to the fact that at higher speeds the destruction is greater. The probability of death at the higher speed is greater than that of lower speed.

Speed and the likelihood of collision is not the factor, only the greater speed resulting in more deaths.
While common sense would lead you to that conclusion, many studies would seem to contradict it. Historically, higher speed limits (more people driving faster) cause FEWER fatalities overall.

In 1995, Congress finally repealed the 55mph national limit, reverting all control of speed limits to the states. In 1996, there were 66,000 fewer road injuries per million vehicle miles traveled than in 1995. The injury rate fell to its lowest ever recorded in 1997.

Lots of reading on the topic here:
Speed Limit Studies | National Motorists Association

That said, laws of physics trump laws of man, no doubt. If you are involved in a crash, the faster you are going, the more horrific the crash will be. No way around it.

My point is, if you're traveling ALONE (no other cars) on a straight flat highway in good weather, you are not more likely to be involved in a crash going 65mph than you would be at 55mph. Therefore, increased speed alone does not increase your likelyhood of being in a crash. Other factors (curves, hills, weather, other cars) do.

My conclusion is, driving 55mph on a highway where people are wizzing past you at 70 is more dangerous than driving 70 along with those other people, even if the posted limit is 55. And so, speed doesn't kill, necessarily.
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