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Highest Speed Limit: You Can Go 85, But It’ll Cost You

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The highest speed limit in the country has now been approved on a toll road in Texas, where drivers can push their vehicles up to 85 miles an hour. The catch? The little matter of that toll.

While a specific price hasn’t been set, the state contract with the toll operator gives them the rights to either a $100 million upfront cash payment or a large chunk of toll revenues in the future. When the speed limit was lower, the payment was only $67 million. That’s quite a jump for the state, where a Department of Transportation spokesperson said they are looking for creative ways to generate revenue.

The safety issues that come with an increased speed limit have many concerned, however. Between weather conditions and the fact that not everyone can afford to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape at all times, higher speeds could do more harm than good.

“The research is clear that when speed limits go up, fatalities go up,” said Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. He said higher speed limits get people to their destinations faster, “but the trade-off is more crashes and more highway deaths.”

For some, the privilege to open up the throttle and roar down the highway between Austin and San Antonio is worth paying for, but they’ll have to wait; while the speed limit has been approved, it hasn’t yet been officially added to the highway.

Image credit: The Washington Post

Highest Speed Limit: You Can Go 85, But It’ll Cost You
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  • r maupin

    in texas that is the speed people drive.

  • Dufg

    I hope they also strictly enforce Autobahn type laws on this highway. Because it bad drivers are what cause accidents, the idiots (truckers included) who sit in the passing lane, the confused motorist who stays in the middle lane….these are the cause of accidents not the speed.

    • Jesse

      Amen, Dufg.

    • Mike

      Well said, neighbor!

  • twinstick

    This article is a bit misleading. What goes up is the percentage of accidents that are fatalities. However, the actual number of accidents goes down with the raised speed limits. The one caveat is the condition of the vehicles that on the road. We are talking the State of Texas here…

  • Brian

    Texas drivers, Beware! Texas state troopers will sit past the unmanned EasyPass tolls (where the speed limit drops to 25 or 35mph) and issue very expensive tickets. I know because this is a “creative way to generate revenue in Florida.”

  • Jason Fancher

    Just a way for the illegals to get in the country faster and for the goverment to make more green work on a wall first not the speed limit

  • bob

    Here is Texas, it is not uncommon to have 75 MPH speed limits and I don’t see an increase in accidents either. 85 MPH on a well designed flat highway should not be an issue if the slower cars stay in the right lanes.

    • Josh

      Yeah it’s 80mph where I am in Texas for 100+ miles

  • JAMES ANGSTEAD

    utah has had the 85 mph speed limit on I-15 south of Nephi for at least a year.Texas is not the 1st.

  • http://yahoo grendel

    OMG!!! Now we’ll have to pay to slow down !!!

  • eric carr

    Increased speed MEANS LESS ACCIDENTS. The tradeoff is that more OF the accidents are FATAL.
    Autobahn.
    Look it up… American so-called researchers are paid off to say whatever the lawmakers WANT them to say.
    For example–more injuries are caused PER YEAR by SLIPPING ON MOPPED FLOORS than by GUNS. Research it yourself and see–”professional researchers” will claim otherwise.
    My entire point–HIGHER SPEEDS = LESS ACCIDENTS.

  • http://rhyous.com Jared

    Yeah, this article did not exactly make an error. 85 is the highest speed limit I know of, but Utah has had 85 MPH speed limits for over a year now. Texas is just following the example.

  • David Temple

    I take this road to work everyday and the current speed limit is 80 and very few cars compared to I35 so it is worth it.

  • Jethro Clampett

    I didnt think pick up trucks could go that fast but if they do, its gotta hurt when all the Mexicans fallout of the back after getting wind blasted.

    At least it’s better than CA with all the Prius owners that take forever to go from 0-60.

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