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