Texas will soon have the fastest highway in America. The Longhorn state is planning to add an 85 mph speed limit section along State Highway 130.
According to MSNBC, construction crews started placing 85 mph speed limit signs along the 41-mile stretch of highway between Austin and San Antonio. The high speed limit may seem too fast to be safe, but Chris Lippincott, an official with the State Highway 130 Concession Co., said that the section had been approved by the Texas Department of Transportation.
“We are committed to operating a safe, reliable highway for our customers… On any road, drivers hold the key to safety based on traffic, travel conditions and the capabilities of their own vehicles.”
The 85 mph speed limit may have been approved by the Texas Department of Transportation, but Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said that he was worried that the faster highway would result in more deaths.
“There’s a clear safety downside to raising safety limits… The research is absolutely clear that high speed limits lead to higher crash deaths. If safety were a priority states would not be raising speed limits. They would be finding ways to heavily enforce speed limits they have.”
In 1995, a national law limited highway travel to 55 mph. Since the repeal of the national speed limit, 34 states have changed their speed limits to 70 mph or higher. Texas and Utah are the only states to have 80 mph speed limits, and soon Texas will be the first to have an 85 mph section on one of its highways.
The SF Gate reports that drivers will be able to legally cruise at 85 mph starting this November.