Raising the speed limit (or floor)- anybody have an opinion?


#1

Raising the speed limit on the interstate is now a topic of discussion in the state legislation. I don’t think it’s a great idea, because the posted speed limit is treated as a floor. Everybody goes x number over- whether that’s 4 or 8 or whatever it seems nobody is ticketed unless they are 12+ over. If they want to raise it fro 65 to 70 and enforce it, great. But if all of a sudden you have to drive 74 just to fit in- well, I’d prefer the improved gas mileage with a lower speed. Or change the signs to say Speed Floor.


#2

I’ve always been comfortable cruising at around 80. I don’t think it’s really unsafe to do so if you have a reasonably competent car and are on a controlled-access road in good conditions. Obviously there will be people that want to do 80 in a driving blizzard, but I don’t think these people much care about the posted limit anyway, any more than stricter DUI laws will stop that person that’s had 3 of them and still driving on a suspended license.

I wish the limit was raised to 80 and then that would be enforced. With the exception of those of us that just enjoy driving a little faster, I think most people speed out of frustration with limits being as low as they are.


#3

I say it is time to change the speed limits to the metric system. How about 110 kph, that’s about 68 mph and if they allow 12 over, 12 kph is really only 7 over. That work for you?

Personally I like the 130 kph on the Autobahn in Europe.


#4

Texas recently raised the speed limit on SH-130 to 85 mph. I take that road occasionally and my observation is that there is little speeding on that highway with a lot of the traffic only going 70-75 mph. Likewise with the 75 mph speed limit I-40 through NM, much of the traffic is going only 70, especially the 18-wheelers.
People aren’t suicidal and will drive what they feel is a reasonable and safe speed. You can see this in bad weather or rain, when everyone is going slower than the speed limit.
Really, when everybody is speeding, the speed limit is too low.


#5

It seems from my visits to Canada that if the speed limit is 100 a lot of people cruise at 120 km- which is back to 12 miles over. I prefer- in a 65 speed zone- to cruise at 68 or 69, which means I’m parked in the right lane. But I’m rarely in a hurry. Oddly, when I was in Texas- where they have higher limits- people were more satisfied to stay at or close to the limit. But that’s a pretty small sample size. And maybe they enforce it better.


#6

My opinion is that we’ve already beaten this topic to death in other (older) threads.


#7

Most accidents occur within 25 miles of home I remember from somewhere, typically 10 over on the interstate to keep from getting rear ended, 80mph is good in my book. Sure there will be higher fatalaies, sure going 55 would save gas, guess I am an egomaniac and would like an8 hour drive vs a 10 hour drive.

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#8

Speed limits should be very area specific, what ever they are. 80 mph may be comfortable for you when cruising but it sure isn’t a safe speed to match on ramp traffic which often doesn’t have the opportunity to safely accelerate during rush hour. Keep them the way they are in general but deserted areas like we have in northern Maine have so far, satisfactorily moved to 75 mph. But then, obove Oldtown, you can count on two hands the number of on ramps you have to deal with for the next 50 plus miles.
BTW, most accidents may occur within a few miles of home …because most people only travel that many miles from home, most of the time. IMO, higher speeds on divided highways encourage higher speeds on secondary roads.


#9

I think no matter where you set the speed limit, a sizable % of the motoring public will exceed the limit, at least slightly, just because they’re conditioned to do so, and as proof positive of “badassity.”

I have reched the point where the marginal benefits of going faster are exceeded by the costs of doing so…at least when I’m driving my fuel-thirsty truck. I generally go PSL+5, up to about 65, then don’t go any faster if I can help it.

(When I drive something more efficient/aerodynamic, I’ll do PSL+5 up to whatever.)


#10

I’d have to agree with dagosa in the sense that so many people DO NOT have any comprehension of how to enter an highway from an on-ramp.


#11

The problem with New England highways is the way the highways are built. You have an on-ramp with an off ramp less the 100 yds away. Or multiple on-ramps one right after the other. When traffic gets even slightly congested…entering I-93 can be a very fun experience.


#12

It’s not just that they are close together, this is the only place I have seen hairpin turns that dump you out onto the expressway with a 100ft merge lane, if any. Some have no merge lane at all. 128 is notorious for that. Once one person stops at the entrance, it’s a cluster. I call it merge-challenged.

There is no minimum speed limit here either. In the midwest where I grew up you had to do at least 45 with a limit of 55 (or 55 vs 65). Here, you can routinely find someone doing 45 when the rest of the traffic is going 70-80.


#13

Virginia raised the speed limit on interstate highways, increased the penalties dramatically, and started enforcing the letter of the law. My cousin got a ticket for going a little over 80 in a 70 zone and paid around $2000. Of course, if you are on I-95, you will be lucky to get anywhere close to 70 until you are south of Richmond.

Oh, and remember that there are two aspects to safety: the likelihood of an accident and the severity if one occurs.


#14

Studies have shown that if there were no speed limits, 85% of drivers drive at a safe sped for the vehicle and their skills. Most Interstates are built for comfortable 80 mph cruising, weather and traffic permitting. I agree that the limit should be raised to 75MPH or so and then enforcement would be easier, with fewer drivers exceeding the limit.

Years ago, I believe, Canada had a 60 mph limit on 4 lane expressways and nearly everyone went over the limit. Similarly the 55 mph limit set by Nixon was widely disregarded and accidents were caused by drivers getting bored. Car & Driver magazine caught a Federal employee reading a book while driving a government vehicle at 55 mph.


#15

My tolerance for the frustration of driving in urban gridlock is minimal and I go to great lengths to avoid it and wonder how so many can continue to deal with the madness for hours each day. There is a limit to the number of lanes on a roadway and the number of stacked over passes and it seems the D,C. area is pushing that limit yet the traffic runs at a crawl for hours each day. My little corner at the dead end of the road against a national park looks better every time I return home from travelling up I-95 or down I-15. I hope all who fight the mad house find some reward to make it worthwhile.

And my recent travels carried me from San Diego, through El Paso and across west Texas where the speed limit was 80 and the traffic was so sparse that there was little need for a speed limit. Taking US 79 from Austin to Shreveport against the determined wishes of the GPS cut an hour or more from the travel time despite driving through a dozen or so communities on mostly 2 lane roads. Slow moving traffic in that area pulled to the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass. It was amazing.


#16

As our population ages, actual driven speeds will decrease regardless of signage…My own observation, traffic law enforcement has fallen by the wayside…It has become a rare sight to see ANYBODY pulled over for a traffic infraction…Most of the speed cops seem to be occupied with monitoring construction sites

There are exceptions of course…When PD budgets are threatened, a “work zone” is set up, doubling fines, and then that section of road is worked hard, milking as much revenue out of it as they can…


#17

I go to great lengths to avoid it and wonder how so many can continue to deal with the madness for hours each day

I hope all who fight the mad house find some reward to make it worthwhile.

Is a paycheck considered a reward? I could sit home and eat government cheese or suffer through a commute to keep a roof over us and food on the table… :wink:


#18

On a 5300+ mile road trip this summer from Wash. DC to Edmonton Canada,
didn’t see any live speed enforcement from the time we left Wisconsin to the time we returned to that state.
None in Minnesota, N&S Dakota, Canada, Montana or Wyoming.
There were stretches I was cruising 85mph in 75-80 mph zones with no vehicles in sight, front or back.


#19

'Round these parts, 75 is a snooze.
Back east , in some windy and congested areas, 75 is too dang fast.

It all depends.


#20

I think in the near future, you are going to see a lot MORE speed limit enforcement because of the speed limit cameras. I’m not trying to start that argument up again, but in Europe, they use those cameras all along the Autobahn’s.

The speed limit on the Autobahn is 130 kph (about 80 mph) except in a few stretches in Germany so really that is fast enough for most people. There also seems to be a small tolerance as I got “flashed” on a few occasions doing about 135 to 140 but never got a ticket.

For the most part, speeding is not treated as a criminal activity in a legal sense, they mail you the ticket and you send in the small fine, No court action, its more like a fee for the privilege of speeding although lately they have begun to take the gross violators, those doing more than 100 kph over the posted in urban settings, to court and fining them the value of the car. That can be significant if you own a Ferrari, Mercedes AMG, etc. Some fines have exceeded a quarter million euros.