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Texas Ready to Up the Speed Limit to 85

Lawmakers may give state the fastest highways in America.

by on Apr.07, 2011

How fast is too fast on America's freeways?

Texas may soon have the fastest highway in America.  Okay, forget those crowded Dallas and Houston roadways, where traffic snarls often match the worst in the nation.  But out on the open prairie, motorists may soon be given the green light to let the speedo swing to 85.

The state already permits driving at up to 80 mph on about 520 miles of interstate.  But the Texas House has approved a measure that would bump the state’s top speed up another 5 mph.

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“They have high-speed roadways in Europe, and there could be some merit in having some of those highways in Texas,” said Rep. Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, who introduced the bill. “Given the right engineering, we should consider it.”

The measure is now being taken up by the Texas Senate, which is leaning towards approval, as is Gov. Rick Perry, a get-the-government-off-my-back Republican.

But there is some strong opposition, not only from law enforcement but also the insurance industry, which has long argued that speed kills.