Texas has approved a speed limit of 85 mph on a new highway.  That makes it the fastest highway in the United States.

Should Michigan do the same?  Are there any highways in Michigan where the speed limit could be raised to 85 mph?

The Texas toll road will run for 41 miles and connect Austin and San Antonio.




USA Today has more:

The top speed limit in 35 states is at least 70 mph, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Texas and Utah currently are the speed kings, with 80 mph speed limits.

Some are for the higher speed limit.

John Bowman of the National Motorists Association, which advocates for higher speed limits, says it is possible to safely raise speed limits on highways — as long as engineering studies have shown that the road can handle such an increase.

Some are against the higher speed limit.

"An 85 mph speed limit is alarming," (Governors Highway Safety Association representative Jonathan) Adkins says. "Drivers will think they can go 90 or 95 and will be unlikely to survive a crash at that speed. Speeding continues to be the one area in highway safety where we aren't making progress."

I think an 85 mph highway could work in some places in Michigan:  I-69 from Lansing to Flint, I-96 from Lowell to Lansing, I-75 in the northern lower peninsula, and just about anywhere by Detroit since most drivers are going faster than that anyway.

The faster speed limits rise, the more important it becomes to enforce safety rules.

  • Drivers who drive in the passing lane, but don't pass, should be ticketed.
  • Drivers who drive below the minimum speed should be ticketed.  They are often more of a safety hazard than speeders.
  • Those who drive over the speed limit should be ticketed too.

I think a faster speed limit could work on Michigan highways, but only if we are willing to consistently enforce safety rules.