Get there faster
Higher speed limits coming to a highway near you... maybe
As if we needed another excuse to speed up, the State of Texas has officially endorsed the idea that going faster is better.
Texas new speed limit law kicks in tomorrow, September 1st, and allows the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to evaluate state highways and set speed limits up to 85 mph. It also kills the silly law that lowered the speed limit at night from 70 mph to 65 mph (as if slowing down to 65 on the freeway somehow made it safer.)
Technically, the law allows speed limits to rise up to 85 mph. In reality, according to TxDOT, it's unlikely we'll see anything faster than 75 on most state highways. Sill, 75 beats 65 as you're making your way to Houston or Dallas.
If you're traveling on I-10 or I-20 in west Texas, like on the way to Marathon or Marfa or Big Bend, you can already go 80 mph, and it's likely you'll soon be able to legally do 85 mph on those limited stretches of lonely road (my personal record of 100 mph will unfortunately still be illegal, and it's really not safe, according to the trooper who pulled me over and wrote me that huge ticket).
The process of evaluating the 50,000 miles of state highway asphalt and changing out the thousands of speed limit signs will begin tomorrow. Speed limits will be set based on what TxDOT calls the "85th percentile method"—basically, we all set our own speed limits. According to a TxDOT press release, "The 85th percentile method represents the speed the majority of drivers are traveling at or below." So in theory, driving faster increases the chances of driving faster... legally (CultureMap does not endorse driving over the posted speed limits—seriously, we mean it).
Excited lead-footed drivers beware: if the signs say "Night 65 mph," the speed limit stays 65 mph. The new limit is not effective until the sign is changed, so obey the sign, and remember to "Drive Friendly."