Texas Raises Speed Limit To 85 MPH For Paying Customers

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
texas raises speed limit to 85 mph for paying customers

Texas hopes that speed is addictive and will drive paying speed junkies to a new toll road that will open before the end of the year. Currently, if you want to drive 80 mph, and stay legal, you need to go to Texas or Utah, and there to pretty desolate parts. You may be able to go five miles faster on newly built Texas State Highway 130 between San Antonio and north of Austin. If approved by the Texas DOT, Hwy 130 would be the first road in the country to have a posted 85 mile per hour speed limit, News Radio WAOI says.

It will be a toll road, and drivers need some incentive to part with their money. Says the newsradio:

“The 85 mile an hour speed limit would be the fastest in the Western Hemisphere and the second highest in the world, according to Rhino Car Hire, a European car rental company. It says a speed of 140 kilometers per hour, or about 86 mph, is posted on some roads in Poland.”

Ooops. And of course, there still are some stretches of the German Autobahn where you can go as fast as you can afford.

(Q-tip to Dipl. Ing Speedy.)

Join the conversation
7 of 92 comments
  • Geekcarlover Geekcarlover on Jun 07, 2012

    I'm surprised it took this long. I remember driving through Texas back in the 55mph days. Going through Houston at 80 and being passed, by a freaking VW.

  • Xantia10000 Xantia10000 on Jun 08, 2012

    Hi everyone, Last year I moved from the US to Germany, and I regularly use the Autobahn. Where I live, the speed limit is variable (via overhead LED signage) -- in bad weather or high traffic density, the limit typically varies between 100 and 140 km/h (approx. 60 - 85 mph). In good conditions, there is no limit. What I have observed driving here for the past 10 months: 1. On most roads, trucks are forbidden from the left-most lane. They usually stick to the right lane in what looks like one big moving wall o' truck. 2. German drivers follow the speed limit. If the overhead LED sign brightly indicates '100,' drivers will drive 100. 3. Even when the speed limit is not limited, I'd say about 85 - 90 % of drivers go about 130 - 140 km/h (about 75 - 85 mph). I'd guess this has to do with the high cost of fuel here. 4. But... you really have to watch out for fast drivers in the left-most lane. You can be going 140 in the middle lane, and then off in the horizon a 2 ton mass of German engineering (typically Audis and BMWs, rarely Benzes) rapidly appears in your rear view mirror, probably going upwards of 200 km/h (130 mph and above). You best be careful if you're gonna move into the left lane! 5. You rarely see cops patrolling the road. Just speed cameras (called Blitzers). These are another reason that people drive the posted limit. 6. Road rage and left-lane drivers rarely exist here. Even though Germans love driving and are often fast and aggressive, people are still courteous. That means they move over if you are behind them, and even let people cut in front of them. It's more of a group mentality than the individual mentality in the States. People here usually don't get pissed off if you are driving faster than they are (cuz there is always someone driving faster than you). They just move over and let the fast driver carry on. 7. Licensure is much stricter and more expensive in Germany than in the US. If you want a license here, you have to actually know the rules of the road, take a strict driving test, and pay thousands of Euros for the privilege to drive. It's not a "right to drive," as it sometimes seems in the US. 8. Cars must be strictly maintained here. Every year you must pass inspection, meaning tires, suspension, brakes, steering, etc, is habitually checked and should be in good working order. In the US, this rule varies state-by-state.

    • See 2 previous
    • Botswana Botswana on Jun 08, 2012

      Texas has state inspections. I used to curse that until I had a consulting gig in Oklahoma and saw all the rust buckets that were still allowed to drive. There is something to be said for requiring a yearly inspection. That said, I think Texas probably has fewer clunkers on the road than your average state.

  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Jun 08, 2012

    Add to that the absence of sloppy handling and braking SUV's. pickups and white Ford E series work vans to make the roads safer for all.

  • Markinaustin Markinaustin on Jun 08, 2012

    Appropriately, this is the main highway serving the new Formula 1 circuit.