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Yes, you read that sign right: About 500 miles of rural Texas interstate are getting signs like these in the coming days after the State approved a higher speed limit.
And frankly, I have NO problem with that whatsoever.
If the roads are built well enough to withstand such high speed traffic on a regular basis (1), if people consistently drive speeds that support such a move (2), and most folks tend to handle themselves competently even with higher speeds (3), I cannot see why the roads would not be able to support that type of speed.
My real problem is in-town drivers who can barely putt-putt around town at 25 to 35 miles an hour. Those are the people that make small town traffic look more and more congested. Angelenos who think they have traffic problems may want to drive Range Line Road in Joplin or Missouri Boulevard in Jefferson City. Bostonians who remember the old Central Artery will take a back seat to Angelenos---who will in turn take a back seat to Joplin and Jefferson City and Branson with regard to traffic problems.
Last Monday the State of Missouri launched a new Route 249 dual carriageway from Seventh Street to the I-44; the pavement on the old carriageway will have to be remarked and the new carriageway marked.
And now I wonder about the speed limits of some of the other highways round the nation, significant stretches of many Interstates and some US highways could easily stand even higher speed limits, or even go without speed limits altogether.
What if every freeway of 10 or more miles in length had its speed limits taken off? If people knew they could drive as fast as they wanted, maybe that could resolve A LOT of congestion issues.
The same reasoning could apply for all tollways, all divided highways of four or more lanes more than 20 miles in length, and all undivided highways of four or more lanes more than 30 miles in length.
And then we would have to maintain our vehicles properly!
Which is all that it really comes down to: Most cars can handle higher speeds IF they are properly maintained with regular service. It ia a good idea to get service intervals of some sort at every 3 000 miles (4 800-5 000km) and more comprehensive intervals annually, or every 12 000mi (20 000km) and again at every 30 000mi (48 000km) interval. This is especially important for high mileage cars like mine. I had a comprehensive maintenance regimen performed when my car hit 90 000 miles.
But with regard to high speed accidents, they may well be more disastrous, but they are fairly uncommon. Cars are getting safer and safer in their construction and more and more state road agencies are putting a higher priority on road maintenance.
I can see other major Texas highways and even those in other states one day foregoing speed limits altogether...if the roads are well maintained that such speeds would be supported.
And such routes SHOULD be signposted like something this:

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This means that such ultra-high-speed highways would advise motorists that if their car becomes disabled, or if the motorists happen to be differently abled, they would have to exercise extreme caution. Extremely high speeds CAN be handled by anyone...if they learn how to handle them first.
And drivers education must be improved: Mandatory full year drivers ed courses should start in the eighth grade with mandatory drivers training in the ninth grade; though we WOULD be turning 15-year-olds loose with full drivers licences, they would have two full years of experience including one year of driving under their belts. Intense and thorough education is the key. Then the rest is up to their parents to teach them about personal responsibility behind the wheel.
Which is what it takes to handle such high speeds.
Even if it's only 65, 70, 75, or even 80 miles an hour.


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