What Should The Speed Limit Be?

Nevada Department of Transportation crews replace a 75 mph speed limit sign with an 80 mph along U.S. Interstate 80 near Fernley, Nev., about 40 miles east of Reno.
Nevada Department of Transportation crews replace a 75 mph speed limit sign with an 80 mph along U.S. Interstate 80 near Fernley, Nev., about 40 miles east of Reno.
Photo: Scott Sonner/AP Images (AP)

Here’s one that nobody will get mad about! The speed limit: What should it be? On the one hand, modern freeways and modern cars mean it’s technically possible to travel much faster than current speed limits allow. On the other hand, people prove over and over and over again that they should not be driving at all, let alone at high speeds. Then there’s the extra fuel that going faster requires.

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Last night this came up among the staff. Brad and Erin come down on the lower speed limit side of things. I agree with the energy use thing, we certainly aren’t in a situation where we should be encouraging more people to burn more gas. I also agree that probably most people aren’t equipped with the skills and experience to go fast, regardless of what they’re driving.

I guess I’d say that speed limits are fine where they are from a safety standpoint. I do have a problem with their being just another source of revenue, and I’m aware that enforcement of speed limits comes with its own set of problems. My policy is that if the circumstances are such that it can be done safely open road, good car, good visibility, etc. breaking the speed limit is fine, too. Slow car fast, track time, yada yada all that’s true. But it’s fun to rip down a back road. Always will be.

Of course, in an ideal world, there’d be enough 300 mph trains that the probably 90 percent of drivers who hate driving would never have to see another highway. When that’s the case, we should really talk about an American autobahn.

But this isn’t about us, it’s about you. So where do you come down? National 55 mph speed limit? Let the states make their own judgements? Should FIA Super License holders be able to go 200+ in a perfectly maintained McLaren on brand new tires? What should the speed limit/limits be?

DISCUSSION

By
Kommandante

Speed limits are fine in most cases. Whats sorely lacking is enforcement and education about passing lanes. Until that’s fixed it doesn’t matter how much you raise the limits, I’ll still be stuck flashing my high beams at some idiot doing 50 in the passing lane on I-95 who moved to that lane position immediately after merging from an on-ramp 10 miles ago