Feeling the Need for Speed, Texas Raises Its Limit to 80

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, May 28, 2006.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #1
    The obvious "you've got to be kidding!" aspect of this story aside, I find an interesting contrast between the way this issue was handled and the reasoning applied to the illegal immigration question. If people violate speed limits, the limits are raised, despite the obvious downside effects. But violations of immigration laws, well, that's just a crime, and hardly anyone wants to talk about changing them to reflect reality.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-speed28may28,1,2070987.story
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #2
    Not good, people will be doing 90 and we have cell phone users and grandmas who cant bounce a ball let alone drive.
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    i was under the impression that setting speed limits is not entirely up to the states. am i wrong?
     
  4. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #4
    It is now, since the national 55 speed limit was revoked. Last I heard, some western states (Montana?) have no posted limit on some highways.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #5
    O that's great. The forces unleased in an accident increase as the square of the speed. I can't believe even a car that is designed to protect the integrity of the passenger compatyment in a 55 MPH impact would be anything less than ripped asunder at 80.
     
  6. SharksFan22 macrumors regular

    SharksFan22

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    #6
    This is a major pet peeve of mine -- in the posted article, an engeering "expert" states that fuel efficiency declines 7% for every 5 mph increase in vehicle speed. How in the heck can they make a radically generalized claim such as that and be considered and "expert"? Mileage can be affected by a vehicle's transmission, final drive ratio, type of engine and a multitude of other factors. One of my cars gets around 13mpg in the city, around 18 driving 65-70 mph on the freeway, and in the low-20s when I run it around 90 mph on long trips.

    I do however love the idea of Texas taking control of their own environment and setting their own speeds instead of the federal government. And the solution to high-speed crashes isn't to lower the speed limit, it's imposing heavy penalities on things like talking on the cell phone while driving, following in somone's blind spot, drinking coffee and not paying attention to the road. Ever wonder why German cars didn't have cupholders until recently??

    And don't even get me started on the jackass in he left lane driving at or below the speed limit as the self-appointed "mileage and speed limit enforcement officer"....
     
  7. Ugg macrumors 68000

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    #7
    So what exactly is their department? It amazes me that the Texas Dept. of Transportation takes such a myopic view of their job. Certainly when they design highways, safety measures are a prime concern and speed has to be one of those.

    Also, fuel economy is directly tied to the efficiency of any road network. Sounds like Texans have either castrated their highway department or are being sold a crock of bs.

    No matter how you look at it, a lot more people are going to be dying in Texas as a result of this. But, if that's what the people of Texas want, then that's what they'll get.
     
  8. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #8
    When the 55 limit was imposed, it was directly tied to federal highway dollars. I'm not sure how the law changed when that limit was lifted.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    How do manage to keep your insurance if you're continually breaking the law? Or are the laws only for other people?
     
  10. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    The laws of physics. They're pesky little critters and just refuse to go away.
     
  11. iGav macrumors G3

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    #11
    I thought that was once the case, but that they do now?

    Anyway... I wish our speed limits were re-evaluated, I'd like to see active speed limits that take into account current weather, and traffic conditions... having a 70 limit on a 3 lane, empty motorway, in crystal clear conditions is ludicrous. It should be an even ton in such circumstances. ;)
     
  12. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    The federal restriction was revoked, is all that happened AFAIK. Federal highway dollars aren't tied to speed limits any longer.
     
  13. SharksFan22 macrumors regular

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    #13
    Ha -- good point. At the same time, I'm also in favor of heavy penalties for unsafe driving behavior, such as people recklessly weaving in and out of traffic, speeding through a residential neighborhood, etc. I usually am within 5-10mph of the speed limit on the freeway, attempting to move with the flow of traffic. My little "autobahn" jaunts are reserved for late night drives on lightly travelled roads.

    Of course, I find it silly that any person (regardless of ability to operate the vehicle) can write a check for a car that can easily double the speed limit and be on their way within an hour.
     
  14. SharksFan22 macrumors regular

    SharksFan22

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    #14
    But what about things such as the aerodynamic quality of the vehicle or the car's gearing?
     
  15. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #15
    After researching, I find that Montana imposed a statewide maximum limit of 75 in 1999.
     
  16. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

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    #16
    Montana's daytime speed limit used to be whatever was "reasonable and prudent." That all changed after a guy was given a ticket for going 85 mph in his new Camaro on a desolate road. He was convicted, but he appealed it all the way up to the Montana Supreme Court, which ruled that the law was so vague as to violate due process rights. The state legislature quickly enacted laws in 1999 to require posted speed limits of no more than 75 mph on all roads.
     
  17. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    Doesn't much matter. Friction can be reduced by making the car more aerodynamically efficient, but the effect is proportional. I don't know the precise rule, but at some point the engine reaches peak output efficiency, a point beyond which it costs more energy for each RPM increase than it did below that point. This is before you get to friction, which also becomes proportionally more expensive to overcome with speed. You might overrule these penalties of mechanical and aerodynamic friction with a super-overdrive gear, but I don't know of any car that comes with one.
     
  18. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #18
    :confused: Come again?
     
  19. sahnert macrumors 6502

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    #19
    yeah, montana has speed limits now.



    hey at least the oil companies will make more money this way:(
     
  20. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    I'm sorry that they didn't raise the speed limit to 89 mph the other day. :eek:

    Considering how people drive in Texas and how many trucks with only 1 person inside waste fuel, I'm surprised by their willingness to up the speed limit but it is a huge state.

    The ride on both I-10 and I-20 recently was mind-altering with so much nothingness in between cities. You'd think that the state would consider high speed rail, but I'm sure that it's the wrong state for that.
     
  21. SharksFan22 macrumors regular

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    #21
    Interesting info. I thought all we dealt with here on macrumors was emotions and not fact. :) Seriously though, I understand your statement about reaching an optimal point of efficiency and then becoming less efficient as speeds increase. To that, I'll pose this theory -- would it not make sense that different engines have different points of efficiency, thereby making it impossible to universally set an arbitrary speed limit with the goal of maximum efficiency for all vehicles?
     
  22. SharksFan22 macrumors regular

    SharksFan22

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    #22
    And the goverment will collect more in gas tax revenue.
     
  23. homerjward macrumors 68030

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    #23
    *note to self* don't drive out to el paso.

    my car's speedometer GOES to 90, but i seriously doubt it'll actually DO 80mph! :eek:
    i don't like 410 because it sounds like it's gonna fall apart at 65mph...
     
  24. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #24
    You're proposing that slippery cars get to drive faster, and that blocky-looking cars and trucks have to obey a lower speed limit??

    The higher the speed goes, the less reaction time there is (or conversely, the further a car travels before the driver can react), the longer (much longer) the stopping distance, the higher the destruction in the event of a crash, the higher the wind resistance, the higher the gas consumption, the shorter the life of mechanical components...
     
  25. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    Every engine is going to have its own efficiency curve, sure -- but they are not so radically different as you might expect. In fact I think you'll find that the most efficient engines are the ones that peak their output efficiency at the lowest RPMs, because they're not trying to overcome as much friction as one that peaks higher. The bottom line is, most cars will produce their best fuel economy at a speed just beyond the point where it shifts into its highest gear. They're designed this way. Show me a production car that shifts into its highest gear above 65 MPH. I doubt you'll find any.
     

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