Texas house approves bill to raise speed limit to 85 MPH

A bill introduced by Representative Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham that would raise the speed limit on some Texas highways to 85 MPH has been approved by the Texas House. The measure, which was passed on Wednesday April 6th, 2011 by voice vote, is part of a larger transportation bill. The bill would authorize TexDOT to raise the speed limit on designated lanes or entire stretches of roadway after conducting engineering and traffic studies. Texas currently has more than 520 miles of interstate highways where the speed limit is 80MPH. Some automobile insurers are opposed to the measure and say they have safety concerns. Jerry Johns, a spokesman for the Southwestern Insurance Information Service is quoted as saying that speed and alcohol kill most people on Texas’ highways, so increasing the speed limit to 75 or even 85 MPH will have a “dramatic effect on the death and injury rate” on the highways where the measure is implemented. He also said that driving 85MPH on a flat road is “simply ludicrous.”