Sunday, November 25, 2012

Driving 55

US Speed Limits via Wikimedia Commons
US Speed Limits via Wikimedia Commons

Today is the 39th anniversary of the presidential order reducing highway traffic speed to 55 mph. Pres. Richard Nixon, in response to the Energy Crisis of the 1970's, signed into law the order reducing speed limits in order to conserve gasoline.  This law was in effect until 1987 when Congress allowed states to raise speed limits to 65 mph, but was entirely repealed in 1995 when speed limit controls were returned to the state. Today, speed limits vary by geography where western states tend toward higher limits, with Texas having one of the highest speed limits (85 mph) on a small 41 mile stretch of road between Austin and San Antonio.

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