This is How Texas Determines What the Speed Limit Should Be for a Highway
Speed limits can be a bit of a sore subject for many. I, for one, follow the speed limits that are posted. That upsets a lot of drivers around me but that's not my problem. Following the speed limit is the law and you need to have the self discipline to do so. Yes, its a free country but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want. Many Texas drivers wonder how the posted speed limits are determined. Its actually a rather simple formula.
Speed limits in Texas range from 25 miles per hour in residential areas to 75 miles per hour on parts of the interstate to one stretch of highway between Austin and Seguin that is 85 miles per hour. For some reason, though, drivers think that driving 5, 10 or 15 miles over that speed limit is okay to do. News flash, its not. The myth of "a cop won't give me a ticket for driving 5 miles over the speed limit" is just that, a myth. How do I know that? I've been pulled over and ticketed for going 5 miles over the speed limit TWICE. So yes, its a myth. Just because you've never been caught doesn't make it a law.
Speeders May Influence a Speed Limit
There are those who will continue to disobey the posted speed limit because they don't have the self discipline to follow it for whatever reason. Having said that, it might actually be those speeders that determine a higher speed limit for a highway. Speed limits in Texas are set based on the 85 percent rule (KETK). Meaning, if 85 percent of drivers drive just above the speed limit on a particular stretch of roadway, its possible that the speed limit could increase.
You've seen those cables that stretch across the roadway from time to time. That's a device that is used to get that information. Engineers will then take that information and take a look at the speed that 85 percent of people are driving and then will either lower the speed limit, keep it the same or raise it. That number is rounded to the nearest zero or five.
Dangers of Increased Speed Limit
While a speed increase sounds like a lot of fun for those with a lead foot, that increase also leads to more traffic fatalities. Every speed limit increase of 10 miles per hour results in two times the fatal car crashes. Why? Because people think that the posted speed limit means you can drive 5, 10 or 15 miles per hour faster than what's posted. That's a dangerous train of thought. Add in those who are fumbling with their phones and you basically have a drunk driver doing 80 miles per hour. That's dangerous and irresponsible.
For some reason 60 miles per hour is an insult to drivers on Highway 69 between Tyler and Lindale. The reason for that speed limit is because there are multiple homes and businesses that line that highway. You can't safely driver 65, 70 or 75 miles per hour on that stretch of road. You can't. Have the self discipline to do so.
Left Lane Gatekeepers
But those speed limit drivers need to get out of the left lane on Highway 69.
No, they don't. Number one, drivers do have to turn left off that highway so the left lane IS NOT a passing lane like on the interstate. Second, there is not a separate speed limit for the left or right lane. If you want to drive 75 miles per hour on Highway 69 and get behind someone going 60 miles per hour, you are just going to have to grin and bear it because that person is following the law, not you. You are endangering everyone in your vehicle and the drivers around you by ignoring the posted speed limit.
Speed limits are not suggestions like everyone likes to joke about. They are set to keep all drivers safe. You are not a NASCAR driver, and never will be, so stop thinking that every highway is a race track and follow the law no matter if an officer is running radar or not.