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6/20/2005
Texas, Iowa, Indiana Raise Maximum Speed Limit
Texas raises the maximum speed limit in the state to 80 MPH, Iowa and Indiana raise theirs to 70 MPH.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Drivers in Texas, Iowa, and Indiana will enjoy higher speed limits next month as legislation raising the top speeds on rural roads takes effect.

On Friday, Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) signed HB 2257 into law making 80 MPH the maximum allowable speed in the state. Rural portions of I-10 and I-20 will enjoy the new top speed, while other rural roads could see the limit rise to 75 MPH. Both the state House and Senate adopted the legislation without opposition last month.

On July 1, a law signed by Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (D) creating a 70 MPH speed limit goes into effect. This new limit better reflects the actual speed of cars on rural highways which averages 69.8 MPH according to sensors embedded into the pavement.

In May, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) signed SB 217 into law raising the maximum limit from 65 MPH to 70 MPH in areas with less than 50,000 population. The law also raises the limit for trucks from 60 to 65 MPH, and gives a 10 MPH boost to several roads currently posted at 55 MPH. The state will begin placing the higher-limit signs on July 5.

Article Excerpt:
Texas State House of Representatives, H.B. No. 2257
AN ACT relating to the speed limit on certain highways in rural counties.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 545.353, Transportation Code, is amended by adding Subsection (h-1) and amending Subsections (h) and (i) to read as follows:
(h) Notwithstanding Section 454.352(b), the commission may establish a speed limit of 75 miles per hour in daytime on a part of the highway system if:
(1) the commission determines that 75 miles per hour in daytime is a reasonable and safe speed for that part of the highway system; and
(2) that part of the highway is located in a county with a population density of less than 15 [10] persons per square mile.
(h-1) Notwithstanding Section 545.352(b), the commission may establish a speed limit of 80 miles per hour in daytime on a part of Interstate Highway 10 or Interstate Highway 20 in Crockett, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kerr, Kimble, Pecos, Reeves, Sutton, or Ward County if the commission determines that 80 miles per hour in daytime is a reasonable and safe speed for that part of the highway.
(i) The speed limits [limit] authorized by Subsections [Subsection] (h) and (h-1) do [does] not apply to:
(1) trucks, other than light trucks and light trucks pulling a trailer; and
(2) truck tractors, trailers, and semitrailers.

SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2005.


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