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(History Channel)   Frustrated that after 44 years your freeway or interstate still has a 55mph speed limit? Thanks, Mr. Nixon   ( history.com) divider line
    More: Followup, National Maximum Speed Law, 1973 oil crisis, speed limits, United States, highway speed limits, Richard Nixon, World War II, maximum speed limit  
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7386 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jan 2018 at 7:25 AM (28 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2018-01-02 07:05:09 AM  
Nixon wanted 50 and some states posted 50 in late 1973 to comply with his wish. If Congress had let him win the speed limit would have felt more like a temporary emergency measure and might have been repealed sooner.
 
2018-01-02 07:28:19 AM  
I still wonder how parts of the NJ Parkway (part of I-95) has posted speed limits of 65.

Not that speeding is enforced on the Parkway for anything less than 80 or so, but still.
 
2018-01-02 07:29:47 AM  
Where?  Most interstates I've been on have posted speed limits of 75, MAYBE 65 if you're going through a city.  In Wyoming it's 80 (but I hear the troopers will ticket even a couple mph over it.
 
2018-01-02 07:30:19 AM  
Mr. Nixon also taught us what happens when you fire a Special Prosecutor, so there's that.
 
2018-01-02 07:31:12 AM  
Debbie Downer here.

Speed kills. I'm not a proponent of 55, but I am a proponent of driving the speed limit.
If the speed limit is 65, that does not mean you should drive 75 or 80.

Speed limits are the maximum legal speed you should be driving. Speed limits aren't optional, they aren't suggestions. They are the law, like it or not.

So, please drive safely.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2018-01-02 07:31:38 AM  
James Baxter of the National Motorists Association explains how one 60 year old woman baked enough cookies to got the speed limit repealed: https://www.motorists.org/wp-content/​u​ploads/2015/06/04MayJun.pdf.
 
2018-01-02 07:32:23 AM  
Sammy Hagar - I Can't Drive 55
Youtube RvV3nn_de2k
 
2018-01-02 07:33:11 AM  

vernonFL: Debbie Downer here.

Speed kills. I'm not a proponent of 55, but I am a proponent of driving the speed limit.
If the speed limit is 65, that does not mean you should drive 75 or 80.

Speed limits are the maximum legal speed you should be driving. Speed limits aren't optional, they aren't suggestions. They are the law, like it or not.

So, please drive safely.


Don't propose. I live in Montana, where it takes a long time to get anywhere. We used to have an unlimited speed limit, and it wasn't pretty. When I'm on the interstate by myself, I'll get up to about 73 74, but around traffic I will usually pattern my speed around the traffic. In the summer spring and fall when I'm on my motorcycle, I sell them go over 62 or 64. Your post is a thoughtful post, and that is pretty damn cool.
 
2018-01-02 07:33:52 AM  
media.tmz.comView Full Size
 
2018-01-02 07:35:15 AM  

grumpfuff: I still wonder how parts of the NJ Parkway (part of I-95) has posted speed limits of 65.

Not that speeding is enforced on the Parkway for anything less than 80 or so, but still.


Most of the Parkway north of Newark is still 55.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2018-01-02 07:35:19 AM  
Ambivalence

New England (except for Maine) and nearby states never really got over the national speed limit. A lot of roads that used to have 60-70 mph speed limits are now posted 55. There was never the political will to fully undo the reduction.

In the rest of the country some states hold onto a little 55 and some states are faster than ever.
 
2018-01-02 07:38:38 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: grumpfuff: I still wonder how parts of the NJ Parkway (part of I-95) has posted speed limits of 65.

Not that speeding is enforced on the Parkway for anything less than 80 or so, but still.

Most of the Parkway north of Newark is still 55.


Most, but not all. And mat of the driving I do on the Parkway is south of 145.
 
2018-01-02 07:39:12 AM  

grumpfuff: Eddie Adams from Torrance: grumpfuff: I still wonder how parts of the NJ Parkway (part of I-95) has posted speed limits of 65.

Not that speeding is enforced on the Parkway for anything less than 80 or so, but still.

Most of the Parkway north of Newark is still 55.

Most, but not all. And mat of the driving I do on the Parkway is south of 145.


mat=most
 
2018-01-02 07:40:14 AM  
Except inside of Houston City limits the speed limits are 65, once you get far enough away from Houston the speed limits bump to 75
 
2018-01-02 07:42:05 AM  

vernonFL: Debbie Downer here.

Speed kills. I'm not a proponent of 55, but I am a proponent of driving the speed limit.
If the speed limit is 65, that does not mean you should drive 75 or 80.

Speed limits are the maximum legal speed you should be driving. Speed limits aren't optional, they aren't suggestions. They are the law, like it or not.

So, please drive safely.


I agree. The limit is 65 here which means prevailing speed is 75 and a substantial minority drives 80-85. Accidents at 55 are dangerous; fatal at 75.
 
2018-01-02 07:42:47 AM  
Advances in auto technology have made faster driving safer.  The real hazard isn't the people going fast, but the people going faster than everyone else on the road while weaving in and out of other cars with only inches of clearance.  Just go with the flow.
 
2018-01-02 07:43:54 AM  

vernonFL: Debbie Downer here.

Speed kills. I'm not a proponent of 55, but I am a proponent of driving the speed limit.
If the speed limit is 65, that does not mean you should drive 75 or 80.

Speed limits are the maximum legal speed you should be driving. Speed limits aren't optional, they aren't suggestions. They are the law, like it or not.

So, please drive safely.


Don't drink and drive.

Don't text and drive.

Keep right except to pass.
 
2018-01-02 07:44:02 AM  
The older I get the less I give a shiat about rushing anywhere. I'm a serial right lane driver now. Seriously, when I was younger it was "I'm going to drive as fast as possible without getting caught on every road." Now the podcasts are playing and I'm chilling. I'll get there when I get there.
 
2018-01-02 07:44:12 AM  

vernonFL: Debbie Downer here.

Speed kills. I'm not a proponent of 55, but I am a proponent of driving the speed limit.
If the speed limit is 65, that does not mean you should drive 75 or 80.

Speed limits are the maximum legal speed you should be driving. Speed limits aren't optional, they aren't suggestions. They are the law, like it or not.

So, please drive safely.


If there is little or no traffic 90 or 100 is no big deal.
 
2018-01-02 07:45:11 AM  

grumpfuff: I still wonder how parts of the NJ Parkway (part of I-95) has posted speed limits of 65.

Not that speeding is enforced on the Parkway for anything less than 80 or so, but still.


In NJ, the "speed limit" is a minimum. Drive below, at, or even slightly above it, and you will see an entire flock of New Jersey State Birds pass you.

Driving from NYC to Atlantic City once, a significant stretch of highway was under construction. Signs, orange cones, lane shifts, union workers - the whole shebang. This stretch also featured a reduction in speed limit from (I think) 65 to 55, ostensibly to promote worker safety.

So there I am, out of state plates, daring to go 60 in this 55 zone, and my car keeps shaking from the wind and dust of all of the cars with NJ plates blowing past me at, I don't know, had to be at least 70. Pretty sure I heard a few curses, too, but in NJ, that's just ambience.

And then the thing I dreaded most happened. No, not a statie pulling me over. Nor was it a close call with a highway worker on a smoke break. It was a lane bottleneck. Due to construction, the road was going from two lanes to one. Speed limit's still 55. Jerseybros are still passing me at mach 2.

After about 30 seconds of some douche riding my bumper, I was sorely tempted to floor it. But I know how my luck works. Soon as I do that, the car behind me turns out to be a plain brown wrapper. Like Schroedinger's Police Car. And again - out of state plates, so a prime target for cops. So I stayed at 60, soon developing a tail like a comet's, only a lot angrier.

When the other lane reappeared, it was like a tornado swirling past me.

So, yeah. Speed limits in Joisey are clearly minimums.
 
2018-01-02 07:45:20 AM  

foo monkey: Mr. Nixon also taught us what happens when you fire a Special Prosecutor, so there's that.


He also taught us the secret of the Bermuda Triangle.

Elvis needs boats.
Elvis needs boats.
Elvis Elvis Elvis
Elvis Elvis Elvis
Elvis needs boats.

/Aahh! The Sailing Elvis!
 
2018-01-02 07:45:55 AM  
It's like any other law on the books. Yes, an individual can drive faster than that and likely do so very safely. But these are Americans we are talking about; for every safe and diligent citizen on the road you will have an overweight, MAGA-hat wearing high school drop out in a Steelers jersey slurping a 128 oz Mountain Dew, smoking a cigarette, and reading Facebook on her cell phone while driving a 1993 Suburban loaded to the brim with six screaming children from four different fathers. Just think of how stupid the median person is and then realise that half of people are stupider than that.
 
2018-01-02 07:46:15 AM  

vernonFL: Debbie Downer here.

Speed kills. I'm not a proponent of 55, but I am a proponent of driving the speed limit.
If the speed limit is 65, that does not mean you should drive 75 or 80.

Speed limits are the maximum legal speed you should be driving. Speed limits aren't optional, they aren't suggestions. They are the law, like it or not.

So, please drive safely.


I'll play Debbie Downer with you.

You also get better gas mileage at slower speeds.
 
2018-01-02 07:47:10 AM  
Lots of Japanese Expressways are 80km/h, i.e. 50mph. Some stretches are 100km/h (62.5mph).
There's an "Urban Express" near me with a top speed of 60km/h (37.5mph). Speed limits are not rigidly enforced on it, but I've seen enough cars pulled over by unmarked police cars to err on the side of caution.
 
2018-01-02 07:49:24 AM  
In a world concerned about greenhouse gasses , 55 is much more eco friendly .
 
2018-01-02 07:52:56 AM  

Shaggy_C: It's like any other law on the books. Yes, an individual can drive faster than that and likely do so very safely. But these are Americans we are talking about; for every safe and diligent citizen on the road you will have an overweight, MAGA-hat wearing high school drop out in a Steelers jersey slurping a 128 oz Mountain Dew, smoking a cigarette, and reading Facebook on her cell phone while driving a 1993 Suburban loaded to the brim with six screaming children from four different fathers. Just think of how stupid the median person is and then realise that half of people are stupider than that.


Why would the left wear a MAGA hat ?
 
2018-01-02 07:54:23 AM  

vernonFL: Speed kills.


I've been in an accident (as a passenger) where the driver had that same mentality. She absolutely never drove above the speed limit, and typically drove ~5 under. The accident happened when she merged into traffic on I95 at 55MPH, when the speed of everyone else was 80+.

Even though she was driving "at the speed limit", she was still found at-fault for impeding traffic, and the other driver had no consequences because they were going with the flow of traffic.
 
OOF
2018-01-02 07:57:26 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-01-02 07:57:34 AM  
I'm pretty sure the speed limit on I-70 in Utah could be increased to 100mph if it weren't for the occasional deer. Straight, flat nothingness for hours.
 
2018-01-02 08:00:23 AM  

the ha ha guy: vernonFL: Speed kills.

I've been in an accident (as a passenger) where the driver had that same mentality. She absolutely never drove above the speed limit, and typically drove ~5 under. The accident happened when she merged into traffic on I95 at 55MPH, when the speed of everyone else was 80+.

Even though she was driving "at the speed limit", she was still found at-fault for impeding traffic, and the other driver had no consequences because they were going with the flow of traffic.


This also applies to those people who think they need drive at half the speed limit just because it's snowing.
 
2018-01-02 08:00:51 AM  
I feel (as opposed to theorize, because I don't have any studies or data) that the 55 limit led to a generation of drivers who don't obey speed limits, whatever they are.
This, plus cut through traffic, has led to speed humps and "traffic calming" in neighborhoods.

As for me, on an interstate, you'll find me at about 7 - 10 over the posted limit (as long as the weather allows), and not in the passing lanes unless I'm actually passing.
 
2018-01-02 08:02:00 AM  
Does the speed that a vehicle is going affect the wear and tear on the road itself?  Since infrastructure is such a big deal, I wonder if that's a factor.
 
2018-01-02 08:02:31 AM  
Meh.

「Nightcore」→ Pretty Girl
Youtube 4_RwRfWIkgQ


I stole a Porche when I was 12 and will obey all traffic laws.
 
2018-01-02 08:04:14 AM  

Madman drummers bummers: grumpfuff: I still wonder how parts of the NJ Parkway (part of I-95) has posted speed limits of 65.

Not that speeding is enforced on the Parkway for anything less than 80 or so, but still.

In NJ, the "speed limit" is a minimum. Drive below, at, or even slightly above it, and you will see an entire flock of New Jersey State Birds pass you.

Driving from NYC to Atlantic City once, a significant stretch of highway was under construction. Signs, orange cones, lane shifts, union workers - the whole shebang. This stretch also featured a reduction in speed limit from (I think) 65 to 55, ostensibly to promote worker safety.

So there I am, out of state plates, daring to go 60 in this 55 zone, and my car keeps shaking from the wind and dust of all of the cars with NJ plates blowing past me at, I don't know, had to be at least 70. Pretty sure I heard a few curses, too, but in NJ, that's just ambience.

And then the thing I dreaded most happened. No, not a statie pulling me over. Nor was it a close call with a highway worker on a smoke break. It was a lane bottleneck. Due to construction, the road was going from two lanes to one. Speed limit's still 55. Jerseybros are still passing me at mach 2.

After about 30 seconds of some douche riding my bumper, I was sorely tempted to floor it. But I know how my luck works. Soon as I do that, the car behind me turns out to be a plain brown wrapper. Like Schroedinger's Police Car. And again - out of state plates, so a prime target for cops. So I stayed at 60, soon developing a tail like a comet's, only a lot angrier.

When the other lane reappeared, it was like a tornado swirling past me.

So, yeah. Speed limits in Joisey are clearly minimums.


We got sh*t to do. GTFO of the way.

/kidding, mostly
 
kab
2018-01-02 08:04:29 AM  
Not really.  70 in 55 is pretty typical around here.  My rule of thumb is that if its not a residential area, limit signs are merely suggestions.
 
2018-01-02 08:05:25 AM  

loonatic112358: Except inside of Houston City limits the speed limits are 65, once you get far enough away from Houston the speed limits bump to 75


In 2001 or 2002, the speed limit was lowered around Houston to 55 in Harris County and 60 in all the counties surrounding Harris County. This was done to help reduce ozone pollution. They were not popular at all and no one followed them. It only lasted a few months before the speed limit was raised to 65.
 
2018-01-02 08:05:47 AM  

RottenEggs: Why would the left wear a MAGA hat ?


It's a mark of imbecilic pride, which is what I was going for. Besides, Republican states have highest rates of traffic fatalities, so it makes more sense than to create a straw-man about that 'type' of person than an effete liberal cruising in his Saab and causing a crash because he was distracted practising his foreign language lessons over the stereo and sipping a latte with a pinkie out.
 
2018-01-02 08:06:33 AM  

Ambivalence: Where?  Most interstates I've been on have posted speed limits of 75, MAYBE 65 if you're going through a city.  In Wyoming it's 80 (but I hear the troopers will ticket even a couple mph over it.


Atlanta "ITP" ( inside the perimeter, "perimeter" = "beltway") is 55 (drops from 70, to 65, to 55) and I-20 west of downtown is 50 (it's the oldest design interstate, has only had lanes added, not been actually rebuilt).
 
2018-01-02 08:08:00 AM  

vernonFL: Debbie Downer here.

Speed kills. I'm not a proponent of 55, but I am a proponent of driving the speed limit.
If the speed limit is 65, that does not mean you should drive 75 or 80.

Speed limits are the maximum legal speed you should be driving. Speed limits aren't optional, they aren't suggestions. They are the law, like it or not.

So, please drive safely.


Or, and this is just a wild thought, you could force your population to do real driving tests, have mandated inspection of vehicles every two years and have a different (read lower) speed limit for trucks.

Works for Germany.

Less fatalities no matter how you want to look at statistics (i.e fatalities per million miles driven, fatalities per 100k population, ect.) and we manage to do that with speed limit free zones.

/I get mad if someone is driving the speed limit in the passing lane
//20 or more or move into the slow lanes
 
2018-01-02 08:09:36 AM  

vernonFL: Debbie Downer here.

Speed kills. I'm not a proponent of 55, but I am a proponent of driving the speed limit.
If the speed limit is 65, that does not mean you should drive 75 or 80.

Speed limits are the maximum legal speed you should be driving. Speed limits aren't optional, they aren't suggestions. They are the law, like it or not.

So, please drive safely.


Speed limits are made with the assumption everyone speeds. Because everyone does. Even cops. Try going the speed limit on I95 and see if trucks don't try to make sweet sweet love to you. There is a law and social acceptable amount of speeding, which usually equate to about 10% over. That's why cops never bother pulling someone over for going 60 in a 55. It's just not worth it. Everyone is doing it, and they are better served pulling over the people doing 15-20+ over.
 
2018-01-02 08:10:30 AM  

OOF: [img.fark.net image 640x480]


*shakes tiny yellow fist*
 
2018-01-02 08:11:31 AM  
This happened right before I got my drivers license.  But, on the GOOD side, our state never changed the "law" with regard to points, unless you were clocked going OVER 70mph.  So, if you got a ticket for 56-70 mph, it just cost you money, not points on your license.  It's a bunch of BS that the federal government sets the speed limit.  What works for something like Colorado, with all the hills & mountains, doesn't work for the flatland of Kansas.  Each state should be left with setting the speed limit.  But, the way the government forces the issue, is $$$$.  Don't go along with our policy, they withhold money to the states.
 
kab
2018-01-02 08:12:00 AM  

vernonFL: Debbie Downer here.

Speed kills. I'm not a proponent of 55, but I am a proponent of driving the speed limit.
If the speed limit is 65, that does not mean you should drive 75 or 80.

Speed limits are the maximum legal speed you should be driving. Speed limits aren't optional, they aren't suggestions. They are the law, like it or not.

So, please drive safely.


Speed itself doesn't kill, inattentiveness does.
 
2018-01-02 08:13:25 AM  

Ambivalence: Where?  Most interstates I've been on have posted speed limits of 75, MAYBE 65 if you're going through a city.  In Wyoming it's 80 (but I hear the troopers will ticket even a couple mph over it.


I have driven though WY twice, once primarily during the day and once at night. Both times spent hours near 100 and never saw any highway patrol activity unless it was near a oil field site. Then they were everywhere, I assume to catch DUI oil field workers.
 
2018-01-02 08:15:56 AM  

lucksi: Or, and this is just a wild thought, you could force your population to do real driving tests, have mandated inspection of vehicles every two years and have a different (read lower) speed limit for trucks.

Works for Germany.

Less fatalities no matter how you want to look at statistics (i.e fatalities per million miles driven, fatalities per 100k population, ect.) and we manage to do that with speed limit free zones.

/I get mad if someone is driving the speed limit in the passing lane
//20 or more or move into the slow lanes


Yeah, but then we'd have to spend more money on infrastructure. I'd venture there are very few highways that are up to design standards of the Autobahn.

That said, I try to be the example on the road in the U.S. after driving extensively in Germany on two separate lengthy holidays.

Except for the whole bit about no passing on the right. If it is legal in your state, DO IT. If someone passes you on the right, it's a signal you need to move over a lane or two.

Just sayin'...
 
2018-01-02 08:16:08 AM  

CarnySaur: Does the speed that a vehicle is going affect the wear and tear on the road itself?  Since infrastructure is such a big deal, I wonder if that's a factor.


If it does, it's got to be a minor contribution compared to vehicle weight, traffic volume, and dripping oil and other contaminants.

Whether you're going 10mph or 80, the speed of the part of your tire that is touching the road is exactly zero (unless you're skidding or peeling out), so intuitively, it'll have little or no effect on road wear. I suppose there might be some difference due to varying values of rolling friction, but I'm entirely too lazy to look it up. Anyway, I don't remember anything about it from traffic engineering classes way back when the national speed limit was 55.

People don't believe me when I tell them that the bottom of their tires are going 0mph, so I say: look at a tank or bulldozer when it's in motion. What's the speed of the bottom treads with respect to the ground? Zero. Your tires are really the same thing, only with the contact area vastly smaller. The top of the tire (or tread), in contrast, is going 2x the vehicle speed.
 
2018-01-02 08:17:27 AM  
I drove from Florida to Washington State a couple years ago and I don't recall ever seeing a 55 MPH speed limit. I honestly didn't know that even was a thing anymore. The Northeast, you say?
 
2018-01-02 08:18:04 AM  
Informative article. I previous;y thought it was Ford or Carter that did it. Heck, in 1981, I had my Mustang Mach 1, 428 Super Cobra jet, and I tool it on a downhill straight in Austin on loop 360, got it up high enough to cut it the rev limiter, about 165 MPH, had a 160 speedo. Shot down Manchaca, a 35 zone  a bout 85, hit 130 before I got home, beat my Dad home by about 5 minutes. flipped it two months later, bought another one. Now I'm looking for my third one, a 351 Cleveland, the bigger  motor ones are crazy expensive.
/Used to collect Mustangs.
//After '73 was the death knell of performance vehicles.
///Todays performance cars are crap, no matter the "Provenance".
 
2018-01-02 08:18:20 AM  

Shaggy_C: RottenEggs: Why would the left wear a MAGA hat ?

It's a mark of imbecilic pride, which is what I was going for. Besides, Republican states have highest rates of traffic fatalities, so it makes more sense than to create a straw-man about that 'type' of person than an effete liberal cruising in his Saab and causing a crash because he was distracted practising his foreign language lessons over the stereo and sipping a latte with a pinkie out.


LOL nice
 
2018-01-02 08:21:13 AM  

Ambivalence: Where?  Most interstates I've been on have posted speed limits of 75, MAYBE 65 if you're going through a city.  In Wyoming it's 80 (but I hear the troopers will ticket even a couple mph over it.


That's Wyoming.

In civilization, there's posted speed limit signs and police who enforce them. Often, they're artificially low
 
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