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Old 06-08-2018, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
2,738 posts, read 4,871,439 times
Reputation: 2058

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Never really drove 55 unless the law was close at the time.
The voters voted that crap down with their feet!
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,158 posts, read 2,956,447 times
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In those days most commercial travelers, both cars and trucks had both CB radios and radar detectors. 55 was a serious drag when you are out there to make a living. In west Texas the posted limit now is 80.
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:33 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
4,668 posts, read 2,514,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robr2 View Post
It reduced our reliance on imported oil from 36% in 1974 to 28% in 1985. Since relaxing of the rules, reliance on imported oil rose close to 60% in 2009.

IMHO, a side benefit of the 55 mph speed limit was that it gave automakers the impetus to develop vehicles that performed better under the emission regulations. Few cared that a mid 70's V6 Cutlass performed like crap because it wasn't supposed to perform like a muscle car.

Notice how government regulation dragged automakers kicking and screaming into make fuel efficient, high performance cars when they said it could never be done?
You are correct.

The 1973 oil crisis began in October 1973 when OPEC members proclaimed an oil embargo.

https://www.npr.org/sections/picture...s-in-the-1970s

"The National Maximum Speed Law (NMSL) in the United States was a provision of the Federal 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act that prohibited speed limits higher than 55 miles per hour (90 km/h). It was drafted in response to oil price spikes and supply disruptions during the 1973 oil crisis." (Wikipedia.)
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,223 posts, read 1,602,091 times
Reputation: 7749
The effective speed limit was about 62. Nobody ever got a ticket for 60, but iw rare to see a driver pushing his luck to 65. Enforcement was pretty rigid, in every state, and anyone who got in the passing lane and went by a string of cars would be almost guaranteed a ticket.

It seems to me, in retrospect, that this was the turning point in the general feelilng by Americans that the police had become the enemy. The war on drugs was taking place at about the same time, but ordinary people were caught up in the net of fearing the double-nickel police, too.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:29 PM
 
Location: 'Murica
1,302 posts, read 2,417,096 times
Reputation: 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperL View Post
Cars of the time had the aerodynamics of a brick. As they pushed air in front of the car, the faster you went, the more energy it took to get the car to go faster. There's a lot of crap that was going on with car makers of the day. They had to lower the NOx which was labelled as THE culprit in air pollution with not much regard for anything else. The engines of the day had carbs that were not much better than a slop pot. It wasn't until they started with fuel injection that they really made decent engines. Those of the early 70's couldn't get out of their own way and most struggled to get over 10 mpgs. They also had to deal with a new gasoline called unleaded which created a new list of issues like valve recession. The engine were pretty much a new design from then on. It was common for an exhaust to smell like rotten eggs, sometimes so bad you couldn't stand to follow behind one. The idea of using a taller axle ratio and slower engine rpms gave reasonable, for the times, performance and fuel mileage. That's the same time when the sheet metal on a car became so thin you could no longer sit on a fender without doing damage. It's also when cars were required to have a 5mph bumper that more resembled the front of a Peterbilt. Lots going on back then. But the slower you ran a car, the better the gas mileage back then. The 70's was a horrible time for cars and car makers.
I mean, I guess you could say that the same external forces that gave us the 55 mph limit also helped cars run cleaner and more efficiently, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that the 55 mph limit had the direct effect on the cars themselves.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:01 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,732,014 times
Reputation: 23426
55 mph = a significant (20 - 30%) pay cut on my "Pay per mile" truck driving gigs.

Running MT, WY, CO, NE, SD, KS at the time, so LOTS of OPEN road.

Glad I was done with muscle cars by then, as I would have hated to see their speedos cut to 85!
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Sarasota FL
6,851 posts, read 9,235,240 times
Reputation: 6562
What the 55 mph law caused was 100% non compliance with a law. EVERYONE behind a wheel was a law breaker.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:05 PM
 
3,130 posts, read 802,913 times
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Rush hour is rush hour, because everyone is going less than the posted speed limit anyway, BUT...

More traffic congestion would occur during more times of the day. Each and every car spending longer on the road to get to their destination.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:21 PM
 
9,763 posts, read 8,099,612 times
Reputation: 13194
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFBayBoomer View Post
You are correct.

The 1973 oil crisis began in October 1973 when OPEC members proclaimed an oil embargo.

https://www.npr.org/sections/picture...s-in-the-1970s

"The National Maximum Speed Law (NMSL) in the United States was a provision of the Federal 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act that prohibited speed limits higher than 55 miles per hour (90 km/h). It was drafted in response to oil price spikes and supply disruptions during the 1973 oil crisis." (Wikipedia.)
That was why my parents got a Datsun B-210
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:28 PM
 
6,902 posts, read 1,737,000 times
Reputation: 4038
Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
I started driving in the 80s when this was already the law. What were your feeling about this law when it was first passed? What were your feelings when it went away?

My feeling was finally it is gone. Well intentioned idea but horrible. I often make 500 and 1000 mile trips for business. It would take forever at 55.
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