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View Poll Results: Would you support a return of the 55 mph national speed limit?
Yes 8 10.13%
No 70 88.61%
Don't Know 1 1.27%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-05-2012, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,744 posts, read 37,338,468 times
Reputation: 28722
I would be more in favor of what was called a "constant throttle" speed limit. Say, instead of being 65, the limit would be 55 going uphill, and 75 going downhill. If the speed limit remains the same gas is wasted trying to go uphill at a constant speed, only to have to step on the brakes and waste that energy to avoid speeding down the other side. Going downhill fast wastes no gas, going uphill does, so adjust the limit to reflect the grade.

But the US is too big and varied a country to apply a single speed limit everywhere. In any case, modern cars in 2012, I believe, run at a much higher efficiency at highway speeds than they did in the 80s, and running at 65 does not use appreciably more gas than 55. mainly due to improvements in aerodynamics. Most energy is used pushing air out of your path. However, anything over 65 probably does begin to cut heavily into gas consumption. Some cars might even get better mpg at 65 than at 55, but I haven't seen any studies to support that assumption.

Consider the traffic congestion, as well. If every car is on the road 20% longer because it's going 20% slower, then at any given time, there will be 20% more cars on the road. And 20% more hours driving time by drivers, which increases their potential exposure to accidents. The flow of traffic on the Dan Ryan in Chicago is around 80, and it's nearly bumper to bumper. Enforce a 55 on there, and there will be 50% more cars occupying the road at any given time. Impossible. Get the cars on and off as quickly as possible.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
5,818 posts, read 6,006,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
No, a speed limit of 55 or 65 makes sense in developed areas of the country like the northeast. But less developed areas like the western states, 85 or 90 mph seems perfectly logical. A national speed limit would have to be set at the lowest common denominator, most likely 55 mph.
Actually it's the other way around. If a national speed limit of 85 MPH were established thiat would simply be the maximum. States could set there own limits as long as they didn't exceed the national limit. That happened when the NMSL was raised in the late 1980s to 65 MPH on rural limited-access freeways, some states retained the 55 MPH limit.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:39 PM
 
Location: 'Murica
1,278 posts, read 1,373,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Consider the traffic congestion, as well. If every car is on the road 20% longer because it's going 20% slower, then at any given time, there will be 20% more cars on the road. And 20% more hours driving time by drivers, which increases their potential exposure to accidents. The flow of traffic on the Dan Ryan in Chicago is around 80, and it's nearly bumper to bumper. Enforce a 55 on there, and there will be 50% more cars occupying the road at any given time. Impossible. Get the cars on and off as quickly as possible.
I like this way of thinking
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, Ga
1,449 posts, read 720,845 times
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I think speed limits are too low as it is. Unless you're driving through downtown of Main Street or your in an area of the city that has traffic lights every short block (which is usually the bigger cities and close to Main Street) then the speed should never be 35 or under. I already don't like to drive and when I've taken my father out of state before on a route that takes you through all these little towns, the speed will go down to 35 or even 25 even though the road will be completely straight and graded and there's no activity going on. Seems to me they either want more driver's money, someone to take notice, or both. As for highways, 55 is okay in spots while 60 or even 65 could be acceptable in some areas. On interstates I personally feel like no speed limit is really recognized now because no one's going to go 60 on an interstate (which I believe is the most common speed limit). I'd rather it be 70MPH with 80MHP in the left most lane.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Hudson County, NJ
1,493 posts, read 1,458,965 times
Reputation: 1143
cars are getting better, faster, more stable with speed. Increase it, don't decrease it
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:56 PM
 
6,288 posts, read 4,056,505 times
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Where did this 55mph number come from? Why not 60 or 50? And why do people think every car on the market is most efficient at highway speeds at 55mph? Have the proponents of the 55mph limit considered the adverse impact of this limit? Or are they just capable of this singular thought?
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:51 PM
 
10,586 posts, read 7,384,626 times
Reputation: 6901
If the objective is just gas efficiency then we should be looking at reducing car use for short trips in urban environments rather than playing around with national speed limits. Around town, my 1998 Mustang gets 20mph. On a longer trip at 65mph average, it gets 27mph.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,446 posts, read 6,134,603 times
Reputation: 2645
Hell No!! It's bad enough having to observe the 100KMH limit when visiting Canada!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,820 posts, read 30,969,684 times
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It would not bother me much if the national speed limit were 85 or 90, at least until they make better cars. Someday we will probably be able to safely travel at 100 plus.

When they first passed the national speed limit, four guys went out on the freeway in New York and drove side by side in all lanes at 55 mph. They created a massive traffic jam. They were ticketed for "impeding the flow of traffic".

As somene mentioned, a antioanl speed limit is stupid. The most practical speed limit for both safety and efficiency varies, with the car, the location, the conditions, geography. Limiting a Porsche 911 to 55 MPH in Montana while allowing a Toyota Yaris to go 70 in the Colorado Mountains also makes no sense. Luckily, with a few exceptions, most people just apply common snse and drive at a reasoanble speed for their car and conditions.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:03 PM
Status: "97 down, 3 to go" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: White House, TN
2,888 posts, read 1,043,623 times
Reputation: 1481
No way. 55 mph is too slow by modern standards for any state - even Hawaii has 60 mph.

This is also an area that the federal gov'mint needs to buzz off.
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