LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Is it time for California to speed things up on state highways?
Despite implementing 70 mph speed limits on multiple interstate and non-interstate freeway segments, California – where three of the four longest interstate routes in the country are located – is already falling behind several other U.S. states, where the maximum speed is as high as 85 mph.
Lawmakers in Nebraska introduced a bill in January that would raise the state’s speed limit from 75 to 80 mph, which if passed would match six other states with an 80-mph maximum, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Drivers in Texas and Nevada, meanwhile, can drive up to 85 mph and not worry about getting a ticket.
Safety advocates have long warned that increasing driving speeds leads to more auto-involved fatalities, but there’s no sign that lawmakers in California – which last raised its speed limit from 55 to 65 mph on most highways in 1995 – are prepared to make such a move.
Studies conducted after the change was made found average driving speeds barely nudged upward: where the limit was raised to 65 mph, average speeds went up by .4 from 68.3 to 68.7, according to Mercury News.
It’s also still unclear what impact such a change would have on driving times.
Researchers with the National Transportation Safety Board have found driving at 80 mph over a 50-mile trip would shave about two and a half minutes off total driving time compared with a 75 mph rate of speed.