Motorists in Orange County and Jefferson County may have noticed they were recently given the official go-ahead to drive faster. Crews have been busy installing new 75 mph speed limit signs along Interstate 10 near the state line.
Some may be concerned that the higher legal limit may lead to more Texas motor vehicle accidents. A spokesperson from TxDOT, however, offered assurances that the interstate can handle faster traffic and that the increased limit will be safe for motorists.
The spokesperson further explained why the decision was made to change the speed limit to 75 mph. "When you set it at what the majority are driving, they're going to work closer at maintaining the speed on the speed limit. Number one, they respect it, and number two, they feel comfortable driving it."
In making the determination to increase the speed limit TxDOT conducted what is referred to as an 85 percent test. The agency looked at what speed 85 percent of the motorists were traveling at, and determined a larger majority already drove 75 mph. When drivers travel at the same speed the roads are generally safer and there is less risk for auto accidents.
The new speed limit along I-10 will be seen in most of Jefferson County and Orange County. Although, the speed limit between Winnie and Houston will remain at 65 mph. Additionally, speed limits in the Beaumont city limits won't change because of concerns about traffic and congestion.
Source: KFDM, "New 75 mph speed limit takes effect on much of I-10," Lindsey Kovacevich, Feb. 23, 2012.