Even though Texas’s new 80 mph speed limit signs have been up for 6 days, my repeated searches haven’t turned up a single photo on the internet. Today, I emailed a staffer in the office of Pete Gallego, the Texas Legislator whose bill allowed these speed limits, and got the photos. I present you the first known online photos of Texas’s 80 mph speed limit!
They are apparently of Gallego unveiling a new 80 mph speed limit sign near Fort Stockton, Texas. (Location assumed from a prior news article, not the words of the staffer.)
This is proof that democrats are occasionally able to do good things.
By the way, you may have seen Associated Press articles that say that Texas adopted 75 mph speed limits in 1999 (example article). This is incorrect. Gallego introduced a bill in 1999, HB 3328, that would have allowed 75 mph limits on all roads numbered by the state or federal government and 80 mph on I-10 and I-20 in any county with fewer than 25,000 residents. (Interesting point: the wording of the bill may have forced the 80 mph limits instead of just allowing the Texas Transportation Commission to set them.) However, this bill died in conference committee immediately before the end of that year’s legislative session. (I.e., it never went into effect.)
Gallgeo introduced a modified bill only allowing 75 mph limits in counties with fewer than 10 people per square mile in 2001. This was HB 299. That one passed and was signed by the governor.
Then in 2005, Gallego’s introduced a third bill, HB 2257, that allowed 75 mph limits in counties with fewer than 15 people per square mile and allowed 80 mph limits on I-10 and I-20 in certain named counties. This bill went into effect on Sept. 1, 2005. It took the TxDOT several months to amend its Procedures for Establishing Speed Zones to allow it to recommend these limits, then another month or so to get the recommendation up to the Texas Transportation Commission for approval.
Anyway, enough talk. The 80 mph limit signs are up, and here are the pictures, courtesy of Pete Gallego’s office.
What you are seeing below the sign is a NIGHT 65 speed limit sign. Texas is the only state with a blanket night speed limit.