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Texas to let motorists pay to drive at 85mph

Texans might soon be able to pay a premium to put the hammer down on certain stretches of road.

Sadly, it’s not as reckless a move as one might imagine. You won’t, for example, be able to hoon around in residential areas at insane speeds simply by tossing a local policeman a fiver.

If all goes to plan, Texas will soon have an 85mph speed limit on some roads.
If all goes to plan, Texas will soon have an 85mph speed limit on some roads.

The Texas authorities are building a new toll road that has a higher speed limit than surrounding motorways. The high speed road, known as State Highway 130, is being built to ease congestion on heavily overcrowded Interstate 35 between San Antonio and Austin.

Rather than subject users of the new road to the usual speed limits, authorities are testing the feasibility of allowing a maximum speed limit of 85mph. The aim is to take advantage of a law passed in 2011, which increased the maximum speed limit from 80mph to 85mph for new highways that adhere to strict guidelines.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson Mark Cross said the organisation is monitoring the speeds most drivers are traveling on state highway 130, analysing the road’s topography and checking the exit roads to ensure an 85mph limit is safe.

If all goes well and nobody gets mangled in a horrific car wreck, punters will be able to bypass the slower Interstate 35, pay a fee, and hoon along the faster toll stretch.

Predictably, not everyone is happy with the idea of a faster road. Critics believe the higher speed limits will lead to an increase in fatal accidents. Others argue that a higher speed limit will create the possibility of some cars driving faster than others, which will lead to yet more congestion.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Are fast toll roads a good idea? Will they get you to your destination quicker, or will they simply result in even more dangerous driving? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.

Image: CountyLemondate

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