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Nevada considers 85 mph speed limits

Nevada State Senator Don Gustavson has introduced a bill that would bump the highest speed limits in his state to 85 mph, Ernst writes, matching a stretch of toll road in Texas that currently has the distinction of being the nation’s fastest highway.

By Kurt ErnstGuest blogger / February 27, 2013

An 85 mph speed limit sign is shown on a toll road in Austin, Texas. Nevada is considering raising its highest speed limits to 85 mph, Ernst writes.

Ricardo B. Brazziell/


If you’ve ever driven across Nevada, you know this as fact: outside of cities like Las Vegas, Reno, Sparks and Carson City, the state isn’t exactly overcrowded.  In fact, there are vast stretches of open road, where it’s still possible to drive for long periods of time without even seeing another car.
Despite this, the speed limit on Nevada interstate highways is 75 mph, while rural highways are posted at a maximum speed of 70 mph. As The Los Angeles Times reports, Nevada State Senator Don Gustavson is looking to change that.

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Gustavson has introduced a bill that would bump the highest speed limits in his state to 85 mph, matching a stretch of toll road in Texas that currently has the distinction of being the nation’s fastest highway.

Upping the speed limits in Nevada would be at the discretion of state transportation officials, who would determine which stretches of road are safe enough to be eligible. We suspect the answer would be interstate highways only, as rural highways may be deemed unsuitable for suchhigh speeds

Gustavson is ready to counter those with the opinion that “speed kills,” too. Utah, whichallows an 80 mph speed limit on certain isolated stretches of road, has actually seen a decrease in fatalities since the limit was raised. More significantly, the average speed before the higher limit was 82 mph, while today its risen to just 85 mph.

Like Montana, Nevada once posted the speed limit as “safe and sane” for conditions. While those days are as distant as thirty-five-cent-per-gallon gasoline, the 85 mph speed limit may be spreading. If it’s good enough for Texas (and, hopefully, Nevada), can other sparsely-populated states be far behind? 


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