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States with the highest speed limits

Updated on August 13, 2015

There are different times in our lives when there is a need for speed. You may be late to work or school. An emergency vehicle may need to get to somewhere that help is in dire need of. A young woman may need to get to the hospital to have her baby. What ever that need may be there are times in everybody's life at some point when they need to drive faster than normal. Typically in most states the speed limit on roads which includes our Interstate system is somewhere in the range of 55 to 65 miles per hour.

Back in the year 1974 when oil shortages hit the United States, Congress decided to enact the "Emergency Energy Conservation Act". This restricted the vehicle speeds on Interstate highway systems and access roads back down to a maximum of just 55 miles per hour. Like other bad ideas in life, in the year 1995 the legislators eventually repealed the national speed limit.

Since the repeal of the "Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act" thirty four states have enacted laws that raised the maximum speed limits to 70 miles per hour or more on certain stretches of road.

For some of you out there with a need for speed there are 15 out of these 34 different states that have a speed limit of 75 miles per hour. Here's a list of the states in which drivers enjoy the freedom of this higher speed limit of 75 miles per hour on Interstate highways. They include Kansas, Arizona, Utah, Maine, Texas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Louisiana, Montana, Colorado Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Speed limits may vary for certain urban areas, big trucks, and nighttime hours. This information was compiled by the Governor's Highway Safety Association in Washington D.C.

There are three of these 15 states that have speed limits of 80 miles per hour on specified segments of their Interstate roads. These state are Wyoming, Texas, and Utah. On top of this list there is one single solitary state which by far has the highest speed limit on certain specified Interstate highway segments out of all of the fifty different states. Like they say everything is always bigger in the great state of Texas, and that also includes the speed limit. Texas is the state with the highest speed limit in all of the country of 85 miles per hour!

Now let me assure you that this doesn't give you a license to be speed racer on these designated stretches of our Interstate highway system. So pay attention to what ever the designated speed limit may be on the road in which you are traveling on, because there are hefty fines awaiting those who fail to observe those speed limits.

Take it from me I know, and I learned my little lesson with speeding about a year ago. The state trooper clocked me with radar going 14 miles an hour over the designated speed limit. Now I didn't argue with him, because I was aware that I did something wrong. I cooperated and before I could say anything in my defense he asked me to stand by as he returned to his patrol car. After a short period time past the state trooper returned and handed me a ticket. So at this point there was no way I could argue my way out of the ticket.

The state trooper did thank me for being so cooperative, and he then proceeded to give me instructions on what to do when I went to court. He told me that since I hadn't had any tickets in the last three years to get a copy of my driving record. Take my driving record to court and hand it to the district attorney, and plead faulty equipment. This way I wouldn't get any points on my record, and my insurance premiums would go up in price either.

When my day in court arrived that's exactly what I did. The court room was literally packed full of people, and when my turn finally arrived I followed the instructions which the state trooper had given me two months earlier. The district attorney told me that the state trooper had saved me a lot of time, and instructed me to go downstairs and pay the fine to the clerk of the court. Now this whole experience still cost me around $300, but it could have been a whole lot worse. When you come down to it, that increased need for speed didn't save me anymore time than the man on the moon. So whatever the posted speed may be, I advise you to try your best to drive very close to it, and that is TheHoleStory.

Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?

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    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      You're lucky to drive ANY speed in San Francisco! Or Los Angeles! LOL!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      When I visited San Francisco, the regular speed there is definitely different than here in Hawaii.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      "My Maserati goes 185;

      I lost my license; now I don't drive." ~ Joe Walsh, "Life's Been Good".

      I've heard weird stories of people in the South or Midwest who get pulled over for speeding, taken to a shack in the woods, and told to pay the fine to an old lady in curlers. Since I've always lived in civilized Western states, nothing like that has ever happened to me.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 3 years ago from New York

      Good to know. Thanks

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Great article. I can't imagine driving in some of those extra high speeds. That's not to say I've never driven that high but if everyone was going 85mph+ it would be a disaster here.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I got a speeding ticket in a speed trap. I tend to drive below the speed limit; not above it. Florida has raised the speed limits on some roads in recent years, so there is little chance I will be speeding.

    • bonda profile image

      Nonqaba waka Msimang 3 years ago from Canada

      for whatever reason, cops never believe me when i say it is not me, but the cars i drive, they seem to have a mind of their own. i could write a book about being caught speeding. i didn't want to go bankrupt so i stopped. This piece is useful for people who do inter state driving in the U.S. for business or family visits. Thanks for posting the hub.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      That was very interesting. Several times I was stopped for speeding but didn't get a ticket. Once the officer was starting to write out the ticket but something more interesting started to happen behind me somewhere and he stopped and threw back my license to me and told me to be careful and took off. lol I never did find out what, the next time I promised I wouldn't do it again, I only was going fast because I was late for work, which I was. He let me go and I was very careful after that. Some people get real mad when they get stopped, but the police officers are just doing their jobs.

    • Romanian profile image

      Nicu 3 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      In my country maximum speed on a normal road it's 100km/h for cars, on highways it's 130km/h and in cities it's 50km/h.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 3 years ago from Washington KS

      Driving any more than 70mph on interstates makes me nervous. And all the zooming traffic passing me on all sides makes me nervous. Maybe I'm getting old. :) Your info about the speeding ticket was really helpful.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Our state has a maximum of 70 mph. I usually drive around 75 unless I see a trooper, why I don't know. It is dangerous to drive on our interstate system more than 75 or so because you never know when you are going to hit a stretch in disrepair or come upon the perpetual construction. I have made a number of trips out west and certainly see no reason to hold the speed down on long deserted stretches of highway when there is no traffic and visibility is great for miles.

    • profile image

      missirupp 3 years ago

      We just changed ours to 80mph in Idaho. It's really hard driving into Oregon and dropping to 55.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      85 is way too fast, not that I have never done it.

    • iskhoso profile image

      Iftikhar ul Sami 3 years ago from Pakistan

      80+ miles is somewhat thrilling but needs extreme care. Less than 80 is good enough.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      I think they might want to kill us off in Texas. The cars are made out of aluminum foil and what would be left if 2 cars hit each other? Good Hub.

    • ZRMoore profile image

      ZRMoore 3 years ago

      85 miles per our is way to fast to be driving. Most people find it hard to drive carefully only going 65. I'll make sure if I'm going through those states that I have someone with me who is very skilled at driving that fast. lol

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 3 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Nicely concluded, theholestory. I agree with you that we all should follow the prescribed speed limits. These limits have a purpose, may be one is crossing a school, a hospital or any other place where it matters. I have never faced such a situation but I think it is worth spending more time by limiting your speed than going to courts to settle your ticket. Voted up.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a fun subject. 80 is fast enough for me no matter what. Don't folks just go 5 mph over the limit anyway? California freeways often buzz along at 75 and that is just too fast with so many cars -- in my opinion.