Texans to eliminate nation's last lower night speed limit

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 24, 2011 5:29 PM

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Texas will next week eliminate the nation's last remaining lower speed limit for night driving, officials said on Wednesday.

Texas is the last state in the nation to still lower speed limits at sundown, with limits declining five miles per hour from posted speeds.

Mark Cross of the Texas Department of Transportation said the black nighttime speed limit signs will start coming down on September 1, but it will take up to 18 months to remove all of them from 80,000 miles of Texas roadway.

The concept of the night speed limits dates to the 1940s, when slow moving farm equipment began sharing newly paved roads intended for long distance travel.

The restrictions continued when the Interstate Highway System was built in the 1950s, largely due to poor headlight technology officials thought was inadequate to deal with the higher speeds on limited access highways.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Edited by Karen Brooks and Greg McCune)