EAST TEXAS (KTBS) - About 118 miles of highways in rural Northeast Texas will soon have their speed limits increased from 70 to 75 miles per hour.
The Texas Transportation Commission approved the increased speed limits in December following a year-long engineering and speed study for highways with speed limits already at 70 mph. The 82nd Texas Legislature passed and the Governor signed House Bill 1353 which allows the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to establish 75 mph speed limits on Texas highways providing speed studies show it can be done safely.
Speed limits on most rural interstate highways in the state were increased to 75 mph last year.
In 2011, Texas roadways averaged about 250 traffic deaths per month.
In order to bring this critical and important issue to the public's attention, TXDOT started displaying the year-to-date number of traffic deaths in Texas on more than 700 message signs one week every month. The new effort is designed to remind drivers that driving deserves their full attention every time they get behind the wheel.