Split speed limits at issue in Texas

The Texas Motor Transportation Association (TMTA) has come out swinging against a proposal to create split speed limits. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission has proposed that commercial trucks operating in Houston maintain a speed limit of 55 mph, while cars and light trucks can operate at 65 mph and higher on the city's highways. The move is being touted as a way to help reduce air

The Texas Motor Transportation Association (TMTA) has come out swinging against a proposal to create split speed limits. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission has proposed that commercial trucks operating in Houston maintain a speed limit of 55 mph, while cars and light trucks can operate at 65 mph and higher on the city's highways.

The move is being touted as a way to help reduce air pollution but the TMTA disagrees.

"It is shameful that the politics of clean air have taken precedence over highway safety," said TMTA president Bill Webb. "Trucks traveling a minimum of 15 mph slower than cars on Houston-area roadways is a recipe for disaster and our regulators should know better than to propose a measure to supposedly save lives by cleaning the air while actually potentially causing the loss of life."

Webb says his association does not support any increase in speed limits for trucks. However, it does strongly oppose any measure that provides for a differential in speed limits between cars and trucks, because DOT data shows that crash involvement rates are almost six times greater for vehicles traveling 10 mph below or above the average speed limit.

The findings of the 1994 report also show that the proportion of car-truck, rear-end collisions was 26% greater in split speed limit areas when compared to uniform speed limit states, with collisions in split speed limit states more likely to involve cars striking trucks.

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