Poll: Can You Drive 55? Should We Bring The National Speed Limit Back?

Remember the 55 mph speed limit? Remember… ignoring it? Wired’s Autopia blog is wondering if we should consider bringing it back. Back in 1974 Congress passed the National Maximum Speed Law, and threatened to cut funding to any state that didn’t comply with the new 55 mph maximum speed limit. Theoretically, forcing everyone to drive slower increases fuel economy, and the oil embargo had people stressed. But did the lower speed limit work? Did we save gas?

From Autopia:

The U.S. Department of Energy says gas mileage plummets above 60 mph and says every 5 mph above that speed is akin to paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas. But the American Heritage Foundation claims 12 years of 55 mph speed limits cut fuel consumption by just 1 percent. After Congress repealed the National Maximum Speed Law and 33 states raised their speed limits, the Cato Institute said traffic deaths dropped to a record low.

More than fuel economy and traffic deaths are at stake now. “Emissions increase pretty appreciably above 55,” McNaull says. drive55.org claims Washington state would cut CO2 emissions by 10 percent if it cut its 70 mph speed limit by 15 mph. But even here, the evidence is debated. The Automobile Association in England claims reducing the speed limit from 30 mph to 20 on residential roads would increase CO2 emission by more than 10%.

What do you think? Should we bring back the national speed limit?

With Gas Prices Rising And The Planet Warming, Is It Time To Drive 55 Again? [Wired]


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    55? Pssshaw. Sure we might save a few lives, but millions will be late.

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I could see it being safer to have a higher speed limit. You chop 20mph off of the speed limit when you have people who have been commuting to jobs for years, many will probably drive as fast as they always have instead of leave earlier. Leading to a mix of people driving 55mph and 75mph, which can be dangerous.

  3. opfreak says:

    Heres the thing, with a 65mph limit , if you want to drive slow, move to the right line and drive slow.

  4. Fatty Shcock says:

    Well, by driving my gas guzzler, I am forced to have to drive 55.

    And you know what? I SAVE MONEY!

  5. erratapage says:

    Given how rarely I drove 55 under the old law, I suspect that we will be creating a Death Race 2000 mentality on the roads. I vote for alternative fuel technology.

  6. Pinget says:

    55 will guarantee one thing – more people reading, watching tv or trying to do other inappropriate things while driving. 55 is boring.

  7. CharlieInSeattle says:

    Umm wouldn’t having your engine run longer cause more co2 emissions? Since it would take longer.

  8. darkryd says:

    Helllls Noes.

  9. Parting says:

    And 55mph, how much is it in kmh?

  10. Bladefist says:

    I watched a documentary on the auto ban, and it is rated one of the safest highways in the world.

    So while I love the government regulating every single thing I do, NO. Fuel economy is a personal choice. And until we are so low that we have to do rationing, the government needs to let me get a good or bad gas mileage as I want.

  11. bohemian says:

    Why not just push for more high mpg cars and penalize those who drive SUV’s that don’t have an need for one.
    A road full of cars with a 50mpg consumption rate going 70mph has to be better than a bunch of SUV’s getting 12mpg going 55mph.

  12. heavylee-again says:

    I used to do 75-80 on the highway on my way to work. In the past couple weeks, I’ve forced myself to do 65-70 and it seems to give me about a 4MPG gain (mid-sized 4cyl seden).

  13. 44 in a Row says:

    This actually brings up a separate pet peeve of mine: if there’s going to be a speed limit, enforce it. The problem that exists right now is that if you drive the speed limit, while everyone else is speeding, you’re creating a danger to yourself and to the other people on the road. But if you speed like everyone else does, you’re opening yourself up to a ticket (“I was going just as fast as everyone else” doesn’t hold up if you get tagged by a speed trap). There’s nothing I hate more than driving on the New Jersey Turnpike, going 10mph above the speed limit in the right lane, and still getting tailgated and honked at.

  14. Bladefist says:

    @CharlieInSeattle: Don’t bring data into context. I hate that.

    It’s just like ethanol. It’s 20% cheaper. Don’t tell me nonsense about it being 20% less efficient.

  15. Chese says:

    Its legal to drive 55 now if you want to. If you feel like saving gas go for it!

  16. Balisong says:

    55 IS the speed limit on the interstate where I live. Noone pays attention to it. So bring it on, Department of Energy!

  17. Bladefist says:

    @44 in a Row: Don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but with speed and safety having almost 0 relation, one must wonder if speed limits are set simply for the city to make a little extra money in tight times.

  18. leastcmplicated says:

    bring it back?? its still 55mph through from Jimmy Carter Blvd through Atlanta! No one ever drives that slow.

  19. winnabago says:

    @AlteredBeast: I agree, the maximum speed doesn’t affect safety, it has always been the difference in speeds on the road. Many, if not most, accidents happen when merging, changing lanes to pass, coming up on traffic, and other events which disrupt the flow. Lowering it to 55 would add more speed variation, as people will still generally go 90 (in the case of the Mass Turnpike, for example), but others will make an effort to go a hazardous 55.

  20. Do the figures about going over 60 take into account modern aerodynamics, and computer controlled engines?

  21. Balisong says:

    @Bladefist: I watched a documentary on the auto ban, and it is rated one of the safest highways in the world.

    You forgot to note that people in Germany spend much much MUCH more time and money investing in learning how to drive. Now imagine for a minute what driving on a US Autobahn would be like.

  22. freshyill says:

    The correlation between raising the speed limit and traffic deaths dropping sounds like a load of bullshit, and I’d expect no less from the Cato Institute.

    Did they consider that it could have something to do with seatbelt laws appearing during that time? Did they consider improved safety measures such as airbags, crumple zones, etc?

    No, probably not, because they’re the fucking Cato Institute, and they’ll do anything to to “prove” that less government will make you safer.

    I wouldn’t trust the conclusions of either of these groups on something like this.

  23. Bladefist says:

    @Balisong: Good point. I forgot we have idiots talking on the phone, watching a movie, shaving their beard, and eating cupcakes all at the same time.

  24. friendlynerd says:

    I’d say we’re likely to lose more lives, as more people recklessly try to get around that ninny actually obeying the speed limit.

  25. Youthier says:

    I remember this was one of my Econ profs favorite examples of… something (he was kind of a douche so I rarely paid attention). Anyway, he was always talking about how accidents decreased when our state raised the limit to 70 because it decreased the difference between speeds people were driving on the road.

    But that’s safety related. This is debating gas costs. So we can save money by lowering the speed limit and then spend it scrapping bodies off the freeways.

  26. mac-phisto says:

    @B: accidents increase with the lower limit. when traveling at highway speeds, the largest causes of crashes are speed variance & lane changing, both of which increase with lower limits.

    i don’t think the feds really have the power (of the purse) to implement this anyway – next year’s budget allots only ~$12 billion in funds for the national highway system & interstate maintenance ([www.dot.gov]).

    i guess that’s one good thing about bush’s legacy. washington’s lack of funding = lack of ability to bypass states’ rights (to manage the highway systems that they are primarily responsible for maintaining).

  27. mc101 says:

    I never, ever ceased to be amazed by pure utter “it’s all about me” mentality that folks have when it comes to saving energy. I can’t wait to tell my sons when they grow up that the planet is a mess because my generation didn’t want to drive a little slower, or turn out the lights, or reduce their meat consumption, and on and on.

  28. 44 in a Row says:

    Don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but with speed and safety having almost 0 relation, one must wonder if speed limits are set simply for the city to make a little extra money in tight times.

    I don’t know if I’d go that far, because I do think there’s a point to having some sort of speed limit (let’s face it, this is America, and idiots will go as fast as he can without regard for safety if there’s no posted limit), but there are definitely instances where this is the case. There’s some evidence that red light cameras, for example, actually increase the accident rate at intersections where they’re put up, because people begin to stop short at the first sign of a yellow light in order to avoid a ticket. Those are, without a doubt, purely a money-making wolf in a the sheep’s clothing of safety measures.

  29. Bladefist says:

    @freshyill: I’m sure they never thought of that. You got’em good.

  30. bravo369 says:

    frankly it doesn’t matter what the speed limit is. You follow traffic and anyone that doesn’t is just being that person on the road causing accidents. i’m in NJ and speed limit is 55 in some parts but everyone is going 70. anyone going 55 or under is making everyone change lanes, hit their breaks etc and making everyone else’s life difficult.

    as for fuel consumption, i don’t think many people are going to worry about that. if they were then they’d buy a prius or something with better mileage but still go the same speed.

  31. Balisong says:

    @winnabago: I agree as well. I wish cops would ticket more dangerous activity – weaving, darting between lanes, not using turn signals – This obesession with speed is pointless and just encourages bad driving behavior as long as you’re not speeding while in range of a cop car. I guess it’s just easier to ticket people with the hard evidence of speed than “I saw you jump in front of that other car.”

  32. Bladefist says:

    @44 in a Row: I dunno still. I fully agree on the cameras. Read a story from Texas, about a city that was turning them off, because people started obeying the law, and they weren’t able to write any tickets. So they publically turned them off to bring in more revenue by using regular cops.

    Once again, conspiracy theorist me, but I don’t think the government cares for our safety, unless they can see a profit in it. If you look at most regulations, you’ll find a government tax, or fee, that brings in the dough.

  33. friendlynerd says:

    At least you’ll still be smug and able to say “I told you so.”

  34. psuchad says:

    I doubt that they factored in how much energy it took to make and install all the new signs.

  35. DomZ says:

    New Jersey citizens most likely wouldn’t abide by the 55mph speed limit – state troopers sure would be happy. The “speed limit” on the expressway and turnpike is 80.

  36. Toof_75_75 says:

    Just what we need, more government intervention…

  37. B says:

    @mac-phisto: & @friendlynerd: Doesn’t anybody recgonize a Homer quote anymore?

  38. gqcarrick says:

    @Bladefist: Autobahn

  39. Balisong says:

    @bravo369: if they were then they’d buy a prius or something with better mileage

    Or a Metro! I’ve heard you can get ’em at a bargain in some places for $7300. /sarcasm

  40. MeOhMy says:

    Technology and automotive design has come a LONG way since 1974. I am having a tough time believing that 55MPH (assuming there was ever any real science behind it) is still the magic number where most cars are at the peak balance between drag and thrust.

    Finding out what the sweet spot is either in general or for each car model and encouraging drivers to use that speed might not be too awful. Just lowering the speed limit that most drivers are already ignoring is not going to help. You need convince people that there is a real benefit.

  41. Toof_75_75 says:

    Or rather than rationing, we could say, tap all of the oil sources under our country and in the arctic circle…Not only does supply go up (meaning prices go down), but it also increases our independence from foreign oil.

  42. Bladefist says:

    @gqcarrick: That one too. Both are great highways :)

  43. Bladefist says:

    @Toof_75_75: But the polar bears will be floating on broken off pieces of ice into the ocean. It’s not worth it.

    Btw, don’t ever watch national geographic. Turns out polar bears get on the ice, break it off, and it takes them out to sea to fish, and then they swim back.

  44. Toof_75_75 says:

    HAHA Good call. I actually caught a piece on my local news talking about how used car salesmen are selling Geo Metros for 4-10 times their blue book value. People are so stupid LOL You couldn’t pay me to drive a Metro.

  45. Mjolnir427 says:

    @mc101: If there’s any part of your life that is not absolutely 100% as green as it can be, and if you haven’t sacrificed everything but basic survival on the altar of common good, I’d back off on the snarkiness about other people’s choices.

    You’re surfing the internet, so I seriously doubt you’ve lowered your fossil fuel consumption to it’s bare minimum.

  46. Balisong says:

    And oh man, how did I forget about this! [www.thenewspaper.com]

    Virginia’s going to jump right on this 55 mph thing. More $3000 speeding tickets!

  47. Smooooth says:

    They need a third option on the poll:

    Yes, for everyone except me.

  48. Toof_75_75 says:

    HAHA I debated this with someone, but they refused to believe me. They were convinced that the poor polar bears just floated off to nowhere…I never could get them to explain what they thought happened to the polar bears…I guess they ended up in the Bermuda Triangle or something…

  49. Tightlines says:


    Fuel economy is a personal choice. And until we are so low that we have to do rationing, the government needs to let me get a good or bad gas mileage as I want.

    That makes sense. Hey, until I see brain matter, I’ll keep banging my head against this wall. Because severe head trauma is a personal choice.

    I loooooove republicans.

  50. Toof_75_75 says:

    You make me laugh.

  51. woodenturkey says:

    well when my first kid was born i officialy became a “lame” driver. I drive the limit, 60mph in the city and 70mph once you get out of the metro area.

    before my kids i was doing 70 in the driveway.

  52. DashTheHand says:

    I say do away with the speed limit altogether and make every road the autobahn.

  53. Buran says:

    No — that’s overreaching. But states should voluntarily set speed limits that, when followed, result in maximum fuel economy on that particular road, taking into account traffic light timing and traffic flow. (Not having to stop raises fuel economy, so this would also optimize traffic flow). I’ve been on many roads where the limit is lower than it should be for conditions — presumably for speed trap purposes. I’ve even seen one where a sign says “traffic lights timed for X mph” when the speed limit was X-5 mph!

    (I don’t drive more than 5 over, and I optimize my acceleration and braking for best mileage and pay attention to what’s going on around me. Works very well).

  54. Toof_75_75 says:

    I prefer “conservatives”…the republicans are falling apart.

    Also, we “loooooove” you right back.

  55. Buran says:

    @B: What do the ancient Greeks know about speed limits?

  56. SharkD says:

    The correlation between speed and economy varies greatly from model to model, depending on engine design and management, transmission gearing, and final drive ratios, as well as aerodynamics. Blanket statements are misleading, especially if the numbers are based on 1970’s vehicles.

    Our 2007 4Runner (4L, V6, auto; my wife is a nurse and needs a 4wd, to ensure she can get to work, no matter what) gets it’s best mileage (24mpg) at around 57mph, but my 1987 BMW 635CSi (3.5L, I6, 5-spd) gets it’s best mileage (28mpg) in 5th gear at 3,200rpm, which works out to around 78mph.

    The reason: the 4Runner is a truck, whose engine works most efficiently at producing torque; the 6 is a touring car optimized for cruising the autobahn (it gets horrible mileage in stop-and-go).

  57. evslin says:

    @Balisong: Having lived in Germany for 5 years and driven on the autobahn myself, I think there’s also an “oh shit I could get killed at any second” factor that scares people into paying attention in addition to the education, and that’s probably somewhat lacking over here. Knowing someone may blow by you at 100 miles an hour at any second is reason enough to quit trying to read the newspaper while you’re driving.

  58. Tightlines says:


    Because the republican party is full of…liberals?


  59. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @leastcmplicated: When I lived in Atlanta, where I learned to drive years ago, we used to say that I-75 meant “I go 75,” highway 85 meant everyone went 85, and 285 meant twice as many people going 85.

  60. Buran says:

    @opfreak: The speed limit signs do not say “speed limit 65 only in the right lane”. I can and will drive in the lane I feel prudent for traffic and where I need to be. Left turn coming up? I’m in the left lane, and whiners who want to break the law can stare at my car’s taillights, rear window, and manufacturer badging. If you want to break the law, don’t expect others to help you.

  61. Bladefist says:

    @Tightlines: Are you saying that I am not capable of budgeting my money, and knowing how much I can spend for gasoline? If you had brain matter, you could keep track of yours, and you wouldn’t need the government to tell you how to use it. And what is your view? That we are destroying this earth? That we are causing global cooling? Yea its cooling. Is that us too? Are Americans like an Earth Thermostat?

    @Toof_75_75: I agree. But I can’t find a conservative icon. But its okay, having this icon makes commenting here interesting.

    me: “I like pepsi better then coke”
    commenter: “typical brain dead republican”

  62. @Bladefist: The autobahn is safe because all Germans are required to take driver’s training – and much more rigorous training than is typically offered to American 16 year olds. Furthermore, the minimum age for receiving a driver’s license in Germany is 18. Even furthermore, the driving test is also far more rigorous than is typically the case in the US. Add all that together, and you have a driving population that knows what the hell they’re doing. In my experience (1983-1986), most accidents were caused by stupid Americans who barely knew how to drive because they learned by driving their cousin Dupree’s pickup truck around the farm.

  63. Bladefist says:

    @Tightlines: Most people don’t get involved until the general election. But ya, GOP is supporting a moderate/lib right now.

  64. Growing up in Montana, I was lucky enough to experience the brief period most recently when there was no speed limit. I had just gotten my license and it was one of the most exhilarating feelings being young and inexperienced behind the wheel going 110 down the interstate. The rational behind there being no limit was that the distance between each of the exits to the cities and towns was so long that giving drivers a choice to go faster would shorten their time on the road. Unfortunately the no speed limit thing only lasted a couple of years since people from out of state would think they were hot shit and start racing and driving recklessly all over the interstate.

    Which I suppose brings me to my point. I don’t think the majority of Americans have enough commonsense to be driving anything over 55. It really amazes me the tomfoolery I see on the road nowadays. Also, it has been proven time and time again that going anything over 60 is just wasting gas. With all of the raising gas prices it only makes sense to make the speed limit lower and thus save on gas consumption.

  65. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    You know, there is more than one kind of traffic on the road. The bulk of the gas used on the road, I understand, is used by commercial drivers (trucks and cabs and delivery vehicles, etc.), not by daily commuters and other people driving their own vehicles.

    It would be practical and effective to require commercial vehicles to drive 55. Companies might even go for it as it would save them a lot of money in fuel costs.

  66. Toof_75_75 says:

    It’s obvious the government should take your BMW and replace it with a Geo Metro for several reasons:

    1. BMWs are only owned by rich people and rich people are oppressive…Also, they don’t pay taxes like poor people
    2. Your car isn’t optimized for the government’s decided “best speed”
    3. No one needs a car that goes 78 mph, so you should have one that tops out at 60 mph.

    Please report to your local courthouse for your vehicle exchange and to pay your reparations to poor people for being oppressive.


  67. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Buran: On my last business trip, on which I drove for four hours each way, I did indeed see signs saying “Slower traffic keep right.” If you are going to be the slower traffic, keep right. Capisce?

  68. Buran says:

    @Bladefist: The problem with this is that by using more, you are raising prices for everyone else which may break their budget which means others can and will get upset at you for being a glutton. And seeing as your actions do affect other people, they have every right to have a say.

    For other things where one’s actions don’t directly cost others money, it’s different, and is your choice alone.

  69. DeeJayQueue says:

    The fact that the cops trap instead of sit there with their lights blazing is proof enough that traffic tickets are nothing more than a revenue stream.

    If they were concerned about safety or fuel economy they’d do anything in their power to keep you from speeding in the first place, but that’s not what they do, they wait till you’re already speeding and then come get you for it.

  70. Lucky225 says:

    Speed limits are supposed to be based off the 85th percentile of a Traffic and Engineering survey. 85th percentile is the fastest speed you can drive safely for a particular road, bringing back this restriction would ensure nothing but the ‘fuel costs’ going to your local PD, courts and State. The whole “Click it or Ticket” Campaign this memorial day weekend (where most of the 24 states that have “secondary” seat belt laws illegally enforce the seat belt law at checkpoints) is bad enough towards a Police State. We don’t need the Federal government telling us what to do, if your state wants to conserve fuel, let them make that decision through legislation.


    [www.radardetector.net] <=- good forum for speeding discussion.

  71. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @DeeJayQueue: Cops care about revenue? Tell me another one. They don’t care about anything but “catching bad guys,” meaning “everyone but cops and people we like.”

  72. Tightlines says:


    Sorry, it’s not about your awesome budgeting skillz. You’re simply incapable of looking, or caring, beyond your own personal, selfish bubble. You think trashing the world around you is your God-given right and fuck anyone else who says otherwise.

  73. Toof_75_75 says:

    @Bladefist: LOL @ Earth Thermostat. Yeah, we’re like the bastards in the office that either crank the A/C down to 60 or the heat up to 90…

  74. chrylis says:

    @CharlieInSeattle: No. The amount of emissions (of everything) depends almost exclusively on the amount of fuel burned, not the amount of time your engine is running. Going slower would mean your engine’s running longer but burning fuel more slowly during that time.

    @freshyill: Actually, the correlation makes perfect sense; ask any traffic engineer.

    A University of Washington study found that the number 1 predictor of major traffic accidents is the difference in speed among people on the highway. Since people tend to drive about as fast as they feel safe driving, having a 55mph speed limit means some people will be going 50 (you know who I’m talking about) and some people will still go 80, a recipe for higher accident rates.

  75. warf0x0r says:

    I recently drove 447.4 miles in a trip to upstate Minnesota and back in my 2007 honda civic ex. I drove with the cruise pretty much locked in at 64 to 66. I passed cars when they were going between 55 and 60. When I got home and tanked up I found that I had used 10.996 gallons of gas, which is… 40.7 MPG. So I don’t care what they make the speed limit. I just want a car good gas milage.

  76. Balisong says:

    @Buran: You’re not getting the point of “slower drivers in the right lane.” If you’re going to be turning left, or taking an exit on the left, well of course you’ll need to be in the left lane. However, if you have no reason to be in the left lane, and are driving slower than traffic around you, you should be in the right lane. Otherwise, you are an accident waiting to happen. The left lane, not the lane to your right, is for passing. People shouldn’t have to drive circles around you; adjust your driving to the conditions you are in.

  77. Bladefist says:

    @Buran: I can be selfish. I work. I make my own money. I can spend it however I want.

    Your premise on Supply and Demand is absurd. Since I use more gas, I make the price go up? I agree. So are you going to limit the number of donuts I can buy? If I buy a 12 pack everyday, I am increasing demand, IE prices will go up?

    At some point I just wont be allowed to exist, because it increases prices for you.

  78. mariospants says:

    the faster you go, the more spread out those emissions will be. If you linger in a county at 55, you’ll be just polluting them something fierce.

  79. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    Slam on brakes -> slam on gas -> repeat for an hour is way worse for gas mileage than going 65 for an hour.

  80. merekat says:

    I do a lot of highway driving for work. Lowering the speed limit isn’t going to have any effect on most people’s driving habits.

    Any of you notice semi drivers driving under the speed limit with their hazard lights on lately? Talk about a road hazard!

  81. I refuse to vote until I hear Sammy Hagar’s opinion on the matter.

  82. thebaron says:

    How about we start drill in our own country and stop paying all the money to countries that I would like to see burn (like Iran)? We have roughly 300-400 years worth of oil in our own country. Let’s get our economy out of the whim of the foreign markets and strengthen our dollar.

  83. celticgina says:

    bring back the 55mph….it makes putting on my mascara so much easier at a lower speed!!

  84. Southern says:

    In my van, at 70MPH, I get an average of 21MPG. At 60MPH, I get 30MPG. At 55, I get around 35MPG.

    I’ll continue to drive 55-60 all by myself, thanks — I don’t need the government “mandating” it on my behalf. That way if I *do* need to get somewhere in a hurry, I have the OPTION of driving 70.. (or 75.. *grins*).

  85. Toof_75_75 says:

    @Tightlines: Right, since driving is trashing the planet. I’ve come up with a solution I think we both can live with. My plan will cut fuel consumption by 50%!!!

    Alright, here’s what we need to do. Since you and your party are so convicted about burning fuel and destroying the planet, you stop driving all together. Myself and others like me will continue driving as usual. I will continue using the same amount of fuel, which we’ll reference as 100% consumption. You will stop using fuel, thereby yielding a 0% consumption. Between the two of us, we will have lowered consumption by 50%. Now all I need you to do is get your party-mates to back my program and get involved with “real change.” Before you know it, we’ll have lowered fuel consumption by 50%! Let’s go America, it’s time for “Change”! Who’s with me?!

  86. boandmichele says:

    @Bladefist: fuel economy is not a personal choice, seeing as how we all live on the planet and breathe in your wasted burned gasoline.

  87. Toof_75_75 says:

    @boandmichele: Check out my comment above, you can get in on my program as well. I think you’ll appreciate the results!

  88. Bladefist says:

    @Toof_75_75: Thats a great solution. But I got a better one. The government will sell you the right to pollute. We should call them ‘Carbon Credits’. Once again my point, the government doesn’t really care, they are trying to turn a profit.

  89. Tightlines says:

    Heh, it’s nice to see in black and white why you guys have driven your party into the ground.


  90. Toof_75_75 says:

    I missed it, where was that?

  91. Toof_75_75 says:

    @Bladefist: Damn Al Gore… LOL

  92. Trai_Dep says:

    The only time I drive slower than 55 MPH is when I’m slowing down to make bank shots using the fleeing pedestrians in the School Crossing zones.

  93. It figures that the Heritage Foundation, defender of the PATRIOT Act, and supporter of the war in Iraq, would pooh-pooh the idea that driving slower makes no difference. God forbid any American be asked to do a damn thing for his or her country, like conserve gas.

    I vote ‘hell yes’ to the return of the double nickel. Heck, even tighter enforcement of existing speed limit laws would be an improvement. On the New York State Thruway, the sign says 65, but traffic usually flows at somewhere around 75, 10 MPH over the limit being what most state troopers consider worth the trouble of pulling somebody over. Do the math.

    This has gone beyond where Bladefist might have had an argument about rights and personal liberty. If the price and availability of oil weren’t national security issues, we wouldn’t have soldiers getting shot at in the Middle East right now.

    I have always driven small cars because I’m a cheap bastard. I promote the idea of smaller cars because I am a patriot – the real kind, not the kind who drives a Expedition around the ‘burbs with a “Support The Troops” magnet on the back. If driving like Grandpa in a Civic hatchback is good for the country and helps keep the price of gas in check, then I’m all for it.

  94. Balisong says:

    @merekat: Any of you notice semi drivers driving under the speed limit with their hazard lights on lately?

    No O_o And why would they? They only have a limited amount of time to get their load to its destination. They’re usually forced to speed.
    My mom used to drive trucks.
    Truckers drive safer than all of you.

  95. MissPeacock says:

    I do! I was just logging on to tell the folks who replied to you that it was a Simpsons quote.

  96. Bladefist says:

    @Tightlines: Last I heard the GOP was rolling in dough and the crats were in debt. Not sure why you think GOP is drivin into the ground? McCain looks to have a good chance, it’s going to be a close race.

  97. HeartBurnKid says:

    Where I’m at, people don’t even obey the current 65-70 speed limits. Lowering it to 55 would be a “feel-good” change that wouldn’t really accomplish anything.

  98. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Bladefist: No, Hillary’s in debt. Obama’s doing absolutely fantastic.

  99. Bladefist says:

    @HeartBurnKid: Talking about the Party. Not the nominees. Stick with me here.

  100. Bladefist says:

    @Bladefist: I’m trying to keep half my brain tied behind my back, just to keep it fair.

  101. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @thebaron: Your Excellency, we in the oil business will be happy to sink a well wherever you can prove it will pay. Go ahead and share your oil-finding wisdom with the clueless industry geologists, why don’t you?

  102. astruc says:

    I drive cross-country a lot. In a few days I am leaving to drive 3200 miles from Florida to Seattle. The idea of driving 3200 miles at 55 miles per hour makes me want to weep.

  103. Toof_75_75 says:

    @Balisong: Except when they don’t look in their mirrors and just merge anyways… You’re making a little too broad a statement there…I don’t completely disagree with you, but be reasonable.

  104. @speedwell: Are you for real? Most fuel being used by commerical vehicles? Where did you get that piece of FUD?

    Tell you what. The average truck gets around 6 MPG. The average non-commercial vehicle gets around 22. If you can prove that commercial vehicles comprise more than a third of all vehicles on the road, I’ll buy your specious argument.

    For those of you who are interested, here is a good white paper about tractor-trailers and MPG: [www.petersonpower.com]

  105. Froggmann says:

    @speedwell: Uhh yea, tell that to my brother in law who just got ticketed for having one dim taillight. Keep in mind his car has 6 taillights 5 of which work fine. If that wasn’t about revenue generation I don’t know what is.

  106. I have to doubt that fuel economy is constant across different car types. For instance, I’ll bet my Civic has a different fuel consumption rate at 65 than my S2000 does, given the different engine types and aerodynamics. So give me the option to drive 65 or 55, don’t just limit me to 55. This is really one of those areas the fundamentally splits personal-freedom folks from the government-knows-best folks. Think we’re undertaxed? Feel free to pay more. Think you’d get better mileage at 55? Knock yourself out. Just don’t limit my choices. While you’re at it, let me talk on my cell phone without requiring a hands-free device. I can handle it. I’m an adult.

  107. anarcurt says:

    The 55 MPH speed limit on Long Island’s Parkways and expressways is a joke. Most people ignore them. The few people who do drive this slow cause traffic jams and accidents. Traffic jams cause more MPG loss for me than driving fast. 80 on the LIE with a 65 minimum. This would reduce traffic jams as more cars per hour would be able to use the road. My car gets 25 MPG at 55-60. 23MPG at 70. 10 MPG in stop and go. I’ll take the 23 MPG.

  108. boandmichele says:

    bladefist and toof: you can do whatever you want, in complete and utter freedom, when you live outside of this enclosed environment here on earth, with the other 6+ billion of us.

    compare how much gas you use at 75 than at 55. fuel consumption is drastically reduced, even considering a longer drive time. this is a fact. even bill o’reilly cant dispute that (successfully). burning gas creates pollution. this, again, is a undisputable fact. if you disagree, go in your garage, start your car, and close the door.

    aside from all the other facts that come from driving a terrist-fighting ford excursion, sure you are free to do what you want. but you can still try and not be a jerk.

    i recommend the moon, as its currently unpopulated. you can be as selfish as you like there.

  109. Toof_75_75 says:

    Is anyone else having a hard time getting to the second page of comments? My link is not working properly…

  110. blkhwk86 says:

    I think it should be brought back, but no one would follow it. You need enforcement in order for it to be effective. Where I drive in CA, it’s pretty common to be travelling at 85-90. That’s the flow of traffic. Even beaters and jalopies are going that speed and it is that fast when it’s packed as well. It only slows down when there is an accident or when there are way, way too many people on it like at rush hour.

  111. AngryEwok says:

    If I exceed the speed limit, it is usually only by 5 MPH. Forget the gas for a second, speeding tickets are fucking expensive.

  112. BlackFlag55 says:

    At a projected $12 a gallon (thank you Congress you rotten sons of unmarried parents) you’ll see why we keep horses and mules (American Mammoth jackstock crossed with Percherons) … 55mph won’t be an option. Even for ambulances.

  113. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @speedwell: Testing… please delete

  114. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Froggmann: Yeah, I got ticketed for driving 15 miles over the speed limit in a place where my pissant PT Cruiser could not have possibly even accelerated up to the speed limit from a dead stop at the traffic light. It’s stupid, but it’s not about revenue. Cops don’t get paid on commission. It’s about keeping the civilians in their place and making sure they know who has the whip hand.

  115. cac67 says:

    @evslin: I only lived in Germany 2 years, but the first time I ever saw someone reading a book while driving was on the autobahn.

    @Buran: No, the signs don’t say that, but the law in every state in the union is that slower traffic must use the right lane. Don’t expect to find the full text of the traffic laws on the signs. But keep your eyes open, because you will see signs saying slower traffic keep right.

    If you do a little research into your states driving laws, you’ll also find that it’s illegal to impede the flow of traffic regardless of how fast that traffic is going. Believe it or not, you can get a ticket for driving the speed limit in the left lane.

    It’s attitudes like yours that cause road rage. Eventually, you’ll slow down the wrong person and they’ll run you off the road, or worse. When that happens I hope you and whoever is with you are not hurt.

  116. ARP says:

    @Bladefist: Your comment on the autobahn is interesting. How is it that Germany can have the autobahn with fewer accidents? Are Germans “naturally” better drivers? That seems racist. Off the top of my head, there are two things I can think of which might contribute:

    1) More driving instruction and stricter drivings tests/standards

    2) 18 year old driving ages

    The problem, of course, is that those are both government regulations and you are opposed to government regulations. Or are you? Or are you opposed to certain government regulations? If so, what is the nature of those government regulations you’re for or against?

  117. CapitalC says:

    If they’re really trying to cut emissions by 15% they should tell every 7th driver they can no longer drive their vehicle – that would work just about as well as this stupid plan.

  118. categorically says:

    I think we should convert to the metric system. 100 kph sounds so fast. 55mph is slow.

  119. tikuahote says:

    Speed limits are bogus. If I drive the limit (which I do around here since there are cops galore), I get passed on the right, tailgated and occasionaly, honked at. So, bag ’em. Let us go whatever feels right. It’ll all shake out in the end, right?

  120. Snowblind says:


    So it seems the environmentalist win both ways. Get people driving 55 to save gas and the accidents will take care of the excess population.

    A dead person does not have a carbon footprint after they are cremated or decay.

    Add in possible reduction in future generations we may save teh planet! /sarcasm

    Everything has unintended consequences…

  121. schiff says:

    Your chart isnt displaying correctly. It makes it look like YES is the winner.

    btw, 55 sucks. Anyone who is required to make long trips (I do 800 miles every 2 weeks) would be extremely hurt by the lower speed limit.

  122. BigElectricCat says:

    @Bladefist: “Fuel economy is a personal choice. And until we are so low that we have to do rationing, the government needs to let me get a good or bad gas mileage as I want.”

    Tragedy of the Commons.

  123. ARP says:

    @boandmichele: It is true that we’re all interconnected, but I think you take it a bit far. There is some personal choice in our society and Bladfist and others can do as they please.

    Of course, we as our government can certainly make it more expensive to do so. So that the costs of doing what they please help offset their impact. Give tax credits for low emission/high gas mileage cars and impose a tax for gas guzzlers (we do it for lots of other “sins”). Have the government take over the electric lines (stay with me republicans), but then allow electric companies to compete. So if you want to run your house on incinerated polar bears, you can do so. Or, if you want your house heated on solar/wind, you can do that as well. Oh, of course no more subsidies for oil companies, power companies, etc. because that would be an entitlement program (boo entitlements). There is a market approach to many of our problems and with some gentle nudging, it can head in the right direction. Of course, that means we’ll have to treat everyone the same, even oil companies.

  124. Juggernaut says:

    I find that if I get up to 80 or 95 in my DTS and then take my foot off the gas – I get about 65mpg for a few feet. I’m just saying, ya know?

  125. Buran says:

    @Balisong: Read it again. I do that. However, if you’re in violation of the law, why do you expect other people to accomodate illegal actions?

  126. rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

    @Victo: close to 90Km/h

  127. Bladefist says:

    @ARP: You have some ok points. I hate sin taxes though. I wouldn’t heat my house on polar bears though. Maybe black bears. (I’m your typical bigot republican)

  128. foxbat2500 says:

    Several reasons why the speed limit should be lowered.

    1) Its absurd to think that you can just drive 55 with the current speed limit. Give it a shot and see how fast you get driven off the road. Plus the differences in speed between those doing 55 and those doing 80 is a recipe for disaster. People have no idea how to use the lanes properly like in Germany.

    2) The current speed limit in most places is not 65…its almost 80. Because people naturally cheat. Therefore if you really want 65…the limit should be 55.

    3) During a typical 1 hr trip a speed increase of 10mph saves you very little time. Why spend all that money, cause all of that polution, and needlessly endanger your life for a few extra minutes at work or your inlaws.

    4) Chuck Norris

  129. nightshadowon says:

    Why don’t we create more efficent cars that get better gas mileage and are cheaper? Computers get better and cheaper. Why can’t we do the same for cars? Guess the oil and car lobbyists would be out of work.

  130. squatchie44 says:

    I would fine at 55 going to and from work in my beater car, mostly cause much over that it just doesnt really want to do. Otherwise, not so much

  131. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @chrylis: From personal experience driving at an average speed of 40MPH when traffic is heavy on the freeway from my house down I-5 to Seattle, I use more gas. When traffic is light and I can do between 60-70 my gas mileage goes way up.

  132. Kostadinos says:

    @ Buran

    Actually you create a road hazard when you drive like that you self-centered twit. the left lane is a passing lane, so unless you are passing a slower vehicle stay out of it.

    The reason the Autoban is safer is because you don’t have uninformed, self-absorbed twits like this driving on it.

    learn the rules the road loser.

  133. friendlynerd says:

    I call bullshit. There isn’t a van in production that gets anywhere near 30mpg at any speed.

  134. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @cac67: It’s a great law to make slow traffic keep right, but in my state I have never seen it enforced.

  135. elislider says:

    seeing how in oregon the speed limit pretty much IS 55 already (except of the interstates outside of the cities), i’m used to it already being 55. that having been said, i never actually GO that slow

  136. Thain says:

    I can remember truckers going on strike over $1/gallon gasoline. The amazing thing is that the average wage (and certainly the minimum wage) has not increased notably, if even NOTICEABLY, since gas prices hit $1/gallon, but the average price of gas has nearly quadrupled.

    Even if North America (e.g., the US AND Canada) were to sink oil wells in every natural resource we have available to us (costing billions, if not trillions, and destroying a lot of natural beauty in the process) and flood the market with all these untapped resources, gas prices wouldn’t go down. Oil companies are turning an incredible profit right now, and they have no intention of cutting back. If they can increase their profits even more, they’re going to do so. It would take a government sanction (if not an actual hostile government takeover) of the big oil business to actually reduce gas prices, and you can bet your ass that conservatives and liberals alike wouldn’t be able to resist dipping their hands in the pie that is oil profits if the government suddenly controlled the oil industry (hell, our president has had his hand in that pie for decades).

  137. captadam says:

    @Bladefist: Blah blah blah the evil government is regulating everything you do. Guess what? Those roads are BUILT BY THE GOVERNMENT. Don’t like the laws of the road? Then don’t drive! Stop whining about regulation!

    … And for the record, I’m opposed to a national 55 mph limit. Instead of designing roads for high speed and then enforcing a much lower speed for lower fuel consumption, stop designing roads that, psychologically, encourage people to go so fast. Stop building superhighways. Plant trees along the highway. Build tighter turns. THAT will slow down traffic.

  138. Buran says:

    @Bladefist: No, it’s not. Apparently you’ve missed every single news story where it’s said that the prices are high because demand is growing.

  139. Buran says:

    @boandmichele: Thank you. It’s funny how those of us who dare to protest get slammed when we call the selfish price-raising polluters out on their actions.

  140. Bladefist says:

    @captadam: I pretend im in nascar when i see tight right turns. Burn extra gas beating all the people who arent trying to race me.

  141. Bladefist says:

    @Buran: I understand supply and demand. I understand I am increasing demand when I water my yard with gas to piss you off. I’m saying, that I increase the price of everything I buy, by increasing demand. And thats not a bad thing. If you’re so concerned, follow toof’s plan. That’ll balance the world out. Me and Buran. Canceling each other out. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

  142. Joedragon says:

    55 does not work in the CHICAGO area most traffic does 70+.

  143. differcult says:

    I drove 400 miles this weekend…Went 63 and not 70 like normal. 37% better MPG….but I still want the right to go 70 if I want to.

    Drive the speed you want, if you slow down, you can stop bitching a little about the price of gas.

  144. differcult says:

    @Bladefist: You are my hero.

  145. differcult says:

    @Buran: Since when is the news ever right? The price of gas might be partially due to demand…but more the lack of supply. Opec has cut production and politics have cut production in america. Less supply.

    The easier solution (other than getting people to drive less, which won’t happen) Is to tap OUR oil supplies in OUR country for OUR use.


    There is now the idea that North Dakota has one of the worls largest oil supplies from 200-1000 Billion Barrels…That is right folks! BILLION

    The problem…it is deep oil and would cost a lot to drill.

  146. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    @44 in a Row: Yes. Going 15 mph or more over and still having jerks tailgate me is annoying.

    I’m sure if you brought up the safety issue, it would work in the court of law. If it didn’t, I’d sue the judge. Serioulsy… Hell, I would sue NJ state troopers for failing to do their jobs since SO MANY PEOPLE drive at 80 MPH plus on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike….

    If I just pulled over by a service station and video-taped traffic, I could EASILY prove that more than 50% of people drive over 75 mph, and virtually ALL people in the left lane drive 80+ mph.

    No need for new speed limits, just enforce the current ones. Plus, all the fees help out the states. And if you can’t afford the already high insurance after a few tickets, then don’t drive.

  147. jasezero says:

    There are some cars that are less efficient at 55 compared to 65…a Nissan Maxima comes to example. My father and I did a couple tests on different tanks of gas and found that driving at 60-65 was more efficient (more MPG) than 55…just my .02

  148. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    @Thain: I’m sure the oil companies are evil. But bear with me and at least hear me out:

    Even if the oil companies were good and kept their profit per gallon down to say a tenth of a cent. Let us pretend.

    Regardless of the cost per barrel of oil, regardless of how much refining it costs, regardless of taxes and overhead costs…kept profit at .1 cents a gallon.

    Guess what, demand is rising. Consumption is still rising. Even with their profit amount fixed…they would continue to pull in RECORD PROFITS. Why, because they sell more and more and more product. We the people are too blame for that.

    Of course though, the oil companies haven’t cut their profits…their margins (and its percentage, not a set amount) goes up with the price. Couple this with increased consumption and you have even Higher RECORD PROFITS.

    What I am saying makes sense, right? Again though, I am sure the oil companies are still raising their margins a bit…

    The real problem is with OPEC pricing. They could slash oil prices NOW. But choose not to. Whatever the reasons may be.

  149. hapless says:

    @mc101: You just don’t get it. It *is* all about me. I don’t care what you tell your son :D

  150. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @Bladefist: @Toof_75_75: This site lacks an overall understanding of basic economics.

    You can’t just legislate change, its doesn’t work. People are REM’s, they react and maximize situations for their own personal gain. Its human nature. The Fed’s tried to lower the speed limit. What happened? Sales of CB radios went through the roof.

    Too all those who think you can just legislate change, remember this term, unintended consequences. You want to put unrealistic environmental regulations on factories, fine we’ll move them to Mexico.

    If you want change, don’t look to legislation, there are too many ways around that. How about you provide an incentive and use economics to your advantage? You want higher MPG vehicles on the road? Provide me with an incentive to purchase one that’s so great, I’d be stupid to pass it up. Don’t try to force auto makers to manufacture higher MPG autos, focus on the consumer. We’re the ones who truly make the decisions.

    /dick joke

  151. bbagdan says:

    one good thing about driving 55 is that you can multitask by sleeping while driving.

  152. fuchikoma says:

    On main streets, I do about 80km/h. On highways, 120km/h usually.
    So that’s under 50, and under 75mph respectively.

    So you guys would be tied to just under 88kph? That’s not reasonably fast IMO. Yes, traffic fatalities would go down if we all had to drive no faster than 30 everywhere, except for all the people ignoring driving because of the slow speed and chatting on phones/reading papers/putting on makeup/eating while driving who would mow people down.

    Oh crap, they already do that… IMO our 100kph limit with 120 actual speed isn’t a problem except when people think they can do that in a blizzard and run themselves off the road. We (that is Canada, and the US too) should just suspend licenses of anyone caught with something in their hands or in front of their faces that is not the steering wheel while they are driving. Three months the first time, and double it every time the next three times, then make it permanent.

    Really, I have no sympathy for these people, especially as a motorcyclist who is often cut off or merged into by cell phone drones or coffee jugglers. They are oblivious to the fact that they recklessly and dangerously wield enough destructive force to kill several dozen people in a moment. If they can’t comprehend that, they shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

    The speeds make the accidents more lethal, but inattention makes the accidents… period.

  153. zizzer says:

    I read somewhere that every time you double your speed the physics are that your energy requirement is not doubled but quadrupled. Can anyone confirm? Also I can confirm from a horses mouth that cops do care about revenue because they are required to fulfill a quota of tickets per day. If someone would build a plug-in hybrid I’d buy one not only because they get outstanding mileage but because they are cool. Mean people aren’t. Mean people suck (Bank shot).

  154. Raziya says:

    If the speed limit becomes 55, I am just going to get a ticket for driving 30 MPH over the limit instead of 20 MPH, so…meh.

  155. Toof_75_75 says:

    You sir, are an idiot. What you fail to grasp is that oil companies are not the problem. Want to someone to be mad at?! Check out the “profits” the government is taking on gasoline… The oil companies make like $0.08/gallon. They have record profits because they have record production. That seems pretty obvious… The more they produce, the more money they make. No matter how much they produce, though, they continue to only make $0.08/gallon. The government, on the other hand, is continually raising taxes and is making nearly $0.50/gallon. What has the government done to deserve its huge cut? Last time I checked, the oil company performed a service to deserve its meager portion.

  156. Am I the only one who can’t navigate to the second page of comments?

    (And yes, I realize that I won’t be able to see any response to this, but still.)

  157. Lambasted says:

    When the road warrior police in Maryland (PG County cops I’m talking to you) and in Virginia drive 55 mph, then I will too.

    Virginia cops aren’t as bad as the reckless driving thug officers in Maryland, but it’s a rare occasion to see any police officer driving the speed limit. Oh and please don’t tell me they are on a call because if they were driving driving 80 mph (the minimum cruising speed for the PG County police department) to get to a crime scene they would have lights flashing and sirens blaring. They don’t. And don’t even get me started on D.C. cops.

    Other drivers are a mixed bag here. During the three-hour window when we don’t have rush hour traffic (midnight-3am), the average cruising speed is 65-70mph. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of terrible drivers in the DC area. Err, I meant to say…in Maryland. Marylanders drive like refried caca warmed over. I swear they must wake up determined to cause an accident that day, even if they have to go out of their way to do it. Not to spare Virginians, you can find many of them in the left lane still driving 55mph–except on I-395. That’s one stretch on which slow drivers are smart enough to stay well out of the left lane.

  158. Bladefist says:

    I’m on the 2nd page, but no one else is. I had to look at gawkers site, and copy the url pattern to this site, to make it here. waiting for you guys!

  159. Lambasted says:

    @The Count of Monte Fisto: I asked the exact same question yesterday. Now I know it isn’t just me having problems.

  160. Lokisince89 says:

    If you truly want to save gas, take out municipal speed bumps and reduce the number of 4-way stops. You’d save more gas by not having to come to a complete or near complete stop.
    Most speed bumps require you to go much slower that the rated speed in the area.

  161. Toof_75_75 says:

    It may surprise you, but gas companies really aren’t increasing their margins. Also, the problems with OPEC are just further proof that we need to allow North American drilling, as differcult mentioned. And even in the case he mentioned, investors and gas companies are willing to invest in deep drilling when they know there will be great benefits from doing so.

  162. Bladefist says:
  163. Toof_75_75 says:

    @Lokisince89: Unless you drive a sweet gas-guzzling Hummer ;-) HAHA (And, hatred for people who drive Hummers, ready, go…) And no, I don’t have one, but its always funny to see how mad people are at people who drive Hummers. lol

  164. Toof_75_75 says:

    Bladefist, did you happen to catch any of the Oil CEOs talking? They cited the ridiculous percentage of land which is completely off limits to drilling and the even more ridiculous percentage of land which is under huge restrictions. I think the second number was like 92%.

  165. 8one6 says:

    I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but where I live the speeding fines for 10mph over are the same as the fine for 1mph over. It’s not until you get into the 11+mph over range that the cops really start pulling people over. If they changed the limit back to 55, you won’t have to worry about tickets until you hit 66.

  166. Kajj says:

    @Bladefist: GIS-ing “conservative icon” brings up William F. Buckley Jr. with a terrifying smile on his face. You should use that!

    The Autobahn discussion got me thinking. In addition to the likely increase in highway safety, is there a possibility that upping the coursework and learning time required for a driver’s license would reduce fuel consumption? Teaching efficient driving skills, pounding “the car is not a toy” into speed-happy teens’ heads, that kind of thing.

  167. Bladefist says:

    @Toof_75_75: Yes I did. The CEO was saying how he would love to fix the problems, but the government wouldn’t let him


    “The point must be driven home that drilling for oil on a 2,000 acre footprint, within a 19 million acre wildlife refuge (8.63 times the size of Yellowstone) will not make caribou lose their desire to procreate in the remaining 365,019,360 acres (570,374 square miles) of Alaska’s wilderness.”

    LOL. God I love America.

  168. ARP says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: You don’t have to legislate change as much as you can create the incentives (or disincentives) to change.

    For example, offer tax credits for efficient cars, houses, alternate power, etc. and either offer carbon trading, caps, or taxes to polluting technologies.

    You don’t have to force it, you can nudge it by creating the appropriate economic incentives and still maintain a free market.

    For example, what if a big SUV was 15% more expensive because of a gas guzzler’s tax and a Prius (or any car that got over X mpg) was 15% less expensive. Would you buy the less expensive car? Some would, some would not. There’s still a choice. This way, you’re not regulating, but creating the economic conditions for change. So if some status-starved schmo wants a Navi, he can buy one, since he’s “paid” for the additional “harm” he/she causes.

    The other part of this is to end corporate entitlements. I always hear about personal entitlements like welfare, etc. Well, if you want to be consistent, end corporate entitlements as well. No more tax breaks for oil companies, use that money to fund alternative fuels or other efficiency measures.

    Allow power companies to compete by nationalizing the power infrastructure (not the production, just the lines)and let consumers choose their source of power. Bladefist is racist, so he’ll use black bears :)

  169. Kajj says:

    Why are the “continue reading comments” links broken lately? Grr.

  170. BlackFlag55 says:

    And this … is why we keep horses and mules. If fuel goes to $12 a gallon, not even ambulances are going to be running.

  171. captadam says:

    @Toof_75_75: What has the “government” done? They’ve built the highways that you can drive on, that’s what. And with the “huge cut” they’re taking, they can barely afford to maintain the highways they have, let alone build new ones. Perhaps their “cut” isn’t big enough.

  172. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @ARP: I agree with you 100%. I think that there should be huge tax incentives for efficient cars and alternative energy. The key there is, while it may be the government providing the incentives, its still up to the consumer to act on them.

  173. Southern says:



    642 miles on 19.7 gallons @ 55MPH on cruise control from Texas to Florida on I-10 = 32.5MPG. It surprised me too.

  174. stacye says:

    Doesn’t really matter to me. Most of my driving is done to and from work, and I rarely get above 40 because of the traffic.

  175. fizatdh says:

    If there was reasonable public transportation, people would use it. Lets get all of the commuters off the highway, they would prefer not driving and it would help the situation out.

  176. Toof_75_75 says:

    @captadam: Oh yeah, ok, that’s where ALL their cut goes…BULLSHIT.

    @Bladefist: Seriously, I wish those guys would have just let lose and outright blamed the government for the problems. I know at one point the one guy mentioned that a solution would be for Congress to remove or lessen the restrictions, but he never really said what I wanted him to say; “Look, you guys are the problem. Stop trying to pretend its us!”

  177. Toof_75_75 says:

    *Correction* let “loose”

  178. Bladefist says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: I’m fine with Tax incentives, as long as taxes/fees don’t raise. IE, incentives based on current taxes.

  179. Bladefist says:

    @Toof_75_75: I agree. But I think its all just a big show, to show American Liberals their government is in action. Nothing will happen. Just wait until Obama can fix it.

  180. LibertyReign says:

    Yet again the point is missed entirely. Gas prices are not high, the value of the dollar is low. Huge difference. CO2 is not the problem. CO2 is what plants breathe and what humans exhale. Volcanos emit more CO2 in a single eruption than millions of American cars do in a day. It’s the Carbon MONoxide that you have to worry about, and the technology for fuel cell vehicles as well as vehicles that run on water already exists.

    This is all about toll-roads, global taxation, and taking fuel and transportation under tigher control. Cars do not cause global warming. The sun does. Go to NASA’s website and you will find out that not only is our sun getting brighter, but it is heating THE ENTIRE GALAXY. Are you going to tell me that ice caps on Mars are melting because of some redneck’s SUV?

    This is what it looks like, sounds like and feels like.. FASCISM

  181. LibertyReign says:


    You can talk on your cell phone all you want, but first I will need to see your driver’s license.

  182. Bladefist says:

    @captadam: Well they’re welcome to close shop on welfare and the going green project, and put that money into our roads, like it should have been done anyway. Also if they would loser taxes on gas, demand would surge, and they would end up taking MORE on taxes on gas.

  183. LibertyReign says:


    Um like..your comment is totally witty n stuff, but what does it have to do with national speed limit enforcement?

    Secondly, do I get to send you to the moon because I think you are ignorant about the economy? What about the other 6 billion of us that don’t wan tto live in socialistic poverty?

  184. LibertyReign says:


    AND its about revenue

  185. Toof_75_75 says:

    @Bladefist: Weird…imagine that! Lower taxes to increase revenue…Wow, revolutionary! ;-)

  186. Bladefist says:

    @LibertyReign: You’re right. I have been spreading the word of gas prices based on the low dollar for months, I gave up. People don’t get it. When our dollar goes down, its worth less to other countries. To me it seems so easy.

  187. Toof_75_75 says:

    Or CAN’T fix it, as the case will be.

    But good news, he’ll make friends and have talks with known terrorists! Yay, the country is saved! I “LOOOOOOVE” change!

  188. Lokisince89 says:

    Right in concept- but our Sun is not heating up the THE ENTIRE GALAXY, just our Solar System.
    it is difficult to imagine that my burning old Styrofoam cups is causing the heat-up of Mars

  189. Toof_75_75 says:

    @Lokisince89: As much as I like to think that when I burn tires it heats up Mars, I realize it’s impossible… lol

  190. Bladefist says:

    oh this liberal stuff wears me out. I’m remembering back to when they asked you to cut up the plastic that holds your cans of pop together. It’s never ending.

    Fun Fact: Conservatives killed the last Dodo bird.

  191. Bladefist says:

    @Toof_75_75: NO NO. Obama is not an appeaser. He will however talk with foreign terrorist with no preconditions. Ok that may define ‘appeaser’ but umm, it just doesn’t ring. Obama is currently finding a synonym that sounds more progressive, hopeful.

  192. Toof_75_75 says:

    Man, I wish my Reagan avatar would update…it’s in my profile, but won’t hit the page…Sad.

  193. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    is it fixed yet?

  194. phazah says:

    start drilling in the US, start coal to oil program, and start using the methane hydrate off the coast as a fuel as a temporary fix until we can start the conversion from an oil based economy to a hydrogen based one, then oil will be a non issue….

  195. captadam says:

    @Bladefist: Shouldn’t you be supporting toll roads run by corporations? Why are you wishing for the government to keep building highways? That’s socialism! Social engineering! Evil!

  196. TechnoDestructo says:


    Many are, without question. Some cities have taken it so far that they’ve been disincorporated ( [en.wikipedia.org] ).

  197. Bladefist says:

    @captadam: You’re an idiot. Everything isn’t black and white. The government should be responsible for some things, such as road, national defense, Health care. (just kidding on that last one)

  198. chrisjames says:

    @Bladefist: Hah! Trickle-down economics is analogous to customer satisfaction, the mainstay of the Consumerist. I love the hypocrisy of American ideologies. Irony is my mainstay, and this irony tastes good.

    Back to the article, I’m more concerned about the safety issues of a 55 mph speed limit. People are already disregarding the 70 mph limit, and out in places where it’s higher than that, they drive whatever the hell speeds they can manage. The meager “pass on the left” courtesy is hardly enough to keep people from swerving all over the place, even passing on the shoulder or, damn it all, the median. A lower enforced limit is just going to make the disjoint in speeds larger, creating so much more risk.

  199. JimiSlew says:

    snore. How about we get rid of vehicles that don’t have good acceleration during Rush Hour. Mack Trucks I’m looking at you.

    Seriously. How much time do we spend sitting in traffic because we missed alight we could have made because a car/truck/etc. ahead of us couldn’t make it.

    I’d like to see a study of that.

    Oh! better idea. Push a greater acceptance of flex hours (11-7pm, 6am-3, etc.) in the workplace to cut down on congestion, etc.

    Also I’ve noticed traffic is slower when it is not rush hour (duh) so spreading out the arrival/departure times of workers could lead to a decrease in speed (depending on the motivation for it) which leads to gas savings. That’s x2 the gas savings if you count in the reduced congestion.

  200. Mjolnir427 says:

    @boandmichele: You don’t drive, take the bus, or fly?


    Let’s assume the most likely scenario: You do, occasionally, utilize an internal combustion engine.

    Since your life also emits burned hydrocarbons, what you’re really doing is allowing pollution, but at a level just low enough that you can claim to be “better”. You’ve arbitrarily decided that YOUR lifestyle is the break-point between “polluting asshole” and “environmental savior”.

    I’m going to have to ask to see the paperwork that proclaims your standards as optimum and giving you the authority to determine who violates the standards you set.

  201. itsgene says:

    I believe that other factors in autobahn safety include the fact that it is specially engineered for high-speed traffic (our highways were not engineered for 100+ mph) and it is relatively distraction-free when compared to American highways.

  202. Bladefist says:

    @chrisjames: Agreed. The difference between is a huge factor.

    Also, I live in MO, so sometimes when I am traveling, I am literally at in the middle of no where, on amazing 4 lane roads. Why we need those, I don’t know. But there is usually no cars within sight of me, except for a police officer. You expect me to drive 55 mph in the middle of no where? Make the senate drive to Washington for a month, and this will never come up again.

  203. Bladefist says:

    @chrisjames: Also, people always ask me why I come here. They think republicans are for big business. Consumer awareness, thats my anti-drug.

  204. asphix20 says:

    @Youthier: maybe.. and i know this will sound bad.. but a death = less future emissions and less gas consumption..

    so while it may cost money to clean it up.. it also cuts down on future costs.

  205. carbonmade says:

    We Coloradans LOVE to drive fast, so even when that law was in effect, no one bothered to follow it. If it goes in effect again, once again it will be ignored.

  206. chrisjames says:

    @Bladefist: That would sound like good ole’ Texas, if they weren’t incredibly lackluster about widening the highways they’ve been pretending to widen going on 30 years now. Why they need to I don’t understand, but shutting down lanes for a plan they won’t see through is more odd.

    The cop issue is funny too, because a few cities there were caught leaving empty cop cars on the sides of highways, angled for a quick pullout. What everyone I’ve ever driven with knows (and often is just at fault) is that when there’s a cop in sight, all traffic slows to a crawl. I suppose the city thinks that’s safer, forgetting the 80 mph traffic coming up behind them all, not aware of the unexpected slow down.

    Patching a tire is always a temporary fix. It’ll only blowout sooner the longer you take to fix the real problem.

    (And why anyone would think a site that deals primarily with customer-to-business interaction is a bastion for “lefties” is beyond me. A place to bash is a place to bash, I guess.)

  207. AD8BC says:

    @Bladefist: Oh Blade, you’ll love this about the Texas cameras (the red light ones) — it is akin to letting private companies do police work. Private companies set them up, private companies look at the pictures, private companies mail the fines, and private companies ATTACK YOUR CREDIT RATING if you don’t pay up. It is a CIVIL infraction, not a CRIMINAL one. They may not hand out points on your license, but the fact that they are almost impossible to challenge that seems to violate due-process.

  208. Bladefist says:

    @AD8BC: Don’t look at me. The liberals in that Texas city set that up.

  209. LionelEHutz says:

    Hell no. If I want to drive 75 or 65 then I should be able to do that. It’s my money and it’s my right to waste it no matter what the tofu eating birkenstock wearking volvo driving tree hugging sprout munching Phish listening ragamuffin terroist sympathizing america hating commie fascist hippie set thinks.

  210. Bryan Price says:

    I’ve driven around in my state. This year when I went to Miami and drove 90+ MPH there and almost got my stated highway mileage for my car (I got 29.8 MPH versus 30 on ths sticker). I don’t get that mileage driving slower, just as far. So I don’t believe, and never have believed that it will save gas. Engineers aren’t stupid. When the average for Interstate travel was 70, I’m sure that was the sweet spot for mileage. So it didn’t save, until the engineers again tuned the car for 55.

  211. Bladefist says:

    @LionelEHutz: I’m in love.

  212. eblack says:

    I hope these people at least stay in the slow lane. Otherwise I’m going to be right there, six inches from their back bumper, giving them dirty looks.

    Yeah, I’m one of THOSE people. Don’t like it? Go faster.

  213. SpaceCat85 says:

    Making trucks go 55mph on a 65mph highway would just make things more ugly, especially at ramps and other merges. Being stuck behind people driving 10-15MPH below the speed limit (in ordinary weather conditions) is already dangerous, especially if the people coming at you from behind can’t immediately tell that you’re also driving slower.

    I think that the government should instead be more strict about A)improving commercial truck/bus emissions and B)enforcing existing weight restrictions for tractor trailers. The latter would also save on highway upkeep in the long run, too, since overweight trucks are the ones wearing giant furrows into lanes and creating enormous potholes.

  214. cerbie says:

    @erratapage: I vote for Frankenstein. Joe is too much of a blow-hard. Frankenstein’s car should be a plug-in electric, of course. He should also have to come up with a better eye roller than a hand grenade, too.

    More on topic, they need to can this speed and mileage BS. I don’t even get 1MPG more steadily going the speed limit (which, BTW, is 55) versus going with the flow of traffic (65-80), and my car is hardly aerodynamic, and coasts like crap.

    Sheer physics tell [sic] you lower speeds equal better fuel economy, fewer injuries and lower emissions

    No, it tells you very little that is meaningful. Cars are built on engineering and political compromises.
    @Victo: About 90.
    @bohemian: American car companies want it easy, and Asian car companies want American car companies to think they have it easy, so they can sell more on relative merit.

    While you’re at it, let me talk on my cell phone without requiring a hands-free device. I can handle it. I’m an adult.

    @AtomicPlayboy: you mean you think you can handle it. I almost got T-boned yesterday by some guy zooming by to make the same turn I was. I was halfway into the turn before he was close enough to see me (and likewise me see him)…surprise, he was on his cell phone, and just barely braked in time. His failure would become my problem. That’s just the sort of situation where laws should be used to limit freedoms.

    And yo, can y’all get the proper comment page URLs working? Removing through #, and adding ?cpage=2 is getting tiresome.

  215. fever says:

    lol, nice polling software. So many people said no that it looks like they actually said yes.

  216. kr1202 says:

    I’m not worried about this I drive a ’73 VW bus, 55 is pretty much my top speed.

  217. KyleOrton says:

    Why not just enforce the current speed limits? There are very few places I’ve driven in the US where drivers didn’t push it 7-10 mph over.

    Let’s give 65,70 or 75 a try first.

  218. TraderJake says:

    Traffic Engineering Fact: Motorists will drive at the speed they find to be clear and reasonable (their perceived notion of safe). A speed limit of 55 is good in principle, but after a couple months the mean speed on the highways is inching back up to what they were to begin with.

    Highway Mainlines were designed for a speeds of 65 to 75. When you have wide sweeping curves intended to facilitate driving at those speeds, you can be assured motorists will drive at those speeds provided traffic density allows them to do so.

  219. Crrusherr says:

    i’ve always seemed to get the best gas mileage when gong 85mph

  220. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Page 3?

  221. Concerned_Citizen says:

    If they really want to save gas, they would ban stop signs. They are by far the biggest waster of gas.

  222. captadam says:

    @Bladefist: Idiot? That’s not very nice. I’ve meant many conservatives who are all about privatizing roads. I’m glad to see you aren’t one of them.

  223. CharlieInSeattle says:

    I have to post just to read page two of the comments.

  224. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    I drive an ’02 Explorer, V6, 5 speed automatic.

    If I go 50-60, the tranny constantly has to shift between 4th and 5th gears, and I get about 19 to 20 mpg. On a 400-mile stretch of freeway with the cruise set at 80, I stayed in 5th gear the whole time and got 23 mpg.

    The 55 law may have saved fuel on the old carburated big block boats of the 70s, but this is almost 40 years later. We have smaller, lighter, fuel injected aerodynamic vehicles and our transmissions have up to twice as many gears in them.

  225. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @LionelEHutz: And besides, most Volvos suck gas, too!

  226. Bladefist says:

    @captadam: I have no idea how you would privatize roads. Conservatives dont believe in NO government, they believe in less government. We believe in empowering the people. Give them the tools they need to have the American Dream. When government interferes, or helps others, it takes away from OUR dreams.

  227. Jesse in Japan says:

    You’re lucky to live in a country where you’re allowed to drive 55. Try driving on roads where the speed limit is 50 (kilometers!) per hour.

  228. FrankReality says:

    Can’t say this would work for everyone under every condition, but here’s my experience:

    My driving cycle is 32 miles in to work, the first 12 miles is on rural roads at 55 MPH max and the next 19 at 65 MPH and the last mile at 60 MPH. In summer driving conditions, I’d get around 36 MPG in my Saturn SL2.

    In the last two weeks I’ve been doing some experimenting and found the following:

    1) Changing the speed on the 60 and 65 MPH sections down to 55 to 57 made a difference.

    2) Changing the route to a lesser travelled rural road allowed me to do more coasting when approaching stops and more gradual starts upon startup made a difference.

    3) If you have a road where you can do #2 above, you can actually get better fuel economy without the cruise control.

    4) Don’t spend any time in any drive up – that’s 0 MPG.

    Last tankful, the next to last tank, I got 38.5 MPG. The last tank I got 40.7 MPG.

    So, I think the 55 vs. 65 MPH does make a difference, but I would NOT want the government setting a national 55 MPH limit.

    As usual your mileage may vary

  229. dirithmir says:

    where the hell would the Feds get any right to impose a 55 mph speed limit?
    How about they do whatever the hell they want with the speed limit in DC, and let the individual states do whatever the hell they want with their own damn speed limits.

  230. Phas3Sh1ft says:

    This is just pathetically funny to me. The speed limit in Oregon is 55 anyway…

  231. Anonymous says:

    The BIGGEST beneficiary of a 55-mph limit would be car insurance companies. In states like Wisconsin where the map shows no toll roads – um no, they ALL are. Write more tickets = more revenue for state/local governments = black mark on your driving record = higher insurance premiums.

    Currently I can drive from Phoenix to San Diego in about 5 hours. Sometimes add half an hour because of the idiot border patrol checkpoints that cause huge traffic backups… A strictly-enforced 55mph limit would mean 6.5 hours. (or 7 with worst-case border patrol activity). That would make me a lot less likely to make the trip by car -OR- it would change my route to head into Mexico at Mexicali and take the MX-2 toll road from Mexicali to TJ. (BUT… NEVER AT NIGHT!!!!) It’s got 130 km/h speed limits (80 mph for the metric-impaired) and a properly handled “small gift” will make a speeding ticket go away. Furthermore that ticket (if your “small-gift-giving-skills” are not that great) is not going to show up on your USA driving record – ever.

    The quality of the road is quite good (make sure you’re on the MX-2 TOLL ROAD, the MX-2 “free” road is little more than a cattle track in a lot of places) by international standards. You pay about four bucks in tolls but it’s well worth it. I routinely use it when driving back from San Diego to Phoenix when the trip will be 100% daylight. There’s very little traffic and you can FLY. Get yourself setup with SENTRI (US Customs pre-clearance for yourself and your vehicle) and the border crossing back into the USA (do the 905 San Ysidro one, not the one in TJ that dumps into the 5/805 – going the other direction use the crossing in Mexicali to re-enter the USA because SENTRI is not supported everywhere) is literally just a few minutes.

    Without SENTRI all the time you’ve made up by using MX-2 will be totally lost by the 90 minute delay crossing the border through the “normal” lanes.

    That’s how I’d avoid 55 on one common route were it to become law. I think the whole idea of 55 is dreamed up by some insurance company lobbyist drooling over all the additional premiums.

    God help us if 55 is a referendum on Diebold voting machines, it’ll be as free and fair as the election in Zimbabawe just was.

  232. EBounding says:

    With gas prices the way they are, more people are going to start driving 55-60 regardless. So a lower speed limit to save gas is pointless. But states are going to pull in less speeding ticket revenue. That’s the only reason why they would want to lower the limit.

  233. differcult says:

    Your analysis of traffic engineering is wrong.
    First, “Highway Mainlines were designed for a speeds of 65 to 75.” While this is true, most roads designed in the last 30 years have a design speed of 65-70MPH, this is for what is known as a “Factor of Safety.” A Transportation Engineer isn’t going to UNDER design a road….So let’s just get that right.

    Second…In school and in industry when developing a proposal for a city or state, ENFORCEMENT (IE COPS) is the second or third most important issue we bring up. If the speed limit is 55 MPH…ticket people who are speeding and do it very visibly.

  234. differcult says:

    @EBounding: Are you joking me?!?! I bet you less than 10% of the people in this country will slow down. I honestly think that maybe, at most, 50% of the country knows what MPG stands for. Let alone knowing that driving 55 compared to 65 will get better gas millage.

  235. BigElectricCat says:

    @Bladefist: ” I have no idea how you would privatize roads.”

    Toll roads. QED.

    @Bladefist: “Conservatives dont believe in NO government, they believe in less government.”

    Not any more. Conservatives have ceded that ground to the Libertarians. Conservatives are for just as much government as Liberals are; Conservatives just want to take a different form.

    @Bladefist: “We believe in empowering the people. Give them the tools they need to have the American Dream. When government interferes, or helps others, it takes away from OUR dreams.”

    Lies make Baby Jesus cry.

  236. tz says:

    The insurance companies will love it – more points, more fees, then they will make more profits.

    If NY and CT, and for that matter CA, OR and such want to go green, they can lower their speed limits just like they imposed emissions controls. In western states, i.e. those with 400 mile markers and larger on the interstates, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  237. Vejadu says:

    People complain about gas prices, but continue to drive 90 mph. in their SUV. It’s like a 400 lb. man complaining about being fat as he scarfs down a triple cheeseburger.

  238. Bladefist says:

    @BigElectricCat: I love how non-conservatives know more about conservatism then conservatives. Thanks for your insight.

    I didn’t realize welfare, affirmative action, and other social programs were empowering individuals. I guess I missed that. Nothing says stand up and cease the day like free money from your government.

    Man, your ignorance knows no bounds. Dont bother responding with 3 pages of “( laughing )” cuz I’m done with you.

  239. Craig says:

    Why not make the speed limit in the rightmost lane 55 mph and leave the rest alone? That way people who want to feel better about fuel efficiency can do so and the rest of us can get to work on time. Plus, as an added bonus, it will be easier (and safer) to merge onto the freeway/thruway.

  240. telepheedian says:

    This should be a poll. My answer is NO.

  241. differcult says:

    @Craig: That how it is in most states. Slow cars stay right, while the left lane is the “pass” “fast” lane.

  242. BigElectricCat says:

    @Bladefist: “I love how non-conservatives know more about conservatism then conservatives.”

    I love how quickly ex-conservatives like me get dismissed by dilettantes like you. I’ll put my conservative cred and knowledge up against yours any time, cowboy. Or, to put it in words of one syllable (so you can understand), Bring It On.

    @Bladefist: Thanks for your insight.

    Don’t mention it. There’s plenty more where that came from, and you can bet you’ll be seeing it in the future.

    @Bladefist: I didn’t realize welfare, affirmative action, and other social programs were empowering individuals.

    Ah, yes, the typical conservative argument of Put Words In Your Opponents’ Mouths Before They Can Speak For Themselves. Nothing says “coward” more than someone who’s afraid of letting someone else speak for themselves. Afraid of something, are you? (laughing) :D

    @Bladefist: “I guess I missed that. Nothing says stand up and cease the day like free money from your government.”

    Do you really need a list of all the big-government programs your ideological fellow travelers have pumped up in the last seven years, or is it just easier to hurry back to the radio so you can get your orders from Rush?

    ‘Cause I’ll be glad to post that list for you.

    BTW, the word you’re looking for is “seize.”

    @Bladefist: “Man, your ignorance knows no bounds.”

    Said the person who doesn’t know the difference between “cease” and “seize.” (laughing) :D

    I am more than pleased to invite you to disabuse me of any mistaken notions you think I might have. However, to do that, you’re going to need to have three things on your side:
    1) Verifiable, checkable facts
    2) Ability to think on your feet, as opposed to regurgitating talking points
    3) Persistence and endurance in a discussion

    Once again, Bring It On.

    @Bladefist: “Dont bother responding with 3 pages of “( laughing )”

    I’ll respond as I like. Does free speech upset you? Why do you hate America? (laughing) :D

    @Bladefist: cuz I’m done with you.

    Well, I’m not done with you, and if I see a comment of yours that I feel like responding to, I’ll respond.

    It’s a shame that you can’t engage in mature political and economic discourse, but that’s par for the course with conservatives who can’t handle criticism like adults.

  243. ekasbury says:

    Whether it worked or not, we all need a collective kick in the posterior on what “doing our part” can really do for our society. If we all face a personal punishment for our over-consumption maybe we’d think twice about producing/driving Hummers and such. Just a thought.

  244. SharkD says:


    1. I paid less for a cherry 20 year old BMW (built like a tank), with full documentation back to purchase, than people are paying for eBay Geo Metros. I’m certainly not rich — in fact, I’m still trying to pay off my wedding. Besides, you could tell I’m poor due to the fact that I went from working for a non-profit, to working for a private university (no, not as a faculty member).

    2. The 6er isn’t even on the guv’ment radar, figuratively and literally — only 48k were sold in the U.S. over 11 years and it doesn’t seem to reflect highway patrol radars back to the source. It may be the first stealth car ever made. (German ingenuity!)

    3. If it makes you feel better, my car is electronically limited (by the man!) to no more than 130mph. European models can top 150. Fastest I’ve ever gotten the 6 up to is 120 — but that was on the racetrack, wearing a helmet and getting a miserly 8.9mpg.


  245. BigElectricCat says:

    @ekasbury: ” If we all face a personal punishment for our over-consumption maybe we’d think twice about producing/driving Hummers and such.”

    Some counties in the Atlanta metro area are actually doing just that with respect to water. There was a pretty bad drought last year (and we’re *slowly* recovering), and some counties instituted some pretty draconian usage restrictions.

    Let’s put it this way — while you might be able to afford the tiered water billing and the $500 fines for watering your yard, it’s the getting your water disconnected or being jailed on the third offense that probably got people to fall in line at long last. Rationing would be the next step.

  246. Rusted says:

    If it is 55, I go 65, 60 = 65, and so on. I despised the double nickel. It was so good to see it go. I could live with a nationwide 60. I get about 28 to 29 MPG in a heavily loaded Baja going about 70 on I-95.

    As for driving, my fellow Americans are for the most part, ignorant about driving. I see unsafe lane changes, passing on the right, failure to indicate turns or lane changes, unsafe following distances, and driving with a phone stuck in one ear.

  247. Rusted says:

    Correction, 55 = 60

  248. stevgex says:

    It makes no difference to me. I commute in Southern California, I rarely gt the chance to drive faster than 25 mph. And it still sucks the gas.

  249. czarandy says:

    If we want to reduce carbon emissions, let’s just institute a cap and trade system. Measures like this just avoid the real issue.

  250. No, No, No.

    The modern car is geared for 70mph. That 4, 5, 6 or whatever speed transmission has been designed around the modern 70 mph speed limit. Don’t believe me? Watch the fuel consumption rate on the digital readout on your dash as you cruise the highways. Really great gas mileage (relatively speaking) between 65 and 75 mph. The car maker knows what speed the Feds are going to drive the car during the fuel economy test and therefore the car was designed for the best performance at those speeds. Change the speed limit and the car’s gearing will need to be changed to maximize the fuel economy at highway speeds.

    Besides I like driving fast.

  251. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    Wow. 250 comments already? Not like anyone will read this, but here goes:
    Isn’t fuel economy the same as carbon emissions? Since you can’t strip out carbon dioxide from the exhaust stream and assuming there is complete combustion at all speeds (or at least total carbon liberation), I think they’re the same?

  252. TheWraithL98 says:

    the problem with bringing back the 55 limit is that there are decades of cars that are not geared for that on the roads. there are tons of cars that are not getting optimal fuel mileage at 55, but rather 65 or 70, and going slower would not save a dime.

    Try maintaining 55 on a highway in your vehicle, you might be surprised at how it reacts.

    Perfect example – my 2007 chevy trailblazer.

    it tachs 1475 rpms at 55mph in top gear based on the math. But, at that rpm, the torque converter is not fully locked up, so unless you are fully off the gas, you will not see that rpm. What you will see however is slippage up to the 1800-2000 rpm range when you’re not really on the throttle, and if you’re above more than an estimated 1/8 pedal, the vehicle would downshift, and you’d be at 2100 rpms to stay at 55mph. So figure you would spend a third of your time at 1500, a third at 1900 and a third at 2100, that’s an average rpm of 1833, and a lot of shifting (as in transmission wear) to maintain it.

    However at 70mph, the rpms are 1900 rpms all the time, since you’d be at lockup rpm, and even some light throttle would not cause a downshift. your rpms are a whopping 3% higher, which would have a negligible impact on gas mileage, you have better transmission life, and you get there around 20% faster.

  253. strathmeyer says:

    @xAnarChisTx: “Well, by driving my gas guzzler, I am forced to have to drive 55.

    And you know what? I SAVE MONEY!”

    Why 55? Why not drive even slower.

    I save money by driving faster so I’m really getting a kick outta these replies.

  254. geekiscool says:

    If you don’t want goverment regulating your speed, then stop driving on the highways that THEY build…

  255. AllenK says:

    I’ve been driving 65-70 instead of 70-75 for the last couple of years now. 55 is hard to do for me even on curvy two lanes.