Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 2 – 55 MPH Speed Limit Day

History of the day:

The Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act was a bill in the legislature of the United States federal government that enacted the 55 mph National Maximum Speed Law.[10] States had to agree to the limit if they desired to receive federal funding for highway repair. The uniform speed limit was signed into law by President Nixon on January 2, 1974 and became effective 60 days later,[11] by requiring the limit as a condition of each state receiving highway funds, a use of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution[12].

The legislation required 55 mph speed limits on all 4 lane divided highways unless the road had a lower limit before November 1, 1973. In some cases, like the New York Thruway, the 50 mph speed limit had to be raised to 55 mph to comply with the law. The law capped speed limits at 55 mph on all other roads.[11] (Wikepedia)
Today I drove with a self-imposed 55mph speed limit. As I drove along the back roads I thought to myself about the difference with a 55mph speed limit between Seattle and Michigan. For starters, I couldn’t take the highway in Michigan and drive 55…I would be a driving hazard as everyone else would be flying by me, even on the back roads I was causing a back-up. In Seattle, however, I would have to be on the highway to go 55mph and I would be in the fast lane, if not the carpool lane passing everyone.

Michigan – The speed limit on the highway is 70mph and if you are going slower then 75-80 you are driving too slowly.

Seattle – Highway speed limit is 60 and if you are going 60 you will be flying past everyone and will be dubbed the “crazy driver”.

I love driving though the open fields in Michigan, farm land on both sides. Quite a difference from the constant buildings, cement barriers, and people in Seattle.

My favorite speed limit signs I have ever seen are in Oregon! They are HUGE! I think people there must have eye problems or something…you would never be able to tell the officer you “didn’t see the speed limit sign”.  (This pic is from a couple years ago...and obviously NOT 55mph)

I tried to drive the whole day at 55mph, but we were about 20 minutes from home and the MSU football game was going to be on in 15 minutes…Jared stole the keys and drove well above 55mph – we made it just in time.

1 comment:

  1. I cannot believe you actually have a picture of yourself with a speed limit sign from a couple years ago....gotta love ya!!!