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Speed limit changes on the way for Texas roads

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TWC News: Speed limit changes on the way for Texas roads
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Thanks to laws adopted in the recent legislative session, speed limit adjustments are on the way for certain Texas highways.

The speed limit may soon be raised to 75 miles an hour on the following roads:

• Interstate-35 North of Georgetown
• Interstate-35 from Ben White to San Antonio
• State Highway 130 from Mustang Ridge, going north

"Our speed studies have shown that most people are driving 75 miles an hour anyway or in that neck of the woods,” TxDOT spokesperson John Hurt said. “We are not talking about a huge jump in the speed limit."

Night speed limits of 65 will also go away statewide.

Blanco County resident Elaine Martin travels on a portion of Highway 290 that’s being impacted by the new laws. She said she rarely drives 65 at night because the roads near here are narrow, winding and often shared with wildlife.

"On average, I try to keep up with the flow. If everyone is doing 70, I am going to do 70 too," she said. "It's at least 20 minutes to go anywhere that matters. Whether it's to go to Johnson City to go to the bank, whether it's to Dripping Springs to go to the grocery store."

Officials with Texas Department of Transportation say roads like 290 may not increase to 75 because of safety concerns.

"That's something we are going to look at because of the turning, curvy, twisty roads that we have out in some areas,” Hurt said. “They may be eligible, but it may not be a good idea."

Hurt also points out that a difference of five miles an hour won't make a difference if a driver hits a deer, day or night.

"It gets to a point where it's kind of like falling out of an airplane. It doesn't really matter if you fall out at 10,000 feet or 30,000 feet,” he said. “The difference between hitting wildlife at 70 miles an hour and 75 miles an hour is pretty negligible."

TxDOT officials are also looking at how individual roads are designed to determine which highways can safely be traveled faster..

Crews will start removing the night speed limit signs Thursday. Highways TxDOT deems safe enough to increase to 75 miles an hour will be changed in the next few months.

New speed limits aren’t the only new laws headed to Texas. A slew of other laws, including rules connected to the voter ID bill, kick into effect Thursday. Check out the full list below.

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