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Reducing HOV Speed Limit to 55

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colossus911 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 May 2008 at 1:34pm
Did anyone else hear that Gov. Kaine's DoT is considering relowering the speed limits on HOV back to 55 to improve fuel consumption and safety?

I heard a blurb on the radio but haven't been able to find anything more.
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Pele View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pele Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2008 at 2:23pm
The 55 MPH speed limit dates back to the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act...

Look at the aerodynamics of a 1974 sedan (And previous) and a modern sedan... They're all land yachts weighing over two tons, solid steel construction, wide, flat windshields...
Versus plastic and aluminum construction, 2000-3000 lbs, low bodies and raked windshields...

Look at the engines and drivetrains of 1974 vehicles (and previous) and a modern vehicle... Big Iron V8 engines with four barrel carburetors, four speed transmissions driving the rear wheels...
Versus computer controlled, fuel injected 4 cylinders made completely of aluminum, five and six speed transaxles to drive the front wheels...


I actually drove my 1993 Honda Civic around like I was taught in driver's ed... Upshift at 3000 RPM and drive at 55 MPH. I routinely got 26-28 MPG Mixed Highway/City driving...

Then I decided to drive like I normally do, Upshift at 5000 RPM and cruise a 70-80. This got me 32-36 MPG Mixed.

Todays vehicles are not the same beasts that highway laws were written for. Mechanical efficiency has advanced a lot since the 55 MPH mandate was put in place. We aren't going to save anything...

But I bet the state sees a big jump in revenue. ;)
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USA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote USA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2008 at 4:19pm
My car's fuel economy is worse at 55 than at 65 to 70. I drive an Acura TL with a six-speed manual. At 55 mph, I'm in 5th. I go to 6th at around 62, and my mileage improves accordingly due to the more favorable gear ratio. "Slow down to save gas" is nonsense. The best way to save fuel is to operate your car at the slowest speed in which you can use its highest gear. Unfortunately, your average American driver with a slushbox won't likely know how to do this.
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Luddite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Luddite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2008 at 4:38pm
Who voted for this guy?
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DC2RV View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DC2RV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2008 at 7:25am
Who actually drives at the speed limit?
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mycroftt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mycroftt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2008 at 7:41am
There's no need to reduce the speed limit to save gas. Most of the drivers on the HOV have already voluntarily adopted fuel saving driving practices like "drafting" by following me about 3 feet off my back bumper. [:o)]
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go2grl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote go2grl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2008 at 7:59am
They just want to lower it back to 55mph now so that it won't be such a shock when the flow of traffic falls to 45mph when HOT takes over.[V]
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Oosik View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oosik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2008 at 8:08am
So what if they reduce the speed limit -- they don't have any law enforcement on HOV except maybe on weekends.
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USA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote USA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2008 at 4:31pm
Reducing the speed limit won't do anything to save gas. I think the Texas DOT took the right attitude when the "slow down, save gas" crowd complained about the 80 mph speed limit on I-10 and I-20 in western Texas. The DOT spokesman said, essentially, "80 mph is a safe speed limit on those roads, and if drivers want to spend more money on gas, that's their decision."
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blacksky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blacksky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2008 at 9:33pm
Check out this site... He's a friend of mine who successfully fought Texas' arbitrary speed limit laws.

http://speed.cambre.biz/

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