A recent car drive across a good portion of the United States, just the latest in an almost twice yearly experience for me, brought up the same old, same old questions in my head. Have you ever wondered why speed limits in the United States vary from state to state and from locality to locality within a state and from roadway to roadway?
It is not unusual, but not always the case, for the speed limit within municipal boundaries on an interstate to be 55mph. However, I have seen it vary from 45mph to 70mph. Outside of city corporation limits, I have seen interstate speed limits vary from 55mph in Hawaii to 80mph in Texas. Each state has a different speed limit on the interstates (aka freeways, aka turnpikes, aka expressways), on divided and undivided highways, city streets, country roads, and school zones.
My recent drive that included a stint across Texas found me on an 80mph day speed limit but a 65mph night speed limit. During part of the drive, it was 5:30 in the morning and daylight in that section of the very large state of Texas. I looked at and read the speed limit sign. Then I exclaimed to Judy, “What is their definition of day and night?” To me, evening (or night) is 6pm to midnight, morning is 12:01 am until 12 noon, and afternoon is 12:01 p.m to 5:59 pm. I suppose I could go along with night as being that time of day when the sun is not above the horizon. None-the-less, what was I to consider 5:30 in the morning with the sun a’shining??
Well, I have now found the answer to that question over at Yahoo! Answers. This poses a new question: how do the appropriate authorities expect person from a different state but just passing through to know the answer. Seems to me, it ought to be on the speed limit sign.
Speed limits are indeed quite different across the U.S.A. To learn more about that topic, I suggest you go on over in due speed to read the Wikipedia article Speed limits in the United States.