(AUSTIN, Texas) — A new stretch of highway in Texas could have one of the highest posted speed limits in the world — 85 mph.
The Texas Department of Transportation said it will conduct tests near the 41-mile portion of state Highway 130, still under construction, to determine whether 85 mph is a reasonable speed limit.
Gary Biller, president of the National Motor Association, said the rationale behind speed limits should be safety, not ticket revenue.
“They’ll study the traffic and let it flow naturally,” he said. “It turns out to be the best, most efficient and safest speed limit to set.
If the tests support an 85 mph speed limit, Biller said he will too. Speed limits have been on the rise since the national maximum of 55 mph was repealed in 1996.
“There’s engineering rationale behind this,” he said. “Speed limits keep climbing in a responsible way.”
A spokesperson from the Texas Department of Transportation said it was premature to determine whether the new highway could be the speediest in the country.
Last year, the Texas State Legislature increased the state’s maximum speed limit to 85 mph, but only for new highways.
The new highway will run north-south between Austin and the town of Seguin.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN
Ebony Short for CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Margot Haddad, Livia Borghese and Angela Dewan, CNN