Texas motorists may notice some changes to speed limit signs in

the next several months, as new laws regulating speed limits on the roadways

of the state highway system begin to take effect.

The 82nd Texas Legislature passed and the Governor signed House Bill

1353, which takes effect on September 1. This legislation allows the Texas

Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to create a 75-mile per hour speed

limit on any state highway found to be reasonable and safe through a speed

study. TxDOT will be reviewing existing 70-mile per hour speed limits to

determine where a 75-mile per hour speed limit may be safely posted.

HB 1353 also eliminates the 65-mile per hour nighttime speed limit and

all truck speed limits. On September 1, the existing nighttime and truck

speed limits are repealed and no longer enforceable.

TxDOT awarded maintenance contracts in August to remove the nighttime and

truck speed limit signs and is also in the process of hiring consultants to

perform the required speed studies needed to implement the higher speed


“We will be removing the existing nighttime speed limit signs, truck

speed limit signs, and evaluating approximately 50,000 miles of state

highway with a current 70-mile hour speed limit,” said Carol Rawson, TxDOT

Director of Traffic Operations. “With these contracts in place, we are

moving steadily ahead to implement these new laws. However, it is important

to remember that any increases to speed limits are not effective until the

new speed limit signs are actually installed.”

Speed limits in Texas are set by the 85th percentile method, which

represents the speed the majority of drivers are traveling at or below. This

is a sound engineering principle used to set speed limits on highways

nationwide for the past 60 years. For more information on speed limits see:


The existing 65-mile per hour night and truck speed limit signs should be

removed by the end of this year. The complete evaluation of the state

highway system and posting of all new 75-mile per hour speed limits should

be complete by early 2013.