Speed limits increase on Texoma highways

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GRAYSON CO. & FANNIN CO., TEXAS -- Starting today, a Central Texas toll road now has the fastest speed limit in the nation at 85 miles per hour.

The 85 mile per hour roadway spans 41 miles from Mustang Ridge to I-10 in Seguin.

TXDOT says that highway was built for speed and people have been driving at high rates in Texas for years.

But it's not just that stretch of roadway that's pushing the limits. Fannin and Grayson County highways are also upping their speeds.

Texomans seem to be on both sides of the fence. Some people we talked to say upping the speed is a great idea -- anything to cut down drive time. Others say it's dangerous and TXDOT should've asked more drivers whether or not they wanted the speed increase.

TXDOT says pushing the speed limits will actually make the roadways safer.

At 40 miles per hour, this is what a crash looks like.

That's why some Texomans say they're against these speed limit increases.

"I mean, like, what were they thinking? 70 miles an hour, they already go 80 to 85. They've increased it to 85 now, people are going to go 90-95, possibly 100," concerned driver Jane Weaver said.

But some are all for pushing the limits, saying, "Drive safe doesn't mean drive slow, pay attention and off your phones!" and, "Everyone already does that speed anyway."

Others are caught in the middle, saying, "The highway was built for speed, for people who pay attention to driving. On the downside, the damage that will happen when you text at that rate of speed is fatal."

TXDOT spokesperson David Selman says in Texoma, highway 75 will increase to 75 miles per hour, from the Oklahoma line through Texoma Parkway.

The speed will then decrease and pick back up to 75 at 1417 to the Collin County line.

121 from south Bonham to the Collin County line will also jump to 75 miles per hour, excluding where it runs through Trenton.

Why are they doing this, you might ask?

Selman says TXDOT did a study and found that most people are already driving at that pace, so they are more comfortable at those speeds.

"There are other factors that also come into play and that is is the roadway pavement with 20 feet or less? Are the re curves and hills? Are there any hidden driveways? Is there any crash history on the roadway?" Selman said.

Still, not all are sold on the study.

"Well myself, I'm not going to try to go 85, so are they going to run me over? Run me off the road? Like I said, it's your safety and others," Weaver said.

Selman also says that when Texas legislature passed House Bill 1353 in 2011, it allowed TXDOT to look into increasing speed limits on some stretches of road.

He also says it should be a few months before the new 75 mile per hour signs go up.

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