Transportation officials in Nevada are officially increasing the speed limit to 80 m.p.h. on a 130 mile stretch of I-80.
The speed limit has gone up from 75 m.p.h. to 80 m.p.h. on Nevada’s I-80 from about 40 miles east of Reno to Winnemucca. This makes Nevada the seventh state to have a speed limit of 80 m.p.h. or more, joining the ranks of Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and South Dakota. Texas hold the record for highest speed limit in the nation on Highway 130, where you can legally drive 85 m.p.h.
The Nevada Department of Transportation says that they chose not to raise the speed limit east of Winnemucca because of “potential traffic safety concerns created by slower-moving trucks unable to ascend mountainous grades at the same speeds as passenger vehicles.”
Part of the reason that these states have endorsed a higher speed limit is because drivers are already choosing to go that fast — the average rate of travel on the segment of I-80 before the speed limit increase was 78 to 80 m.p.h.
Nevada State Troopers were initially wary of the increased speed limit and they warn drivers not to push their luck. Said Trooper Dan Gordon, “There’s this misconception that people think it’s OK to go 5 m.p.h. over the speed limit, whatever it is. The speed limit is the speed limit — 80 is 80.“