Saturday, November 03, 2012

I Can't Drive 85

         The fastest highway (toll-road) in the United States opened recently a few miles from my house. With a posted speed limit of 85 MPH, it has the fastest allowed speed in the country. The contract for building the road included the enhanced speed limit which coincided with an enhanced toll rate.

During its initial days, they toll authority waived the fees for the road – kind of like a crack dealer gives the first few fixes free. Because it was free and I needed to go that way anyway, I decided to try it out.

I have always had a lead foot, but the reversion to the 70 MPH speed limit on most major highways quite satisfied my need to drive quickly. I had to set the cruise control to maintain 85 MPH on the stretch of road. I kept finding myself drifting back to the accustomed 70 MPH.

All I could think was, “Sammy Hagar would be so ashamed of me.”

The first night the highway was open, though, three cars crashed into wild hogs. Fortunately, no one was injured. Still, this highway runs through rural Texas. We have wild animals in abundance. In Caldwell County (where the wrecks happened), one can earn $2 for bringing in the tail of a wild hog because they do so much damage to crops they are considered a pest. Two dollars provides little solace to those who hit the hogs. Still, anyone who really wants to drive that fast in rural Texas without grill-guard can plan to fork out much more than $2 on the repairs they will likely have.

I had my fix of the accelerated speed limit, so I will stick to the parallel free highway. For $3 to cross six miles, 55 MPH proves quite satisfactory.



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