Life is moving faster in Harker Heights, at least for motorists traveling on U.S. Highway 190.
Last week, the Texas Department of Transportation installed new 75 mph speed limit signs just east of the Knight’s Way exit. The highway is part of more than 500 miles of roadways across Texas to get increased speed limits.
Spokesman Ken Roberts said TxDOT began performing speed studies in September 2011 to determine what roadways could safely accommodate the increased speed.
“The idea is that the change will increase efficiency in roadways,” Roberts said.
Only roads that had an existing 70 mph speed limit were raised to 75 as mandated by the 82nd Texas Legislature. Regardless of the change, motorists do not have to drive at the high speed if they do not feel comfortable doing so, Roberts said.
“If you think about it, it is basic driving rules — faster folks move to the left lane and those who don’t want to drive as fast move to the right,” he said. “It does not force anyone who does not want to speed to go faster.”
Nolanville Police Chief Gary Kent said the increase has not yet led to any notable change in speeding violations or accidents.
On roads that have not yet received new signs, motorists must continue to travel at posted speeds, Roberts said, adding TxDOT will continue to monitor how the change affects traffic flow and accidents.