As expected, Idaho and Wyoming officially adopted an 80 MPH speed limit on certain highways.
The two states joined Utah and Texas on July 1 to have speed limits of 80 mph or higher, with the Texas State Highway 130 boasting an 85 MPH speed limit. But don’t expect the recent changes as a making of an American Autobahn or unrestricted-speed highways joining the fray.
Higher speed limits than the national speed limit of 55 MPH have been used in certain states since the 1950s when the Kansas Turnpike had an 80 MPH speed limit. Other states such as Nevada and Montana didn’t even have daytime limits before the national 55 was accepted. In those states, drivers could be ticketed for driving faster than what was considered “reasonable and proper under the conditions,” according to the Montana law.
In 1995, President Clinton repealed the 55 MPH limit which is when Montana reverted back to its statute of having unrestricted highways. Unfortunately, that law was changed not because of an increase in fatalities or even complaints from the residents, but rather a single person that refused to pay his speeding tickets. As a result, the lawsuit State of Montana v. Rudy Stanko caused the Montana Supreme Court to put an end to unrestricted highways.