The German government has agreed to establish a toll for driving on the country’s highways. The catch is that it will apply to everyone but, of course, Germans.
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Travel times might be reduced soon in parts of Nevada if a new bill proposing an 85 mph speed limit becomes law.
If the government gives you $601 million to dole out for highway safety improvements, you’re expected to see that money put to good use.
When you think of a hatchback with 252 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, good gas milage is probably far from being in the list of top priorities, but would you complain if it came with the package anyway?
Drivers in Texas might have something to look forward to: a slightly higher speed limit. The Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) is proposing the increase to ease traffic on public roads.
America’s five fastest roads have been ranked and surprisingly, the average driver’s need for speed has been dampened. American’s are traveling more slowly than they were a few years ago, likely due to rising gas prices and increased traffic enforcement.
The average speeder traveled 81 mph on America’s top ten fastest roads, which is down from 85 mph last year. The fastest road in the U.S is located on the northbound section of Arizona State Route 79, between Saguaro National Park and Phoenix. The top speed recorded on this section was 94 mph, and 5% of drivers use this road traveling an average of 88 mph, even though the speed limit is 75 mph.
With gas prices on the rise, people are driving more efficiently but the decline in average speed has also been linked to the struggling economy and high unemployment. High unemployment is keeping younger drivers off the road, and they generally engage in the riskiest behavior on roads.
The top five fastest roads include:
5. Arizona State Route 77
4. Eastbound MI-5 Michigan Highway
3. California State Route 73
2. Oklahoma State Highway 33
1. Northbound Arizona State Route 79
Federal legislators have begun examining ways to tax highway users based on Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) as a way to bring up shortfalls to the Highway Trust Fund.
A concern is that as fuel-efficient hybrids and plug-in cars increase, fuel tax generated revenues will do little for the already insufficient funding base.
In a Congressional Budget Office report released last week, ways were examined in great detail to begin tracking vehicles across the country via GPS, electronic sensors, and other sophisticated technology.
The Obama administration has said it wants $566 billion over the next six years to pay for the federal portion of roadway building improvements. States and local municipalities also pay for these projects.
Since 2008, the general fund had to be tapped for $30 billion to make up for deficits. Presently, gasoline is taxed at 18.4 cents per gallon, and diesel at 24.4 cents. This has been used until recently to raise needed revenues, but the U.S. DOT says it is now not enough.
Earlier in March, the Senate Budget Committee expressed concerns over super efficient vehicles getting away without paying an equitable share.
The CBO report was quickly generated to give policymakers info to better propose new road tax legislation. Other concerns raised by the CBO study are for lower income, urban, and rural dwellers. It made a case that VMT-based taxation could be more equitable, if not entirely so.
Concerns over citizens’ privacy would need to be tackled, as VMT monitoring involves nationwide tracking and reporting of drivers’ data. Also, figuring out how to fairly tax heavy trucks compared to much-lighter cars and many other issues would need to be settled.
Any possible scenario could be proposed. For example, fuel taxes could be eliminated, with the VMT taking over. Fuel taxes could be reduced, with VMT taking up the slack. Fuel taxes could be raised, and no move to impose the VMT could be chosen.