TRB Special Report 204: 55 -- A Decade of Experience evaluates the benefits and costs of the 55 mph speed limit and assesses the effectiveness of state laws in inducing compliance.
The findings and recommendations of the committee are presented in this report, along with the unresolved issues that surround the appropriate speed limit for selected roads. The committee findings on the consequences of the 55 mph speed limit relate to safety, energy, taxpayer costs, and travel time. Recent trends in motorist compliance and pressures for change are also discussed. Recommendations of the committee are that the 55 mph speed limit should be retained on almost all of the nation's highways and that the federal government should measure state compliance with the speed limit through a point system that attaches more significance to high-speed violations than to violations just above the speed limit.