Nevada bill would allow 85 mph speed limit on state's highways

Nevada's highways could be on the fast track, now that a state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would  raise the Silver State’s maximum speed limit to 85 mph.

"I drive out on the Interstate 80 quite often and the maximum speed limit there is 75 [mph]," says Sen. Don Gustavson, the bill's sponsor. "Most people do faster than that, they do 80 to 85. If we increase the speed limit to 85, these people that are already doing that speed will be doing so legally."

If enacted, Nevada would join Texas as the only states where you can drive 85 mph.

Currently, Nevada's maximum speed limit stands at 75 mph. The bill has already been approved by the state's Senate Transportation Committee by a 4-1 vote. From there, it will have to pass through both chambers of the Legislature before going to Gov. Brian Sandoval's desk. Then, the Nevada Transportation Department will conduct surveys to decide which highways are suitable for speed limit increases.

"It will only be done on four-lane highways, two lanes in each direction," says Gustavson. "It's not required for anybody to drive that fast, it's just that if you want to drive that fast you can. You can drive in the passing lane, of course."

Exotic car rental companies in Las Vegas that rent out powerful automobiles like Lamborghinis and Corvettes could be the beneficiaries of faster highways throughout the state.

"For our customers, to do that 10 mph more and do the 85 mph, it's a plus for them," Ted Stevens, who owns Fantasy Car Rentals, told "They're going to be in a nice car and the cars are safe enough with the airbags and suspension in the rides and the safety features in most cars."

But the operator of Pure Essence Luxury Rentals, a competing rental company in Sin City, thinks the speed limit increase may entice customers to drive their expensive cars at dangerous speeds.

"If the speed limit was faster, people will go faster, says Alexis Sampson, co-owner of Pure Essence Luxury Rentals. "It's not safe for anybody."

Gustavson said there isn't a timeline as far as when people can expect to see speed limit increases on certain Nevada highways. He expects to get a vote on the state Senate floor sometime this week.