SB 1919

84(R) - 2015
Senate Transportation
Senate Transportation
Transportation & Infrastructure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Negative
  • Negative


Kirk Watson

Bill Caption

Relating to the authority of the Texas Transportation Commission to establish variable speed limits.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

The bill would require the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) to establish by rule and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to implement a variable speed limit pilot program, and limit changes would be established under the pilot program may be displayed using a stationary or portable changeable message sign. This pilot program would be established in 10 select locations. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

We oppose this legislation as it goes against our personal responsibility, limited government, and individual liberty principles

This bill would establish a pilot speed limit adjustment program for the purposes of "inclement weather, congestion, road construction, or any other condition that affects the safe and orderly movement of traffic on a roadway." This bill would allow mobile and changeable signs to be utilized for the purpose of notifying drivers of the speed change.

Currently, mobile signs are used for informational purposes only, alerting drivers of slow traffic ahead, potential congestion, road hazards and other things. This legislation would change that to allow mobile signs to also be used to implement variable speed limits.

We oppose this legislation, as it would alter the burden of responsibility by making the law conditional on a number of factors that may vary at any time. This would also likely cause drivers to be more distracted when operating a motor vehicle, as they would be required to observe every mobile construction sign and read them thoroughly from a moving vehicle, in order to avoid breaking the law. 

Under a limited government, laws are few, necessary and just. In our view having a law (in this case speed limits) that may change at various times for various reasons without notice is neither necessary nor just. For these reasons we oppose SB 1919.