Journeys may be as important as the destination but they are still made infinitely more enjoyable by speed. Going fast is, after all, the great goal and privilege of modern life. Thanks to the Internet, smart phones, monorails, direct flights and automatic deposit, we can do everything with our foot on the gas. Ironically, the only time we hit the brakes is when we're actually in a car.
Texas' decision to adopt an 85 mph speed limit for the road between Austin and San Antonio was a step in the right direction. When the limit goes in to effect in November, drivers will have a chance to push their cars -- and perhaps themselves -- to the limit. This seems intrinsically American and ideal for road trippers making their way around the country or simply seeking out memorable roads.
Of course, the fine people of Texas would be the first to tell you that there is more room left to cut regulation. If America wants to embrace speed, our planners and highway adopters should seek to emulate these roads, where fast is average and average might as well be parked.
Northern Territory Highways
There are no hard and fast traffic rules in the Outback, where speed limits <a href="http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/unlimited-speeds-in-nt-axed-20061106-13zkn.html">didn't exist until the last few years</a> and now are simply not monitored. Highways in the Northern Territory have a default limit of 81 mph, but good luck finding someone to enforce it. Speeds here are predominantly dictated by the fear of kangaroo collisions, which is why so many trucks sport significant grills.
Though the speed limits around Slovakia hamlet and cities are set at a reasonable 37 mph, the highways that run through the lush countryside and over the country's peaks allow drivers a liberal 81 mph. Speed Traps are not unusual, but <a href="http://www.slovensko.com/about/driving-car">radio stations alert locals to the whereabouts of police</a>.
The Isle of Man's Rural Roadways
Isle of Man is not the sort of place that takes kindly to rules or even suggestions. The island's rural roads have no speed limits and an <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/isle_of_man/5100600.stm">effort to impose even the national speed limit was met with strong opposition</a>. <em> CORRECTION: This slide previously claimed that Isle of Man is part of Scotland. It is not. We regret the error. </em>
The Bundesautobahn "derestriction" symbol, a circle with a strike-through, may be the most inviting sight a speed demon will ever see. The Autobahn's reputation as a speed destination is justified not only because it is fast, but because drivers with souped up cars arrive here with <a href="http://www.travelist.tv/video/2435-how_to_drive_on_the_german_autobahn">an express plan to drive fast</a>.
The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is fast, but mostly it is dangerous. Early this year <a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/26-killed-in-road-accident-on-Mumbai-Pune-expressway/articleshow/13587276.cms">26 people were killed in a single accident</a> when speeding motorists, driving with traffic here means driving quickly, caught up with a slow moving bus.
<a href="http://www.autostrada-a4.pl/safety/traffic-rules">A speed limit of 87 mph</a> make Poland's highways some of the fastest in the world.
Though Montana's Interstates once had no speed limit at all, police today are known to <a href="http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/enforce/stspdlaw/mtspeed.htm">occasionally pull over expeditious drivers</a>. That said, the distances are so great and the landscape so wide open, drivers can and do continue to hit the gas. Strangely, these roads were statistically safer when drivers weren't restrained.
The Texas Legislature approved 85 mph speed limits last year and the first road to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120906/us-texas-speed-limit/">adopt them will be a toll road between Austin and San Antonio</a>. Come November, Longhorns will be able to open it up.
The UAE's Highways
Roads outside of the Emirate's larger cities have historically had speed limits of 75 mph, but law enforcement officers didn't ticket drivers operating under 87 mph, which is pretty darn quick. <a href="http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/dubai-may-cut-driving-speed-limit-on-roads-2012-06-24-1.464171">That may change as development creates more obstacles</a>.
Arizona's Rt. 79
The average speed of cars traveling through Arizona's Seguaro National Park on <a href="http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2011/08/americas-five-fastest-roads.html">Rt. 79 is roughly 88 mph</a>, though speed frequently top 90 mph, making this one of America's fastest and driest roads.