55 Mph Speed Limit Day

Some people will be familiar with the song “I Can’t Drive 55,” which was the lead single from Sammy Hagar’s eighth studio album, VOA, in 1984. It’s a song that voiced the singer’s frustration with the new speed limit at the time after he was ticketed for driving 62 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Although this piece of music was a protest song for many people against the 55 miles per hour speed limit, it’s now just a rock song that people enjoy. That’s because many people have come to realize that this speed limit is important for keeping people safe on the roads.

This is partly due to holidays such as 55 MPH Speed Limit Day—a holiday that’s observed annually on the 2nd of January and helps to spread the word about the importance of respecting this speed limit.

The History of 55 MPH Speed Limit Day

In the early 1970s, the United States Congress passed the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, an act that included a maximum federal speed limit of 55 miles per hour on all four-lane highways.

This act was signed into law by U.S. President Richard Nixon on January 2, 1974. Sixty days later, this act would go into effect. U.S. states that didn’t lower their highway speed limit faced the potential of losing federal funding.

Approximately 20 years later, in 1995, the U.S. Congress ended up lifting federal speed limits in the National Highway System Designation Act. This returned the power of establishing speed limits back to the states. As a result, many states reverted to the speed limits that they had in place before the 1974 proclamation.

Unfortunately, we’re unsure exactly when 55 MPH Speed Limit Day was created. We believe that it was originally started when the National Highway System Designation Act lowered the speed limit in states in the 1970s. Still, we are unable to verify the veracity of that claim.

Observing 55 MPH Speed Limit Day

There aren’t really any official observations of this holiday. Everyone is just encouraged to drive at the speed limit in their area. Remember, it’s estimated that approximately 20% of drivers were involved in speeding at the time of a crash, and almost 30% of those killed in speeding-related crashes were killed.

That’s why it’s important for everyone to take their time on the road and follow all relevant traffic regulations. We would also like to remind everyone to use the hashtag #55MPHSpeedLimitDay on social media to spread the word about this holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 2 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
January 2 Thursday
Last year (2023)
January 2 Monday
Awareness & Cause