Sec. 545.362. TEMPORARY SPEED LIMITS. (a) Subject to Subsection (c), the Texas Transportation Commission may enter an order establishing prima facie speed limits of not more than 75 miles per hour applicable to all highways, including a turnpike under the authority of the Texas Turnpike Authority or a highway under the control of a municipality or county. An order entered under this section does not have the effect of increasing a speed limit on any highway.
(b) The limits established under this section:
(1) are prima facie prudent and reasonable speed limits enforceable in the same manner as prima facie limits established under other provisions of this subchapter; and
(2) supersede any other established speed limit that would permit a person to operate a motor vehicle at a higher rate of speed.
(c) An order may be issued under Subsection (a) only if the commission finds and states in the order that:
(1) a severe shortage of motor fuel or other petroleum product exists, the shortage was caused by war, national emergency, or other circumstances, and a reduction of speed limits will foster conservation and safety; or
(2) the failure to alter state speed limits will prevent the state from receiving money from the United States for highway purposes.
(d) Unless a specific speed limit is required by federal law or directive under threat of loss of highway money of the United States, the commission may not set prima facie speed limits under this section of all vehicles at less than 60 miles per hour, except on a divided highway of at least four lanes, for which the commission may not set prima facie speed limits of all vehicles at less than 65 miles per hour.
(e) Before the commission may enter an order establishing a prima facie speed limit, it must hold a public hearing preceded by the publication in at least three newspapers of general circulation in the state of a notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing and of the action proposed to be taken. The notice must be published at least 12 days before the date of the hearing. At the hearing, all interested persons may present oral or written testimony regarding the proposed order.
(f) If the commission enters an order under this section, it shall file the order in the office of the governor. The governor shall then make an independent finding of fact and determine the existence of the facts in Subsection (c). Before the 13th day after the date the order is filed in the governor's office, the governor shall conclude the finding of fact, issue a proclamation stating whether the necessary facts exist to support the issuance of the commission's order, and file copies of the order and the proclamation in the office of the secretary of state.
(g) If the governor's proclamation states that the facts necessary to support the issuance of the commission's order exist, the order takes effect according to Subsection (h). Otherwise, the order has no effect.
(h) In an order issued under this section, the commission may specify the date the order takes effect, but that date may not be sooner than the eighth day after the date the order is filed with the governor. If the order does not have an effective date, it takes effect on the 21st day after the date it is filed with the governor. Unless the order by its own terms expires earlier, it remains in effect until a subsequent order adopted by the procedure prescribed by this section amends or repeals it, except that an order adopted under this section expires when this section expires. The procedure for repealing an order is the same as for adopting an order, except that the commission and the governor must find that the facts required to support the issuance of an order under Subsection (c) no longer exist.
(i) If an order is adopted in accordance with this section, the commission and all governmental authorities responsible for the maintenance of highway speed limit signs shall take appropriate action to conceal or remove all signs that give notice of a speed limit of more than the one contained in the order and to erect appropriate signs. All governmental entities responsible for administering traffic safety programs and enforcing traffic laws shall use all available resources to notify the public of the effect of the order. To accomplish this purpose, the governmental entities shall request the cooperation of all news media in the state.
(j) A change in speed limits under this section is effective until the commission makes a finding that the conditions in Subsection (c) require or authorize an additional change in those speed limits or in the highway or sections of highway to which those speed limits apply.
(k) This section expires when the national maximum speed limits are repealed.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 265 (H.B. 1353), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.