80mph isn't a bad compromise..
how is that a compromise? One side wants an 80 miles speed limit and gets it?
Right now 80 miles is the suggested speed. If you drive faster, you already risk liability. Why add the threat of a ticket to that? Most times you can not even drive that, on ~half the highways you already have a speed limit. Never change a running system.
It is a compromise. You might not remember it, but in the USA of the late 70s they had the awful Drive 55 speed limit imposed due to environmental and fuel consumption reasons. That figure of 55 is the Holy Grail for the enviro brigades as it's the most efficient speed for four speed gearbox cars.
So what? We had car free Sunday´s around the time to cut fuel consumption. ..... so i guess other countries doing that today would be a compromise for us getting a highway speed limit.... wait, what?
When one sides argues for keeping the status quo, and the other side wants 75 or 80 miles an hour, 80 miles an hour is not a compromise. It is a dictate. And one for no good reason on top of that.
The estimate is that 80 people die every year due to excessive speed on highways, that is of course terrible, but about 600 people die every die in traffic outside of villages/cites due to excessive speed (w/o highways). On streets that all have speed limits with no exceptions. Per kilometer hauling capacity wise the Autobahn is already the safest street to drive on, despite not having speed limits on about half the network. One third of all travel is on highways, ~10% of all victims are on them. The part of the highway system that has a speed limit is not safer than the rest at all, highways build to similar standard outside of Germany with speed limit are not saver either. Austrian Highways for example, all with speed limit, are 1.5 times more dangerous than German ones. Varying speeds keeps you more alert.
So what is there to fix and what makes you think that those people, that go so well beyond 130km/h that they end up killing, would all of a sudden get serious and abide it?
On normal cross country streets a speed limit makes sense, because there is no single rule set that governs what speeds they are good for. Highways are different in that regard. There are no sudden sharp corners, there are no unexpected side roads leading onto it ....
So... CO2. With a general 120kph speed limit would reduce fuel consumption by a whooping 2%, if everyone sticks to it which ain´t going to happen, and reduce total CO2 emissions by 0.3%. If you want to reduce CO2 emissions on highway, make fuel more expensive. A 10% hike in prices has twice (!) the effect.
Aiming for 80 is a compromise all right. It's a figure which will be what they think can be successfully campaigned for and command a majority where it counts.
I have enough miles on US highways under my belt to know that no one give a hoot about the speed limit on those. Heck, sticking to the speed limit there you get passed by trucks.....
You only get a majority for it here if you include everyone, that means lots of people that don´t drive at all or rarely ever on highways. If it ain´t broke, don´t fix it.
I believe all commercial vehicles in the EU are limited to 90 Kmh (about 56 MPH) on motorways/autobahns. Having so some vehicles stuck to a max of 90 Kmh while cars can go 120 Kmh or more, such speed differences can set up dangerous conditions. In the USA, most motorways/interstates have 60-65 MPH (100-105 Kmh) for all vehicles, with many fleet commercial vehicles speed governed by their owners at 62-68 MPH mainly for fuel saving and safety.
You know, the speed difference between trucks and cars may indeed create some dangerous conditions. However, there is this thing in Europe that can significantly decrease the risk. It's something that's absolutely unknown in North America. It is called lane discipline
Trucks stay on the right, when lots of them are about, no one gets to drive 80 anyways.....