In 1973 Richard Nixon propose a maximum speed limit of 50 miles per hour in the United States following an embargo that banned 11 Arab oil producers from selling to Western countries. Nixon’s goal was to conserve gasoline and create a greater oil reserve in the US. What followed was the 1974 Emergency HIghway Energy Conservation Act, which limited max speeds to 55 mph (90 km/h). Aside from saving fuel there was positive byproduct of the lowered speed limit, a reduction in highway automobile fatalities. Canada, which wasn’t heavily reliant on Middle Eastern oil, took notice of the safer roadways and in order to curb their own highway deaths the Canadian government lowered their national speed limit to 55 mph on this day in 1975. The embargo was initially set in place following the US involvement in Yom Kippur war in which they delivered weapons to Israel. The law would remain in effect until November 1995 when President Bill Clinton signed a law giving states the right to set their own speed limits once again. In 1973, U.S. Congress enacted a national speed limit of 55 mph (90 km/h). Some states, such as Washington, enacted lower speed limits to save oil.Saskatchewan license plate from 1975 by Jerry “Woody” CC 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/4hzbCr
February 7, 1975 – Canada slows to 55 MPH
The best way to support This Day in Automotive History is to become a monthly subscriber on Facebook.
Subscriber benefits include:
- Most importantly, you’re supporting great content about Automotive History
- Early access to content on Facebook
- Discounts on our store
- Special live videos
If you learned something today, please buy me a beer!
This Day in Automotive History - the book!
This Day In Automotive History
By Brian Corey
This book tells fascinating tales, bringing individual days to life with short stories, photographs and illustrations.
This Day in Automotive History
We encourage you to share our page and connect with us on Facebook or sign up for our automotive history newsletter. If you’d like your car featured, reach out to us!