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February 7, 1975 – Slow down and live (in Canada)!

To save fuel, Richard Nixon made a 1973 proposal that would set 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 not only to conserve gasoline, but to also increase the US oil reserve. What followed was the 1974 Emergency HIghway Energy Conservation Act, which limited speeds to 55 mph (90 km/h). Aside from saving fuel there was another 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 to curb their own highway deaths, the Canadian government lowered their national speed limit to 55 mph on this day in 1975.

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