A controversial new stretch of highway in Texas that permits drivers to drive at up to 85 mph is under threat from wild hogs.
The new State Highway 130 toll road allows drivers to pay a special toll fee in order to be allowed to drive at the faster speed. Safety advocates who have been actively lobbying against the road will have taken note of events of the first night that the SH 130 opened. According to KXAN news, four separate collisions involving wild hogs were reported to authorities on the first night the road was open, with one crash resulting in a vehicle being written off.
"85 -- they're on [the hogs] even before they know they're on them," said Lockhart Police Chief Michael Lummus. "Anyone that's ever struck a deer, they know that they're in the ditches and you don't see them until they're in front of you and it's the same with these [hogs]. But they're even lower [to the ground and hard to see]."
On October 23, Texas-based tuner John Hennessey took his heavily reworked 1,226 horsepower CTS-V on a specially sanctioned high speed run down the new stretch of road reaching a speed of 220.5mph to promote the new highway. However, authorities are yet to decide on what to do about the wild hog problem, but suggest caution in the meantime.
"I don't know that there's an easy fix because even if you drop the speed limit to 60 or 65 it's still a problem," said Lummus. "It's a hazard that you almost have trouble trying to understand what's the best thing I can do here except be aware and alert, and maybe slow down even though the law says you can drive 85," suggested Lummus.