It's probably a safe bet that many Autoblog readers find speed limits very annoying in general. To that end, it turns out that a significant number of limits in Michigan may, in fact, be illegal. Researchers have known for years that when it comes to safety, speed limits should be set at the 85th percentile traffic flow speed. The reality is that most drivers move along at what they consider to be a safe speed for the conditions regardless of the posted limit. To minimize accidents, the limit should therefore be the speed at which 85 percent of the drivers are moving.
In 2006, the Michigan legislature passed a law requiring speed limits to be set based on such traffic studies. Despite that law, many municipalities have not conducted studies of their own and are maintaining artificially-low speed limits. In many cases this is being done to prop up speeding ticket revenues. Because of the law, drivers who feel the speed limits are too low have challenged their tickets and had them dismissed if no traffic study has been done. Even Lt. Gary Megge, head of the Michigan State Police Traffic Services Section, finds it "reprehensible" that communities are not following the law. Hopefully, publicizing this practice will get cities and towns to follow the law - you know, the same way they expect drivers to.
[Source: Detroit News | Image: Dwightsghost]