What Goes in to Determining the Speed Limits on Local Roads

Northampton Township, Pennsylvania has published an article about this concern in its recent newsletter.

The Model Speed Zoning Law created by the National Motorists Association claim that speed limits should represent the maximum safe and reasonable speed on a highway during good traffic and roadway conditions capable of being traveled by the normally competent vehicle operator in a typical vehicle.

Traffic engineering studies have found that the best way to determine the speed limit is to survey the speeds of free flowing traffic. According to this article, the speed at which 85% – 90% of the vehicles are traveling at or below has generally been determined to be a limit which minimizes accident risk and maximizes motorist compliance.

The Northampton Township Police Department recently did a study of vehicle speeds in conjunction with the speed limit. The study found that 29.1% of the motorists were in violation of the posted speed limit. Does this mean that Northampton Township speed limits are too slow?

Northampton Township also states that it employs and examines the totality of circumstances and factors associated with a roadway before recommending a speed limit to its Board of Supervisors.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a list of rules that it must follow in creating speed limits.

Do you feel that local speed limits are too low or too high? Do you think the speed limit of 55 m.p.h. on Rout I-95 and the PA turnpike are too low?