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A Pennsylvania study effectively debunked the myth that higher speed limits along the Grapevine and Highway 395 encourage people to drive faster.

In a test program, officials changed the speed limit on some sections of the Pennsylvania Turnpike from 65mph to 70 mph. After sixteen months, the average vehicle speed increased a mere 1.1mph, from 68.5mph to 69.6 mph. Encouraged by these results, and wanting to comply with the 85th percentile rule, some officials want to raise the speed limit to 75mph, since 85 percent of the passenger vehicle traffic moves at 740.7mph on the Turnpike. Researchers also said that the increased speed limit did not seem to increase the collision rate, though they cautioned that the results were too preliminary to draw any firm conclusions.

A 1964 traffic study was the first one to conclude that slower traffic is more dangerous than speeding traffic.

Speed Variance

According to VC 22350, a “safe and reasonable speed” is presumed to be the speed at which 85 percent of the traffic is moving. If 100 cars pass a certain point and 85 of them are moving at 65mph or less, the speed limit should be 65mph. As shown in the Pennsylvania study, lower speed limits simply create more opportunities for officers to write speeding tickets. Furthermore, the Solomon Curve demonstrates that cars driving 10mph below the speed limit are just as dangerous as cars travelling 20mph above the speed limit.

If speed limits do not conform to the 85th percentile, and many do not, there must be a current engineering study on file to justify the speed limit or it must fall within a limited exception, or the ticket is invalid.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.

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