Gov: Thumbs down!

 
--
"Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam" “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

Not intended to apply to GPS

Not intended to apply to GPS receivers, as noted in the article. So why are you giving this a thumbs down?

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

I Agree

While I'm a Libertarian at heart, I find myself agreeing this type of law is necessary. I'm tired of waiting for cars ahead to move when a stoplight changes because a driver chose to get on the phone (or worse, text) at the red light. I'm fed up with drivers who fiddle with their electronics on the highway while wandering in their travel lane and slowing down (usually holding up a line of other vehicles.

As the National Safety Council spokesperson suggests, when driving, DRIVE. As many forum members have probably noticed, some people have trouble doing that without distractions.

Cheers

--
Nuvi 760 & 660, Streetpilot, GPS III, GPS 10X

Statistics from the link

The NSC estimates that 1.4 million crashes -- or 23 percent of the total -- result each year from drivers who improperly use phones to call or text.

In 2008, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that distracted drivers contributed to one in six fatal collisions.

Dont think he did

Strephon_Alkhalikoi wrote:

Not intended to apply to GPS receivers, as noted in the article. So why are you giving this a thumbs down?

I dont think he was giving it a thumbs down. That is the title of the article his link referred to.

--
(formerly known as condump) RV 770 LMT-S, Nuvi2797LMT, Nuvi765T

Thumbs down indeed :)

Strephon_Alkhalikoi wrote:

Not intended to apply to GPS receivers, as noted in the article. So why are you giving this a thumbs down?

I'm going out on a limb and say thumbs down for the people who wish to text...

--
Streetpilot C340 Nuvi 2595 LMT

Oops

Gastx wrote:

I dont think he was giving it a thumbs down. That is the title of the article his link referred to.

I think you're right! That will teach me to read before 10am in the morning. grin

Sorry Double Tap.

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

I hope they pass it and ENFORCE it.

{article quote}
...offenses for texting are considered "secondary," meaning cops can enforce the law only if they catch drivers violating another traffic law.

Cuomo's legislation would raise such violations to a primary offense...
{/article quote}

IMO, texting while driving should definitely be a "primary offense". We've had a similar law in Ontario for a while now and I hope it has helped but I still see a lot of idiots poking at their phones while they're behind the wheel.

Driver Cited

Just had a driver here cited for texting while driving. Of course this was after they caused an accident.

Iowa

We need a law like that here in Iowa. Normally I am not for new or tougher laws. I drive daily for my job and several times I have had to honk to keep someone from hitting me head on while they mess with their phone.

Laws?

I will bet Iowa has lots of speed limit laws (that are ignored by 50% of the drivers on the road) too. What makes you think a new law is the answer? What we want are good drivers who stay alert. I don't think a new law will get that. I don't have the answer.

--
:260W, 50LM

.

The punishments for texting while driving should be as severe as drunk driving. First offense should result in huge fine. Second offense should result in suspended license. Third offense should result in jail time.

Safer with a PND

Strephon_Alkhalikoi wrote:

Not intended to apply to GPS receivers, as noted in the article. So why are you giving this a thumbs down?

But Officer I wasn't texting on my cell phone, I was running a navigation app on my cell phone and entering in the latitude and longitude of my destination! It might be easier to convince an officer that the law exempts you when you have a dedicated GPS rather than a GPS app on a cell phone.
Mark

I vaguely recall that Monroe

I vaguely recall that Monroe County (Rochester area) had a texting law that was a primary offense before NY State made it a law as a secondary offense.

Unfortunately I do not have any data to confirm that.

--
Nuvi 2460LMT.

LOL

baumback wrote:

But Officer I wasn't texting on my cell phone, I was running a navigation app on my cell phone and entering in the latitude and longitude of my destination! It might be easier to convince an officer that the law exempts you when you have a dedicated GPS rather than a GPS app on a cell phone.
Mark

Ooh. Good one, and so very true. A dedicated receiver is far better in this instance. grin

I do want to point out that I misread Double Tap's post, which people seem to be missing in quoting me. I want to see this law pass and think it should pass. I already have such a law in my neck of the woods, but it's still only a secondary offense in my state.

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

Mmm...

GadgetGuy2008 wrote:

The punishments for texting while driving should be as severe as drunk driving. First offense should result in huge fine. Second offense should result in suspended license. Third offense should result in jail time.

I like. I'll second that.

--
Garmin nuvi 1300LM with 4GB SD card Garmin nuvi 200W with 4GB SD card Garmin nuvi 260W with 4GB SD card r.i.p.

I agree

Thanos_of_MW wrote:
GadgetGuy2008 wrote:

The punishments for texting while driving should be as severe as drunk driving. First offense should result in huge fine. Second offense should result in suspended license. Third offense should result in jail time.

I like. I'll second that.

I am a libertarian by nature, however when your actions cause a direct threat to another persons life that action must cease. Unless of course you are defending yourself from violence.

--
"Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam" “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

In the small print

below his post, Double Tap had

Double Tap wrote:

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." Benjamin Franklin, 1759 The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. Winston C

I thought those were very good.

always or only sometimes?

In light of this discussion I'm curios about your opinion about new idea straight from California. It is a project yet, but it may have a future.

California Senate committee considers bill to lower speed limits by 5 MPH and shorten intersection yellow times (Assembly Bill 529).

It has sound reason behind:
Under current law, jurisdictions must set the speed limit at 35 MPH if the study shows traffic is moving at, for example, 34 MPH. The limit must be rounded to the nearest 5 MPH increment. A locality can only reduce the limit to 30 MPH if it can document a specific safety hazard that is not readily apparent to drivers. The proposed legislation would allow municipalities to lower that speed limit to 30 MPH without any justification needed by rounding down 5 MPH.

A city that lowers its 35 MPH speed limits to 30 MPH may also legally shorten its yellow times from 3.6 seconds to 3.2 seconds. While this 0.4 second difference may seem minor, it would generate a significant amount of additional revenue from red light camera tickets that run between $450 to $505 each.

source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3505.asp

Seems to me, that safety isn't that important when there is a chance to make some extra money.

Jerry McGovernment

Show me the money!, er I mean safety.

I'd like to see how

grzesja wrote:

A city that lowers its 35 MPH speed limits to 30 MPH may also legally shorten its yellow times from 3.6 seconds to 3.2 seconds. While this 0.4 second difference may seem minor, it would generate a significant amount of additional revenue from red light camera tickets that run between $450 to $505 each.

source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3505.asp

Seems to me, that safety isn't that important when there is a chance to make some extra money.

I'd like to see how they came up with this estimate. The only way i can see a driver being affected by the changing of the timing is if they were exceeding the speed limit to begin with. Can anyone show me where my logic in this is wrong? The 3.6 second timing is for a 35 MPH speed while the 3.2 second timing is for a 30 MPH speed.

The best method for slowing people down using traffic signals is to set the timing so traffic can move for long distances at a steady speed, usually set one or two MPH under the posted speed. In this instance, a car traveling at an indicated 30 MPG could possibly travel for more than a mile on a street without stopping while those that want to travel faster are just hurrying to get to the next light.

--
"In order to be old and wise, one first must have been young and stupid."

enforcement?

Double Tap wrote:

Gov: Thumbs down!
Pushes harder slap on driver texting

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/gov_thumbs_down_WJXQP7J48...

I have been frustrated when driving behind a car who is moving slower than traffic speed and veering out of lane, only to find out when I pass him that he was texting. However, how is this going to be enforced. It is harder to see than someone using a cellphone and cell phone users do not always get ticketed.

Distracted Drivers

I remember - vaguely - reading that one communicating w/ an elec. device while driving is more of a hazard to other travelers than a DWI driver.

As a OTR Driver

As an OTR Driver I see Texting all the time. plus I have seen people die because they were texting. Sorry I have to go wirh this one. Jolleyr

--
Southern CA Temp 76 and Sunny. Running around with my Nuvi 465T. Getting lost around the country and loving it.

Another example of misrepresentation

grzesja wrote:

In light of this discussion I'm curios about your opinion about new idea straight from California. It is a project yet, but it may have a future.

California Senate committee considers bill to lower speed limits by 5 MPH and shorten intersection yellow times (Assembly Bill 529).

It has sound reason behind:
Under current law, jurisdictions must set the speed limit at 35 MPH if the study shows traffic is moving at, for example, 34 MPH. The limit must be rounded to the nearest 5 MPH increment. A locality can only reduce the limit to 30 MPH if it can document a specific safety hazard that is not readily apparent to drivers. The proposed legislation would allow municipalities to lower that speed limit to 30 MPH without any justification needed by rounding down 5 MPH.

A city that lowers its 35 MPH speed limits to 30 MPH may also legally shorten its yellow times from 3.6 seconds to 3.2 seconds. While this 0.4 second difference may seem minor, it would generate a significant amount of additional revenue from red light camera tickets that run between $450 to $505 each.

source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3505.asp

Seems to me, that safety isn't that important when there is a chance to make some extra money.

This is yet another example of misrepresentation by thenewspaper.com. First, let's look at the bill:
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 21400 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

21400. (a) (1) The Department of Transportation shall, after consultation with local agencies and public hearings, adopt rules and regulations prescribing uniform standards and specifications
for all official traffic control devices placed pursuant to this code, including, but not limited to, stop signs, yield right-of-way signs, speed restriction signs,railroad warning approach signs, street name signs, lines and markings on the roadway, and stock crossing signs placed pursuant to Section 21364.
(2) The Department of Transportation shall, after notice and public hearing, determine and publicize the specifications for uniform types of warning signs, lights, and devices to be placed upon a highway by a person engaged in performing work that
interferes with or endangers the safe movement of traffic upon that highway.
(3) Only those signs, lights, and devices as are provided for in this section shall be placed upon a highway to warn traffic of work that is being performed on the highway.
(4) Control devices or markings installed upon traffic barriers on or after January 1, 1984, shall conform to the uniform standards and specifications required by this section.
(b) The Department of Transportation shall revise the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, as it read on January 1, 2012, to require the Department of Transportation or a local authority to round speed limits to the nearest 10 kilometers per hour or 5 miles per hour of the 85th percentile of the free-fl owing traffic. However,
in cases where the speed limit needs to be rounded up to the nearest 10 kilometers-per-hour or 5 miles-per-hour increment of the 85th-percentile speed, the Department of Transportation or a local
authority can decide to instead round down the speed limit to the lower 10 kilometers-per-hour or 5 miles-per-hour increment, but then the Department of Transportation or a local authority may not reduce the speed limit any further for any reason.

Then, look at the headline from thenewspaper.com article of 6/13/2001:
California Considers Bill to Shorten Yellow Times
California Senate committee considers bill to lower speed limits by 5 MPH and shorten intersection yellow times.

No where in the bill does it speak of "Shorten Yellow Times" so the article is misrepresenting what the bill - on its face - does. The article makes the leap that - should the bill become law and a municipality decided to lower a speed limit - all of the yellow light limings would be lowered as well and that this would result in more violations at red-light cameras.

As Box Car pointed out above, speed and yellow light timings are related. One might have made the leap and said that lowering the speed limit would reduce red-light violations if the municipality did not change the yellow light timing as they would otherwise have been permitted, by law, to do.

your right

you are correct, it seems that we just cant make stupid illegal, as much as we try, just let stupid people weed themselves out

I agree with this

febgkb wrote:

you are correct, it seems that we just cant make stupid illegal, as much as we try, just let stupid people weed themselves out

I agree that stupid people should be allowed to weed themselves out, unfortunately they seem to take out someone else instead.

--
Streetpilot C340 Nuvi 2595 LMT

Darwin

shrifty wrote:
febgkb wrote:

you are correct, it seems that we just cant make stupid illegal, as much as we try, just let stupid people weed themselves out

I agree that stupid people should be allowed to weed themselves out, unfortunately they seem to take out someone else instead.

The Darwinian 'survival of the fittest' approach only works if stupid people take themselves out prior to successful reproduction, since, in Darwin's view, that is the primary measure of success. IOW, if a stupid person is killed after passing his genes on to the next generation, it's too late.

--
Nuvi 760 (died 6/2013); Forerunner 305 bike/run; Inreach SE; MotionX Drive (iPhone)

You can't fix stupid

febgkb wrote:

you are correct, it seems that we just cant make stupid illegal,,,

If the state outlaws texting while driving, texters will lower their phones and continue to text. The unfortunate result will be that they keep their eyes off the road for an even longer time. The net result will be more wrecks.

Ron White is right: "You can't fix stupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever."

And so is Ben Franklin: "Anybody who would trade freedom for security deserves neither and will surely lose both."

--
Garmin nüvi 3597LMTHD, 3760 LMT, & 255LMT, - "Those who wish for fairness without first protecting freedom will end up with neither freedom nor fairness." - Milton Friedman

distracted drivers

I ride road bikes and the fear of distracted drivers is real.
There are so many distractions today from phones to CD players to MP3s.
Be careful and watch for the cyclist out there.

--
It's these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes Nothing remains quite the same With all of our running and all of our cunning If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane

@jgermann

As usual you are trying to omit what is inconvenient to you. Half truths are your best friends as always.

Whole thing with this law isn't about some localities lowering speed 5mph. It's about allowing them to mount speed traps on streets with artificially low speed limits. That's how they are to make money from this change. How it works? As below:

California has a strict rule prohibiting the use of radar guns on roads where the speed limit has not been established according to the 85th percentile speed of traffic. Engineering studies have shown that using this means of setting the limit at the prevailing speed of free-flowing traffic provides for maximum safety. Municipalities dislike this requirement because it limits their ability to set lower speed limits and rely instead on heavy police enforcement.

So for now it will be small work around existing law. This restriction on use radars on roads with artificially low speed limits may be lifted in the future, and restrictions on lowering speed limits can be relaxed even more. And this will make significant difference in possible number of tickets.

And even ignoring problem with artificially low speed limits. You were arguing for long time, that RLCs are introduced to increase safety. Right now I can't see this concern in your posts. Just blind "they do it for our good, walk away, nothing to see here" attitude. Not that I would expect anything else from you, but still... wink

And correlation between timing traffic lights and numbers of citations were shown here:

The Texas Transportation Institute concluded in 2004 that yellows shorter by a second than the ITE recommended amount generated a 110 percent jump in citations (view report: http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/04-alternatives.pdf). The vast majority of those extra violations happened within the first 0.25 seconds (see chart).

all quotes from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3505.asp

But there is always so many naive people, who think, that because "there is a law against it" they will be now safe. Why then not make it illegal for people to get hurt and for property to get damaged in accidents? Even better: let's prohibits accident altogether. One law like this will solve actually all problem and not only on roads. And everybody will be finally totally happy and safe.

no yet, but...

Strephon_Alkhalikoi wrote:

Not intended to apply to GPS receivers, as noted in the article. So why are you giving this a thumbs down?

You should say "not yet apply to GPS". How it can affect GPS in near future? Let's see, what French government has to say about it:

Motorists across France are organizing a multi-city protest of the government's decision to conceal its photo enforcement operations and ban the use of GPS devices that can identify camera locations . (...) French officials were concerned that as motorists became aware of the locations of cameras through signage and GPS devices, the average number of tickets per fixed camera location dropped 17 percent from 7676 in 2008 to 6340 in 2010. The government hopes that ending the practice of announcing radar locations would increase the per-unit revenue generated.
source: http://thenewspaper.com/news/34/3486.asp

So far, protest was successful and French government is backpedaling under pressure. But there is concern, that in future they may try to introduce this idea again, just in less publicized way or with better propaganda campaign.
source: http://www.connexionfrance.com/speed-camera-radar-warning-eq...

But fact that more and more this type of ideas are being push by federal and local governments show very dangerous trend. And I am afraid that this trend will be stronger, when money will grow shorter in their coffers.

@grzesja

grzesja wrote:

As usual you are trying to omit what is inconvenient to you. Half truths are your best friends as always.

This statement is interesting. I went to the trouble of quoting the California proposed change in the law to show that nothing in the proposal mentioned yellow light timing at all. Then, I quoted from thenewspaper.com article head (and sub head) line to illustrate how thenewspaper.com misrepresents and distorts facts. It said:
California Considers Bill to Shorten Yellow Times
California Senate committee considers bill to lower speed limits by 5 MPH and shorten intersection yellow times.

Did you find anything is the proposed bill that mentioned yellow lights? If someone just read thenewspaper.com article they would be forgiven for thinking so.

Continuing on: thenewspaper.com - after the false headline - went on to say that:
"A city that lowers its 35 MPH speed limits to 30 MPH may also legally shorten its yellow times from 3.6 seconds to 3.2 seconds." [emphasis added]

As it usually does thenewspaper.com was encouraging its readers to make the leap and trying inflame the anti-ATE faithful that municipalities would, in fact, "shorten" yellow light times specifically to generate revenue.

But, as box Car pointed out, lower speed limits justify changes in yellow timings and the should be no change in red-light tickets IF the citizens were in fact going the new speed limit.

Where was the omission or half truth you saw?

Quote:

Whole thing with this law isn't about some localities lowering speed 5mph. It's about allowing them to mount speed traps on streets with artificially low speed limits. That's how they are to make money from this change. How it works? As below:

California has a strict rule prohibiting the use of radar guns on roads where the speed limit has not been established according to the 85th percentile speed of traffic. Engineering studies have shown that using this means of setting the limit at the prevailing speed of free-flowing traffic provides for maximum safety. Municipalities dislike this requirement because it limits their ability to set lower speed limits and rely instead on heavy police enforcement.

So for now it will be small work around existing law. This restriction on use radars on roads with artificially low speed limits may be lifted in the future, and restrictions on lowering speed limits can be relaxed even more. And this will make significant difference in possible number of tickets.

You are certainly entitled to read into this law anything you want but I think that it was thenewspaper.com comment that
"proposal that re-writes the state's speed trap law that led you to conclude that a change in the "rounding" paragraph of a particular traffic code meant that speed traps were part of the issue.

I am against "speed traps" but my definition of a "speed trap" probably differs from yours. Using officers with radar to enforce speed laws is something most people who oppose speed cameras say should be done because there is general agreement that laws should be followed and enforced. I think all of us oppose a "trap" where the speed limit changes quickly and/or unexpectedly solely for the purpose of issuing tickets.

Quote:

And even ignoring problem with artificially low speed limits. You were arguing for long time, that RLCs are introduced to increase safety. Right now I can't see this concern in your posts. Just blind "they do it for our good, walk away, nothing to see here" attitude. Not that I would expect anything else from you, but still... wink

A speed limit that is set based on the 85th percentile (whether the final speed has been rounded up or rounded down) does not seem to qualify as "artifically low".

I do not think that I have ever claimed Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) is implemented for safety reasons only. I have, as I recall, said that revenue generation is often a reason and feel that municipalities that admit that are more likely to get support from citizens for this source of revenue rather than an increase in, say, property taxes.

Once again you are entitled to se me as having a"blind 'they do it for our good, walk away, nothing to see here' attitude.", but you can not support that perception from any statements I have made on this forum.

Quote:

And correlation between timing traffic lights and numbers of citations were shown here:

The Texas Transportation Institute concluded in 2004 that yellows shorter by a second than the ITE recommended amount generated a 110 percent jump in citations (view report: http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/04-alternatives.pdf). The vast majority of those extra violations happened within the first 0.25 seconds (see chart).

If you have not ever read this study in its entirety, I suggest you do so. I did so again today just to verify that it was limited to statistics about yellow light timings (NOT yellow light as part of ATE). It is a good article and probably forms the basis for the fact that many municipalities have some "grace time" which is applied when reviewing the video on red-light running and, if a vehicle entered the intersection within that "grace time" after the light turned red, do not issue a ticket.

Quote:

all quotes from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3505.asp

I find that thenewspaper.com almost always misrepresents facts in order to cater to opponents of ATE. That is why I usually try to provide the relevant facts so that others on the forum can make up their own mind.

the 85th percentile myth

jgermann wrote:
grzesja wrote:

California has a strict rule prohibiting the use of radar guns on roads where the speed limit has not been established according to the 85th percentile speed of traffic. Engineering studies have shown that using this means of setting the limit at the prevailing speed of free-flowing traffic provides for maximum safety. Municipalities dislike this requirement because it limits their ability to set lower speed limits and rely instead on heavy police enforcement.

A speed limit that is set based on the 85th percentile (whether the final speed has been rounded up or rounded down) does not seem to qualify as "artifically low".

Just two doors down from my office is a gentleman that carries the professional identities as a P.E. and a P.T.O.E. The first I believe everyone recognizes as Professional Engineer. The second is a little more obscure but it is a specialty for certain P.E.s in that it means Professional Traffic Operations Engineer. These are the people your state (and Federal) departments of transportation look to to both manage and operate the network of highways and roads in our nation. The average speed, or 85th percentile is only one factor in determining the assigned speed limit to any particular stretch of roadway. Other factors include sight distance - how far down the road can you see, the area, traffic density - that's the number of cars using any particular stretch of road, the amount and type of cross-traffic and the density of entrances and exits to or from the roadway all factor into the setting of a speed limit.

Even though the average driver may feel the speed limit is set too low because "I travel this road all the time at 10 miles over the posted speed and haven't had an accident yet" doesn't negate the other factors. The sight distance because of curves, buildings, hills, driveways and other factors may say that in order to be able to come to a safe stop under any condition, you should not be traveling more than what has been determined as a safe speed. Speed limits also take all weather conditions into account. Rain and fog are the main two considered as generally even the most aggressive driver will slow down to a somewhat more reasonable speed if there are snow or ice conditions.

So get off the 85 percentile bandwagon, it's not something that's always true. It's like saying Chevys are safer than Fords or the reverse. Unless you know all the factors, you can't make a blanket statement about speed limits are set according to the 85th percentile.

--
"In order to be old and wise, one first must have been young and stupid."

Regrettably, may be necessary

I don't really like laws like this(banning texting), either. I don't text, period, and certainly wouldn't try to text while driving if I did text, so that's not why I don't like the idea of a law banning it. I just think laws like this are hard to enforce and put additional strain on police with enough on their plates already, but I have to agree, this behavior is all too common and causes too many accidents and near-accidents. Unfortunately, some people are not going to get the message until it's made illegal and enforced.

--
JMoo On

@ Box Car, you are correct

Box Car wrote:
jgermann wrote:

A speed limit that is set based on the 85th percentile (whether the final speed has been rounded up or rounded down) does not seem to qualify as "artifically low".

So get off the 85 percentile bandwagon, it's not something that's always true. It's like saying Chevys are safer than Fords or the reverse. Unless you know all the factors, you can't make a blanket statement about speed limits are set according to the 85th percentile.

As you have well articulated, there are quite a number of other factors that must be considered when setting speed limits.

I evidently left the impression that I supported unquestioningly the 85th percentile rule. That is not the case.

I was commenting that, assuming that the 85th percentile rule had been used (and one would hope along with other factors), that grzesja had no basis for calling the resulting speeds (rounded up or down) "artifically low" as he did (I assumed he was trying to claim that the reduced speed would be only for "speed trap" purposes)

no it's not what you stated

jgermann wrote:
Box Car wrote:
jgermann wrote:

A speed limit that is set based on the 85th percentile (whether the final speed has been rounded up or rounded down) does not seem to qualify as "artifically low".

So get off the 85 percentile bandwagon, it's not something that's always true. It's like saying Chevys are safer than Fords or the reverse. Unless you know all the factors, you can't make a blanket statement about speed limits are set according to the 85th percentile.

I evidently left the impression that I supported unquestioningly the 85th percentile rule. That is not the case.

It's the general belief by many that the primary factor in determining a speed limit is the 85th percentile of what the traffic speed is. It isn't. If the flow of traffic is at a higher speed, exceeding the 85th percentile, an engineer may reevaluate the speed limit and if the other factors warrant may either increase or decrease the speed limit. For the average citizen, they often incorrectly assume the speed will be raised when there is just as much chance it will be lowered.

--
"In order to be old and wise, one first must have been young and stupid."

Speed limits

They also factor in a buffer for all the idiots that travel well above the posted limits. It's a safety factor.

However, there are those curves that say '20', and they mean it! We have a few around here like that.

But, people think it can never happen to them. They need to look in the junkyards.

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

@Box Car followup

Box Car wrote:

It's the general belief by many that the primary factor in determining a speed limit is the 85th percentile of what the traffic speed is. It isn't.

I agree with you and your P.T.O.E. co-worker that the 85th percentile is only one of the salient factors (which you enumerated in your post above) that should be considered in establishing a speed limit. However, in guidelines given in Sect. 2B.13 to 2B.15 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) 2009 edition from the Federal Highway Administration, there is the statement:
"12. When a speed limit within a speed zone is posted, it should be within 5 mph of the 85th percentile speed of free-flowing traffic.'

This may be why many people think the 85th percentile controls.

Quote:

If the flow of traffic is at a higher speed, exceeding the 85th percentile, an engineer may reevaluate the speed limit and if the other factors warrant may either increase or decrease the speed limit.

As you suggest, whenever conditions change such that the current (for whatever reasons) flow of traffic exceeds the 85th percentile from which the existing speed limit was established, then it must be re-evaluated. The traffic engineer would establish a new 85th percentile speed and account for the other factors you have already stated.

Quote:

For the average citizen, they often incorrectly assume the speed will be raised when there is just as much chance it will be lowered.

Quite so. Just as an example, over time the stretch of raod in question might have seen the establishment of a number of businesses (say, strip malls). Traffic speed would likely have been reduced, on average, as customers pulled into and out of the businesses. This would call for a reduction in the posted speed to account for the new conditions.

It ought to be mentioned that certain other factors, like school or hospital zones, will override 85th percentile speeds.