Michigan DOT Video Explains Procedures for Setting Speed Limits

AASHTO Journal, 19 August 2011
The Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan State Police have released a new YouTube video to help motorists understand how speed limits are established.

“We work closely with our partners in law enforcement to establish the safest speed limits possible for the benefit of all motorists,” Michigan Transportation Director Kirk Steudle, vice president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, said in a statement.

Speed studies are conducted to determine the “85th percentile speed” and identify reasonable driver behavior for a particular stretch of roadway, according to MDOT. The speed study is one part of an engineering and traffic investigation — a nationally accepted guideline for setting speed limits. The survey team in the field also identifies and considers other factors including traffic crash data, traffic volumes, roadside development, roadway configuration and condition, number of intersections and driveways, sidewalks, and any other factors that might influence all types of road users.

“Our comprehensive analysis in determining speed limits relies heavily on identifying normal and safe driver behavior and whether or not a speed limit is realistic,” MSP Director Col. Kriste Etue said in a statement.

The new video is available on MDOT’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/michigandot. More information on how Michigan speed limits are set is available at www.michigan.gov/speedlimits.

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