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Old June 23rd, 2010
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Default Sandbagging on Speed Limits: Car and Driver article

Snippets from the Upfront article in the August 2010 issue of Car And Driver entitled: Sandbagging on Speed Limits by George Hunter:

Since Congress repealed a national speed-limit law in 1995, states have been increasing limits. So, while state legislatures are voting to up speed limits, local municipalities are reluctant to follow, experts say, because they don't want to lose the revenue that speeding tickets provide.

The state law, Public Act 85 of 2006, compels communities to set limits based on the speed at which 85 percent of drivers are traveling at the time a study is conducted. Limits are also based on the number of driveways or cross streets that intersect a given stretch of road.
If either of those two methods is not used, a 55-mph limit applies by default, except in some cases such as subdivisions or business districts. But because most communities in Michigan have not complied, speed limits throughout the state remain "artificially low,"according to Megge.

Michael Kitchen, the police chief of Ferndale, a Detroit suburb, admits the need for revenue was the reason behind his recent decision to step up traffic enforcement. "We have to write more tickets in order to avoid layoffs," Kitchen says. "I don't like how this looks to the public at all, but the bottom line is: If you obey the speed limit, we won't give you a ticket."
However, Kitchen also admits that the 35-mph speed limit on the most heavily driven roadway in Ferndale is likely too low. "That speed limit would probably be 45 mph if they ever did a speed study," he says.

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Old June 23rd, 2010
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