Michigan Illegally Setting Low Speed Limits to Increase Ticket Revenue

Sometimes, you have to admit, posted speed limits are so unfair. Well, you’re not too far off – if you’re in Michigan. It seems that speed limits in this state may be illegal. So, does this mean you can start setting your own pace and challenging police to a high speed chase? Not quite…

When it comes to safety, researchers have found that speed limits should be set at the 85th percentile traffic flow speed. In most cases, drivers tend to cruise at what they consider a safe speed, regardless of the speed limit. By that theory, speed limits should be raised to what 85 percent of drivers are moving.

And Michigan legislature knows about this tidbit of information, that’s why in 2006 they passed a law that reflects these traffic studies. So where does the illegal part come into play? It turns out that most Michigan municipalities haven’t complied, so that means there are plenty of speed limits posted that are themselves unlawful.

So why not change them? It may be because these municipalities want the revenue the speeding tickets bring in, so they don’t conduct the required speed studies which allow them to keep enforcing the lower speed limits.

And you know something is wrong when even the cops don’t agree with it. Lt. Gary Megge, head of the Michigan State Police Traffic Services Section, finds it “reprehensible” that communities are not following the law. “In many cases, the problem is the speed limit, not the motorist,” said Megge. “Communities have to obey the law, too.”

Sound unfair to you? You can do something about it – because of the law, drivers have started to challenge their speeding tickets and had them dismissed, if no traffic study had been done in that municipality.

Let’s hope that bringing awareness to the issue will force these municipalities onboard with raising the speed limit.

[Source: Detroit News]

1 Comment

Chad says:

I am shocked, I tell you, shocked.

Okay, not really. File this one alongside shortened yellow light times.