Inconsistency in Speed Limiting

Every day, when I go to work, I have to change the speed I’m going about three times, and of those three times, only one of them makes sense.

The first change in speed that I have to do is going from 55mph (88km/h) to 40mph (65km/h) – that is for a crossroads where there is very little visibility for both the main road and the cross road that has stop signs there. However, after crossing that intersection, the speed doesn’t go back to 55, it goes only up to 50mph (80km/h). The main reason that this happened is supposedly because of community pressure, but that argument doesn’t add up, because right after you go past a fire station, the limit goes right back up to 55.

Now, here’s where everything goes strange – the 55mph speed limit stays in effect for a few miles, until the road becomes a 4-lane, double-carriageway road. Logic would dictate that the speed should stay at 55, or possibly go down to 50, but what happens is totally bizarre – it goes all the way down to 45mph (72km/h). To me, there’s no reason for this to happen, as the road is completely safe at 55mph (which seems to be the speed most of the traffic does most of the time anyways). Sure, there are cross roads and driveways, but the main intersections have lights at them, and this really is no different to the rest of the road (heck, in the 55mph zone, there are driveways all up and down the road).

Making things even more interesting is the fact that on most of the crossroads, you encounter higher speed limits than on the 4-lane road. For example, a county road that I pass by has a 50-mph speed limit, and it’s a 2-lane road that has plenty of driveways and cross roads.

I have my own theory on why this is – for example there was community pressure to keep the speed limit low (the most likely chances on that since the people have whinged at every opportunity possible to stop the duplication, but were unable to do it). There is also the conspiracy theory that they kept the limit low in order to allow the police to increase their income from fines (over the three weeks I’ve worked, I’ve seen cops there twice already, along with a smattering of cops with traffic stopped elsewhere).

I’ll have to write to the state to find out the mail on that one, because it is strange that one 4-lane road would have a 45-mph speed limit, while another would have a 55-mph limit. It just seems that there’s no consistency in setting these limits. Thinking about it, another example of this inconsistency would be on a different 2-lane road, where, until about 5 years ago, the limit on both sides of 35-mph “community” zone was 55, only to have the northern side shaved down to 40 mph….