Variable Speed Limit Mandatory Signs

Mandatory signs are used by local administrators in several cases to ensure public safety. They may be used in commercial and private premises for different purposes. For instance, fire safety signs are used to show the public where to run in case of an emergency. Similarly, road signs are used for a variety of purposes, some to ensure drivers follow the speed limit, and others to ensure drivers are warned about steep curves, upcoming speed breakers and so on. In some cases, these signs can also be used to inform people about variable limits. For instance,

Highway Mandatory Signs

Some Highways may have different limits based on their length, location and state of build. Highways that run straight through long stretches of land may have static speeds.

These will usually be high and other mandatory signs to warn drivers of slopes or sudden curves, maybe even speed breakers will be put up. Signs that point out the nearest restrooms, petrol pumps and eateries will also be put up in abundance for long distance road travellers to benefit from it.

Furthermore, there may be some variations in speed, for instance, a lower limit close to eateries or petrol pumps and high ones in open areas. Signs will be put up indicating the change so drivers can drive within the allotted speed accordingly.

Signs on City Roads

You will also find variations in speed within city limits. Crowded city roads, those that are near schools, market places or commercial premises will generally are lower so that the safety of both the car driver and the passersby are ensured.

Open city roads, those running through the wilderness or other open areas will generally have higher limits. Along these roads, different signs indicating the changes will be put up at regular intervals.

You will find these signs near curbs, crossings and even on the sides of the main roads. It is important to observe these signs and drive accordingly. By following the higher speed of another stretch of the road in a place where you should be driving slower could lead to fines and traffic violations.

How They Help?

By putting up mandatory signs on roads specifying the variable limits, local administrators help ensure the safety of drivers and passersby. It is not possible to remember where the 50 kmph ended and where the 30 kmph began. This is why signs are put up, to point out the place where one limit ends and the other begins.

Over bridges, highways, open roads usually sport higher limits but as the road nears crowded areas, the speed changes depending on the surroundings. These signs help new out-of-town drivers to understand what speed limit to follow. Furthermore, they help prevent unnecessary road incidents.

When learning to drive, a good instructor will therefore always teach you to read various kinds of road signs too, for your safety,

Did The 55mph Speed Limit Save Gas?

Did the 55mph speed limit save gas? The 55mph speed limit, not too affectionately referred to as the “double nickel” was instituted in the 1970’s in response to oil supply problems cased by OPEC’s embargo. Formally called the National Maximum Speed Law, the law was viewed by disdain by drivers used to traveling over 70mph on our nation’s interstates.

People voted with their right feet, the one pressed firmly on the gas pedal, and in time the 55mph speed limit faded into history. Joy was felt throughout the land when the 55mph limit was raised to 65. In 1995 the last vestiges of the old speed law were removed, and the power to set their own speed limits was restored to the individual states.

Did the 55mph speed limit fulfill it’s intended purpose and save valuable gas? Well, first let’s take a look at some of the other effects of the 55mph limit. Despite the hue and cry that arose when the limit was repealed, and dire predictions of over 6,000 new highway deaths, the year after the repeal of the limit saw a record low level of traffic fatalities. This seemed to indicate that traffic safety, the main rationale for retaining the speed limit at snail-like levels after the oil crisis passed, was not greatly improved by the slower speed limit.

On the other hand, 55mph limit cost, by some estimates 200 million man hours per year. The National Academy of Sciences estimated the low speed limit cost the country far more, closer to 1 billion hours annually, in lost time.

Finally, did the 55mph speed limit actually save gas, as we were told it would when it was enacted? Actually, yes it did, but nowhere near the 400,000 barrels of oil per day that some experts predicted it could save. The Department of Transportation’s Dr. John Eberhardt did a study on 1978 that indicated the gas savings were no more than 1% of our total gasoline usage. So while it did save some gas, it was nowhere near what it cost in lost productivity and driver’s time. One may note that this time may never be recovered.

So the 55mph speed limit cost 1 billion hours per year, saved few, if any lives and didn’t come anywhere close to delivering the amount of gas savings we were assured it would when the law was enacted. That sounds like a law that should remain forever in our nation’s history books, never again to be seen on its highways.