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California Bill Sets Its Sights on Lower Speed Limits

A proposed bill in the California State Assembly would make it easier for local jurisdictions to set lower speed limits, sidestepping the controversial 85th percentile rule.
March 6, 2018, 8am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Highway Speed

Citing a correlation between vehicle speeds and pedestrian fatalities, Melanie Curry writes, "State authorities, to prevent local jurisdictions from creating speed traps—where speed limits are abruptly lowered so that local police can charge drivers for speeding and thus make money for a municipality—have severely restricted the way speed limits can be set in California."

Unsafe speeds often trace their origins to the 85th percentile rule, by which traffic engineers are supposed to set speed limits. Now, California Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) has put forward a bill "creating another exception to the 85 percent rule." Under the bill, cities would be able to use data from collision surveys to lower limits.

"Her staffers say Friedman is working with a number of organizations, including the city of L.A., the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, CalBike, California Walks, and the CHP, to come up with a definition or guidance on what such a collision survey would entail."

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Published on Friday, February 23, 2018 in Streetsblog California
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