Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 77
3 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits Angels Who guard you When you drive Usually Retire at 65 Burma Shave (Rowsome 1965) The preceding chapter provided evidence of a close link between speed and safety. Speed is directly related to injury severity in a crash, reflecting the laws of physics. The link between speed and the prob- ability of being in a crash is weaker, reflecting the fact that motor vehicle crashes are complex events that can seldom be attributed to a single factor. The evidence presented, however, is sufficiently strong to reaffirm the need for managing speed. In this chapter, one of the primary 77
OCR for page 78
MANAGING SPEED 78 methods of managing drivers' choice of speed--the imposition of speed limits--is discussed. Speed limits are part of a speed manage- ment system, which involves laws and a process for setting reasonable speed limits as well as enforcement, sanctions, and publicity. The chapter begins with an explanation of why regulatory intervention is justified. After a brief history of speed regulation, the major methods of establishing speed limits are introduced and their strengths and weaknesses summarized. The application of speed limits to different road classes and roadway environments is considered next. A review of what is known about the effect of speed limits on driver behavior and safety follows, drawing heavily on studies of recent changes in speed limits both in the United States and abroad. The chapter ends with a discussion of the implications of these findings for speed limit policies. REGULATING SPEED--A THEORETICAL JUSTIFICATION Drivers continually make choices about appropriate driving speeds, making their own assessment concerning the amount of risk they are willing to bear. Because drivers have a strong incentive to complete their trips safely, one could ask why they should not be left to choose their own travel speeds. There are three principal reasons for regulat- ing drivers' speed choices: (a) externalities,1 that is, the imposition of risks and uncompensated costs on others because of inappropriate speed choices made by individual drivers; (b) inadequate information that limits a motorist's ability to determine an appropriate driving speed; and (c) driver misjudgment of the effects of speed on crash probability and severity. The strongest case for regulatory intervention can be made on the grounds of externalities. Drivers may not take into account the risks imposed on others by their choice of an appropriate driving speed. 1 Externalities are defined as the "effect that occurs when the activity of one entity (a person or a firm) directly affects the welfare of another in a way that is not trans- mitted by market prices" (Rosen 1995, 91).
OCR for page 79
79 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits For example, drivers who choose to drive very fast relative to other traffic or very fast for existing road conditions in exchange for a shorter trip time may accept the higher risk of death or injury for themselves, but their choice almost certainly increases the risk of death and injury for other road users. Even a single-occupant, single- vehicle crash imposes medical and property damage costs that are not entirely paid for by the driver. Other externalities in the form of higher fuel consumption or higher emissions resulting from higher driving speeds are not directly paid for from current fuel or vehicle operating taxes. Such externalities are the major theoretical justifica- tion for the imposition of speed limits. (Speed limits, of course, are not the only possible regulatory response.) The externalities--partic- ularly the risks to others--may be relatively small on lightly traveled Interstate highways but quite large on streets adjacent to schools or in highly congested areas. The differences in the effects of the exter- nalities are important to consider in setting appropriate speed limits on different types of roads. Regulatory intervention is also justified if drivers are systemati- cally making "wrong" choices because of a lack of information or an inability to understand the information presented to them. (A wrong choice is defined as a choice that is different from the choice drivers would make if they had and understood all the relevant information.) For example, some drivers may not correctly judge the capabilities of their vehicles (e.g., stopping, handling) or anticipate roadway geom- etry and roadside conditions sufficiently to determine appropriate driving speeds. These circumstances may not be as relevant for expe- rienced drivers driving under familiar circumstances, although these drivers can make inappropriate decisions because of fatigue or other factors. Inexperienced drivers, or experienced drivers operating in unfamiliar surroundings, are more likely to underestimate risk and make inappropriate speed choices. For example, even experienced drivers may not make informed choices when faced with entirely new driving circumstances, such as the southerner confronting snow or the easterner confronting a winding mountain road with no shoulders. Another reason for regulatory intervention, which is related to the issues of information adequacy and judgment, is the tendency of some drivers to underestimate or misjudge the effects of speed on
OCR for page 80
MANAGING SPEED 80 crash probability and severity. For example, drivers may have a good sense of the relationship between driving speed and travel time, but they may not have as good an appreciation of the effect of speed on crash probability and crash severity. As noted in Chapter 1, there is some evidence that drivers systematically overestimate their driving skills and underestimate the risks of driving, particularly at higher speeds. Other drivers may simply be indifferent to speed regulations and will drive as fast as they can, ignoring the risks their speed choices impose on others. The justification for imposing speed lim- its, however, still leaves open the question of how the limits should be set, the topic of the following section. METHODS OF SETTING SPEED LIMITS Brief History of Speed Regulation The idea of regulating the speed of motor vehicle travel has a long history. In fact, the first speed regulations predated the invention of the automobile by some 200 years. The town of Newport, Rhode Island, prohibited the galloping of horses on major thoroughfares in an effort to prevent pedestrian deaths; Boston, Massachusetts, lim- ited horsedrawn carriages to a "foot pace" on Sundays to protect churchgoers (Ladd 1959). In 1901 Connecticut was the first state to impose a maximum speed limit of 8 mph (13 km/h) in cities (Labatut and Lane 1950). A review of early speed legislation suggests that the primary pur- pose of regulating speed was to improve public safety (Parker 1997, 1); another goal was uniformity in state speed regulations (UVC 1967, 436). The Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC), first published in 1926, provided the framework for speed control as it is known today. The original code contained (a) a basic rule requiring motorists to operate at speeds reasonable and prudent for conditions and (b) max- imum general speed limits2 in business and residential districts and other specific situations (e.g., grade crossings, in the vicinity of 2 These maximum limits were established as prima facie limits (UVC 1967, 437).
OCR for page 81
81 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits schools) (UVC 1967, 428, 437438). The 1934 version of the UVC broadened the maximum speed limits to cover more general situa- tions (e.g., urban districts) and introduced the concept of speed zones, wherein state agencies would determine alternative maximum speed limits at particular highway locations on the basis of engineer- ing and traffic investigations (UVC 1967, 437, 446).3 With the rise of the traffic safety movement during the 1930s, the National Safety Council organized a Committee on Speed Regulation in 1936 to study the speed problem. Its report (NSC 1941) reiterated the framework laid out by the UVC--a basic rule, maximum general speed limits, and authority for establishing speed zones on the basis of a traffic engineering study. The committee rec- ommended that state legislatures adopt uniform speed legislation based on this framework (NSC 1941, 5, 15). Above all it recom- mended a balanced approach toward speed control, directed at speed "too fast for conditions" rather than at speed in excess of some arbi- trary general limit (NSC 1941, 4). At the time the committee was conducting its work, cars were capable of reaching speeds of 80 to 100 mph (129 to 161 km/h), but the general statewide speed limit in many states was 35 to 45 mph (56 to 72 km/h) ( Joscelyn and Elston 1970, 32). With the tremendous growth in motor vehicle travel and further improvements in the highway system and the automobile during the 1930s and 1940s, the motoring public clamored for speeds higher than the maximum posted limits, which were frequently ignored because they were considered below those deemed reasonable by motorists (The American City 1950). In response, traffic engineers began to advocate an approach to setting speed limits (described sub- sequently) that is based on operating speeds as well as other factors. This method attempts to define a safe speed but also accommodates drivers' desire for a reasonable speed. 3 The 1926 UVC had previously recommended that local authorities be empowered to increase speed limits on through highways under their jurisdiction (UVC 1967, 450).
OCR for page 82
MANAGING SPEED 82 Considerations in Establishing Speed Limits General Speed Limits Versus Speed Zones In any discussion of speed limits, it is important to distinguish between general limits, which apply statewide or even nationwide, and limits in speed zones, which apply to a particular section of road. The former are set by legislation--by state statute, municipal ordi- nance, or Congress (ITE 1992, 347). Typically, general or legislated limits apply to a category of highway (see glossary)--a freeway or an arterial, for example--and reflect the design characteristics of the particular road class. They also differ by area, distinguishing rural from urban or local roads. By definition, general speed limits repre- sent a compromise; they may be well suited for some roads but are either "too high" or "too low" for others (Harwood 1995, 89). Speed limits in speed zones, on the other hand, are established by administrative action and are intended to be determined on the basis of an engineering study (ITE 1992, 347). The limits are tailored for a specific length of road where the general limit is deemed to be inap- propriate. Guidance is abundant on how to conduct the requisite engineering assessment of the traffic, road, and land use conditions that should be considered in establishing an appropriate speed limit in a speed zone (Harwood 1995, 89). Uniformity One might ask why speed zones are not established for every road segment, thereby tailoring speeds to the particular characteristics of the road and the location. Besides creating obvious resource problems because of the requirement to both undertake the necessary engi- neering studies and post signs on each highway section, a system of frequently changing speed limits would create confusion for the driv- er (Harwood 1995, 90). It could encourage a patchwork of different speed limits that may or may not be consistent across road classes and locations (Figure 3-1). The current system of statutory limits with speed zones as exceptions has the merit of encouraging uniformity and consistency of speed limits across a broad range of highways.
OCR for page 83
83 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits Figure 3-1 Parody of state response to repeal of 55-mph (89-km/h) National Maximum Speed Limit (reprinted with permission of Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette). Objectives of Speed Limits The primary purpose of speed limits is to enhance safety by reducing the risks imposed by drivers' speed choices. Speed limits enhance safety in two ways. They have a limiting function. By establishing an upper bound on speeds, the objective is to reduce both the probabil- ity and severity of crashes. Speed limits also have a coordinating function--to reduce dispersion in driving speeds (Lave 1985); more uniform speeds are associated with fewer vehicle conflicts. Another function of speed limits, which is related to their coordinating func- tion, is to achieve an orderly flow of traffic and improve traffic flow efficiency. Once established, well-conceived speed limits help deter- mine a reasonable standard for enforcement. Historically, speed lim- its have also been established for energy conservation purposes during times of national crisis.
OCR for page 84
MANAGING SPEED 84 Those who set speed limits attempt to balance road user safety and travel efficiency, among the many other factors that determine driv- ers' speed choice. Determining the optimal trade-off between these objectives depends, in part, on the function of the road. On limited- access facilities built to move traffic efficiently, greater emphasis may be placed on minimizing travel time without compromising safety. On local roads, where the primary function is access to abutting property, speed limits may be set to accommodate access rather than the efficient movement of traffic (Harwood 1995, 90). Informational Content and Reasonableness Whatever trade-offs are made between safety and travel time in establishing speed limits, posted limits ought to convey information to drivers. According to current practice, the numerical value on the sign advises the motorist of the maximum speed at which a driv- er can lawfully proceed under favorable conditions (e.g., good weather, daylight, and free-flowing traffic). Drivers are expected to reduce their speeds as these conditions change. The maximum speed limit should be related to the actual risk characteristics of the road (e.g., curvature, lane width) if drivers are to perceive the speed limit as credible and if adequate levels of voluntary compliance are to be achieved (Fildes and Lee 1993, 22). State and local governments do not have the resources--nor do they perceive it as a good use of resources--to apprehend and penalize large numbers of out-of-compliance drivers. Routine violation of speed limits by the majority of drivers may breed contempt not only for speed limits but also for other traffic regulations. As a general proposition, then, speed limits should be set at levels that are largely self-enforcing so that law enforcement officials can concentrate their efforts on the worst offenders. This goal, however, may not be achievable on all road classes (e.g., local streets) where lower driving speeds are desir- able but speed compliance is poor. These roads may be candi- dates for other speed management strategies, such as traffic calming.
OCR for page 85
85 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits Primary Methods of Setting Speed Limits The process of setting speed limits is often viewed as a technical exercise. However, the decisions concerning appropriate limits require value judgments and trade-offs that are appropriately handled by the political process--by Congress in the case of setting national speed limits and by state legislatures and city councils in determining general limits for highways under their respective jurisdictions. In this section, the major methods of determining speed limits are described. The section begins with a description of the methods most appropriate for setting statutory or legislated speed limits and con- tinues with a discussion of the methods appropriate for setting speed limits in speed zones (Table 3-1). Statutory Limits Statutory national speed limits were imposed twice in U.S. history, both during times of national crisis. A federal speed limit of 35 mph (56 km/h) was imposed during World War II. More recently, Congress established the NMSL of 55 mph (89 km/h) during the energy crisis of 1973 to reduce reliance on imported oil. In both cases, the objective was to reduce energy costs rather than transpor- tation costs. Safety benefits and travel time costs were a by-product rather than an intrinsic part of the initial determination of an appro- priate speed limit.4 Following repeal of the NMSL in 1995, most state legislatures acted to raise speed limits on highways subject to the 55-mph (89- km/h) speed limit. Many states reverted to the maximum general speed limits in effect for these highways before the NMSL was enacted. Other states established new speed limits on these high- ways. Legislative decisions typically were accompanied by public input and technical support provided by state departments of trans- portation (DOTs). Before posting speed limit increases, many state 4 Benefit-cost considerations, particularly the trade-offs between loss of life, injury costs, and time savings, were more directly considered and debated when Congress decided to allow states to raise speed limits on rural Interstates in 1987.
OCR for page 86
Table 3-1 Characteristics of the Primary Methods of Setting Speed Limits Speed Limit Most Common Relation Appropriateness by Ease of Relation to Method Application to Safety Road Class Implementation Enforcement Statutory General limits Trade-offs among Statutory limits typi- Difficult to achieve Can be difficult to limits safety, travel time, cally are estab- consensus on enforce if limits are set and other objectives lished by road class national limits arbitrarily are politically deter- and sometimes by except during mined location (e.g., times of crisis-- rural) easier to establish at state and local level Optimum General limits or Safety is balanced with Theoretically, should No known practical If implemented, could be speed limits speed zones other objectives be adaptable for application--dif- difficult to enforce (e.g., travel time) to any road class ficult to quantify because socially optimal minimize social key variables speed limits are typically highway transport lower than what individ- costs ual drivers would select Engineering Speed zones Not necessarily a safe May not be as appro- Well-established Helps establish a reason- study speed for all road priate for urban methodology for able target of out-of- method with classes; it depends, roads, particularly determining 85th compliance drivers for speed limits for example, on the residential streets, percentile speed enforcement set near the dispersion of speeds with greater mix of 85th per- between the slowest road users and func- centile speed and fastest drivers tions than major arterials and freeways
OCR for page 87
Expert Speed zones Helps identify many Probably most useful Complex system to System has been used to system factors, in addition and appropriate for develop, requir- target photo enforce- based to vehicle operating roads in urban ing knowledge- ment (i.e., where recom- approach speeds, that may areas where speed able experts and mended program limit is affect safety limits based solely computer capa- substantially below driv- on 85th percentile bility ers' preferred operating speed may be inap- speeds) propriate Variable speed Freeways Not fully demon- Because of expense, Limited experience Systems are often com- limits strated--some indi- most appropriate in United bined with photo radar cation that more for highest-class States--new tech- enforcement uniform speeds roads with large nologies are being reduce crashes traffic volumes introduced
OCR for page 128
MANAGING SPEED 128 speed dispersion (Davis 1998, 2, 1617). This experience was in sharp contrast to another rural Interstate--I-10--where speed limits had also been raised but where speeds remained relatively constant and injury crashes and crash severity showed a slight decline (Davis 1998, 1). The major differences were attributed to rigorous enforce- ment and the high percentage of heavy-truck traffic on I-10, which tended to keep all vehicle speeds lower.62 Review of Studies of Changes in Speed Limits on Nonlimited-Access Highways Most U.S. studies have focused on changes in speed limits on lim- ited-access highways. A recent study (Parker 1997), however, exam- ined the effect of changes in speed limits--both increases and decreases--in short speed zones [typically less than 2 mi (3 km)] on rural and urban nonlimited-access highways. Changes in driving speeds and crash experience at these sites were compared with closely matched comparison sites where speed limits remained constant.63 The study found that changing posted speed limits had little effect on driving speeds. Specifically, a review of before and after speed data at the selected sites revealed that differences in average speeds, stan- dard deviations of speeds, and 85th percentile speeds were generally less than 2 mph (3 km/h) and were not related to the amount the posted speed limit was changed (Parker 1997, 85).64 Part of the explanation may lie in the fact that the speed limit changes--at least increases in the speed limit--simply rationalized the speeds that drivers were already driving. In fact, where speed limits were raised 62 The Doña Ana County Sherriff 's Office issued more than 1,000 citations for speeding under a grant from the Traffic Safety Bureau during the time the speed data were being recorded on I-10 (Davis 1996, 7). 63 The comparison sites could not be randomly drawn from the same population or source, but every effort was made to match as closely as possible the geometric, vol- ume, and speed characteristics of the sites where the speed limits had been changed (Parker 1997, 9). 64 The researchers noted that the changes were statistically significant, primarily because of large sample sizes, but "not sufficiently large to be of practical signifi- cance" (Parker 1997, 87).
OCR for page 129
129 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits by 10 to 15 mph (16 to 24 km/h),65 there was a fourfold increase in driver compliance levels (Parker 1997, 46). Conversely, where speed limits were lowered, compliance levels declined sharply; drivers appeared to ignore the new, lower speed limits at these sites (Parker 1997, 46). The author concluded that changing posted speed limits alone--without additional enforcement, educational programs, or other engineering measures--has only a minor effect on driver behavior (Parker 1997, 87). Not surprisingly, with such small speed changes, Parker found no evidence of changes in total crashes or fatal and injury crashes when posted speed limits were raised or lowered (Parker 1997, 86). The study findings, however, cannot be generalized to all nonlimited- access roads because the site selection process was not random.66 The lack of observed changes in driver behavior raises the concern that, if the planned speed limit changes simply legalized existing behavior, the results could be significantly biased in favor of the finding that the speed limit changes had little effect on driver behavior and thus offer little insight into the independent effect of a change in speed limits on the distribution of driving speeds.67 Nevertheless, Parker's results were confirmed in another recent study of speed limit changes for a range of road types, mainly nonlimited-access state highways (Agent et al. 1997). Data were col- lected on speeds and crashes at more than 100 speed zones in Kentucky where speed limits had been changed. In most cases, the speed limit was lowered to near 35th percentile speeds; the predominant change was from 55 to 45 mph (89 to 72 km/h). The study found modest changes in 85th percentile speeds--less than the change in the speed limit itself--whether the speed limit was raised or lowered (Agent et al. 1997, 12). Where 85th percentile speeds before the change were high relative to the new limit, modest 65 "Before" speed limit levels ranged from 20 to 50 mph (32 to 80 km/h) (Parker 1997, 9192). 66 It should be noted that safety issues and legal concerns are likely to preclude any experimental design that involves random site selection for speed limit changes. 67 For a more detailed discussion of the Parker study, see the section on Posted Speed Limits and Speeding Behavior in Appendix C.
OCR for page 130
MANAGING SPEED 130 reductions in speed were recorded but were accompanied by a high rate of noncompliance (Agent et al. 1997, 1213). The authors con- cluded that motorists will drive at what they consider an appropriate speed regardless of the speed limit (Agent et al. 1997, iii). Not sur- prisingly, given the small changes in speed, no statistically significant changes were observed in the total number of crashes or fatal or injury crashes (Agent et al. 1997, 16). The study exhibits many of the same limitations of the Parker study, mainly nonrandom selection of sites, that limit generalization of results. In addition, variability in data collection techniques for speed measurement may have affected the reliability of results. However, both studies suggest the need for reasonable speed limits and the difficulty of changing driver behavior where drivers perceive that an appropriate speed is other than the posted speed limit. Review of International Experience on the Effects of Changes in Speed Limits In addition to the U.S. research on the relationship between changes in speed limits and highway safety, a number of international studies have examined this issue.68 International studies of the effects of changes in speed limits on low-speed roads are numerous and were summarized briefly earlier in the chapter. This section focuses on a more limited number of recent studies of speed limit changes on high- speed roads. In contrast to the United States, where most studies have evaluated the speed and safety effects of raising speed limits on limited-access highways, international studies have primarily examined the effects of reductions in speed limits. Studies of speed limit reductions in Sweden (Nilsson 1990; Johansson 1996), the Netherlands (Borsje 1995), Victoria, Australia (Sliogeris 1992), and Finland (Salusjärvi 1981) all reported results that are a mirror image of those found in the United States. Lower speed limits resulted in lower average speeds, although 68 This section also draws heavily on the review commissioned for this study, which is presented in its entirety as Appendix C.
OCR for page 131
131 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits the changes were typically less than the absolute reduction in the speed limit. Lower speed limits were also associated with reduced crash inci- dence and, in some cases, with reduced crash severity. Many of the studies, however, do not control for the potentially confounding effects of other policies undertaken at the same time as the speed limit change (e.g., public information campaigns, increased levels of enforcement) or other factors that may have affected highway safety (e.g., changes in amount of travel affecting exposure levels, safety belt legislation). Most studies failed to consider systemwide effects of speed limit changes to determine net safety effects. Any generalization of the results to the United States, of course, must be mindful of differences in highway networks, driving environment, and driving culture (there is more legal high-speed driving in European countries). SUMMARY The potential adverse consequences of speeding, particularly the risks imposed on others from an individual driver's speed choice, are suffi- cient reason for regulating speed. Speed limits, one of the oldest methods of managing speeds, are intended to enhance safety by establishing an upper bound on speed to reduce both the probability and the severity of crashes. They also have a coordinating function; the intent is to reduce dispersion in driving speeds and thus reduce the potential for vehicle conflicts. Numerous methods are available for setting speed limits, ranging from legislated limits on broad road classes, to limits in speed zones determined on the basis of an engineering study, to limits established by local ordinance on residential streets. Whatever method is used, speed limits reflect implicit trade-offs among road user safety, travel efficiency, and practicality of enforcement. The trade-offs vary by roadway functional class and environment, reflecting in part different levels of risk associated with driving on different roadway types. Setting speed limits that give priority to travel efficiency, for example, may be appropriate on rural freeways where vehicles travel long distances under free-flowing traffic condi- tions with little likelihood of conflict with other road users and where the ability to enforce speed on extensive road mileage is limited. A
OCR for page 132
MANAGING SPEED 132 maximum speed limit is probably necessary, however, because of the cause-and-effect relationship between high speeds and crash severity. Speed limits that give priority to travel efficiency are less likely to be appropriate in urban areas, where the roads must be shared with a broad range of users, including vulnerable pedestrians and bicyclists, and where roadside development increases opportunities for vehicle conflict and raises the probability of an unexpected event. Because driver com- pliance with urban speed limits has been poor, alternative methods for managing and enforcing speeds may be necessary in these areas. Most roads and roadway conditions fall between these extremes. Appropriate use of speed zones can help establish speed limits suit- able for conditions. The effects of speed limits, particularly on safety, have been stud- ied extensively. U.S. experience with raising speed limits on qualified sections of rural Interstate highways in 1987 suggests that higher speed limits resulted in higher average and 85th percentile speeds and modest increases in speed dispersion. Higher speeds are linked unequivocally with increased injury severity in a crash. Indeed, the most methodologically sound studies found that higher speeds led to increased fatalities and fatal crashes on rural Interstates in most states. The studies were less clear about the absolute size of the safety decrement, the extent and direction of any network effects, and the role of enforcement in encouraging driver compliance with new speed limits. Preliminary data are available for speed and safety changes, pri- marily on limited-access highways, in the first year following repeal of the NMSL in 1995. Average and 85th percentile speeds rose less than increases in the posted limit, reflecting, in part, poor driver compliance with lower speed limits in effect before the change. Speed dispersion increased in some states but not in others, in part depending on what measure of speed dispersion was used. Monitoring studies show some evidence of more high-speed driving at levels that exceed the new speed limits, suggesting that at least some drivers expect the same enforcement tolerance as at the lower speed limits. Although the findings are not consistent across all states, most studies indicated an increase in fatalities on highways where speed limits were raised. Only one study examined possible
OCR for page 133
133 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits system effects, finding modest spillover effects. The results of these studies must be considered preliminary because they are generally based on 1 year of data or less. The available studies of speed limit changes in speed zones on nonlimited-access highways in the United States found little change in speeds or crashes when speed limits were raised to near the 85th percentile speed or lowered to a limit well below the 85th percentile. Although methodological problems limit the generalization of study results, the findings suggest the difficulty of changing driver behav- ior merely by changing the sign. Speed limits are likely to have more effect if the majority of driv- ers perceive the limits as reasonable and related to the risks of driv- ing, including risks to other road users. The increased probability of a severe crash is sufficient reason to impose maximum speed limits and direct enforcement at motorists who drive well in excess of the speed limit. Speed limits alone, without enhanced enforcement or innovative engineering measures, are insufficient to achieve compli- ance with posted speed limits on many roads. In most cases, enforce- ment is critical to ensure driver compliance. Appropriate enforcement strategies--the subject of the next chapter--can help persuade drivers that speed limits are in fact legal limits and not sim- ply guidance on appropriate driving speeds. REFERENCES ABBREVIATIONS ECMT European Conference of Ministers of Transport ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NSC National Safety Council RTI Research Triangle Institute TRB Transportation Research Board TRL Transport Research Laboratory UVC Uniform Vehicle Code Agent, K.R., J.G. Pigman, and J.M. Weber. 1997. Evaluation of Speed Limits in Kentucky. KTC-97-6. Kentucky Transportation Center in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Federal Highway Administration. April, 90 pp.
OCR for page 134
MANAGING SPEED 134 Baerwald, J.E. 1953. Indiana Traffic Speeds 19421952. Joint Highway Research Project. No. 73. Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind., March. Baum, H.M., A.K. Lund, and J.K. Wells. 1989. The Mortality Consequences of Raising the Speed Limit to 65 MPH on Rural Interstates. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 79, No. 10, Oct., pp. 13921395. Baum, H.M., J.R. Esterlitz, P. Zador, and M. Penny. 1991a. Different Speed Limits for Cars and Trucks: Do They Affect Vehicle Speeds? In Transportation Research Record 1318, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 37. Baum, H.M., J.K. Wells, and A.K. Lund. 1991b. The Fatality Consequences of the 65 MPH Speed Limits, 1989. Journal of Safety Research, Vol. 22, No. 4, Winter, pp. 171177. Borsje, J.F. 1995. The Effects of the 1988 Differentiation of Speed Limits in The Netherlands. No. 2A, Part 4. Proc., Road Safety in Europe and Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), Lille, France, Sept. 26-28, 1994, pp. 2436. Carter, F.M. 1949. Speed Zoning. Proc., First California Institute on Street and Highway Problems, Berkeley, Calif., Jan. 31-Feb. 2, pp. 151156. Casey, S.M., and A.K. Lund. 1992. Changes in Speed and Speed Adaptation Following an Increase in the National Maximum Speed Limit. Journal of Safety Research, Vol. 23, pp. 135146. Chowdhury, M.A., D.L. Warren, H. Bissell, and S. Taori. 1998. Are the Criteria for Setting Advisory Speeds on Curves Still Relevant? ITE Journal, Vol. 68, No. 2, Feb., pp. 3245. Cirillo, J.A. 1968. Interstate System Accident Research--Study II--Interim Report II. Public Roads, Vol. 35, No. 3, 1968. Coleman, J.A., et al. 1996. FHWA Study Tour for Speed Management and Enforcement Technology. FHWA-PL-96-006. Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Feb., 83 pp. Davis, J.W. 1996. The Effects of Higher Speed Limits in New Mexico. Draft. Grant 1-TR- 97-01. University of New Mexico, Jan. Davis, J.W. 1998. The Effects of Higher Speed Limits in New Mexico. Grant 98-TR-01- 01. Division of Government Research, University of New Mexico, Jan., 19 pp. Donald, D. 1994. Using Expert System Technology to Set Appropriate, Consistent Speed Limits--The Australian Experience. In Proc., Third International Conference on Safety and the Environment in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Past, Shaping the Future, Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct., pp. 284295. ECMT. 1996. Speed Moderation. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. OECD Publications Service, Paris, 86 pp. Farmer, C.M., R. A. Retting, and A.K. Lund. 1997. Effect of 1996 Speed Limit Changes on Motor Vehicle Occupant Fatalities. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arlington, Va., Oct., 12 pp. Fildes, B.N., and S.J. Lee. 1993. The Speed Review: Road Environment, Behaviour, Speed Limits, Enforcement and Crashes. Monash University Accident Research Centre, Victoria, Australia, Sept., 146 pp.
OCR for page 135
135 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits Finch, D.J., P. Kompfner, C.R. Lockwood, and G. Maycock. 1994. Speed, Speed Limits and Accidents. Project Report 58. S211G/RB. Transport Research Laboratory, Berkshire, England, 24 pp. Fitzpatrick, K., R.A. Krammes, and D.B. Fambro. 1997. Design Speed, Operating Speed and Posted Speed Relationships. ITE Journal, Vol. 67, No. 2, Feb., pp. 5259. Garber, N.J., and R. Gadiraju. 1988. Speed Variance and Its Influence on Accidents. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, July, 56 pp. Garber, N.J., and R. Gadiraju. 1991. Impact of Differential Speed Limits on Highway Speeds and Accidents. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Feb., 52 pp. Garber, S., and J.D. Graham. 1989. The Effects of the New 65 Mile-Per-Hour Speed Limit on Rural Highway Fatalities: A State-By-State Analysis. DOT-HS-807- 452. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, July, 34 pp. Godwin, S.R. 1988. Implications of Raising the U.S. Maximum Speed Limit to 65 mph. VTI Rapport 332A. Proc., Roads and Traffic Safety on Two Continents, Gothenburg, Sweden, Sept. 911, 1987, pp. 2143. Godwin, S.R. 1992. Effect of the 65 m.p.h. Speed Limit on Highway Safety in the U.S.A. Transport Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 114. Graham-Migletz Enterprises, Inc. 1996. Procedure for Determining Work Zone Speed Limits. Research Results Digest, No. 192, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Sept., 43 pp. Griffith, M.S. 1995. Discussion of "Did the 65 mph Speed Limit Save Lives?" (with response by C. Lave). News, Queries and Comment, Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 137140. Harkey, D.L., H.D. Robertson, and S.E. Davis. 1990. Assessment of Current Speed Zoning Criteria. In Transportation Research Record 1281, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 4051. Harkey, D.L., and R. Mera. 1994. Safety Impacts of Different Speed Limits on Cars and Trucks. FHWA-RD-93-161. The Scientex Corporation, Charlotte, N.C., May, 67 pp. Harwood, C.J. 1995. Criteria for Setting General Urban Speed Limits. Road and Transport Research, Vol. 4, No. 2, June, pp. 8894. Highway and Vehicle Safety Report. 1998. Speed Limits Change with Weather in Seattle. Vol. 24, No. 8, Jan. Idaho Department of Transportation. 1997. Speed and Accident Report for MayOctober, Six-Month Report Comparing MayOctober for 1991 Through 1996. Jan. 8. ITE. 1992. Traffic Engineering Handbook: Fourth Edition ( J.L. Pline, ed.). Prentice- Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Johansson, P. 1996. Speed Limitation and Motorway Casualties: A Time Series Count Data Regression Approach. Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 7387. Jondrow, J.M., M. Bowes, and R.A. Levy. 1982. Optimal Speed Limit: A New Approach. In Transportation Research Record 887, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 12. Joscelyn, K.B., and P.A. Elston. 1970. Maximum Speed Limits--Volume II, The Development of Speed Limits: A Review of the Literature. FH-11-7275. Indiana University, Bloomington, Oct., 146 pp.
OCR for page 136
MANAGING SPEED 136 Krammes, R.A., K. Fitzpatrick, J.D. Blaschke, and D.B. Fambro. 1996. Speed: Understanding Design, Operating, and Posted Speed. Report 1465-1. Texas Transportation Institute, College Station, March, 16 pp. Labatut, J., and W. Lane. 1950. Highways in Our National Life: A Symposium. Princeton University Press. Ladd, W.D. 1959. Organizing for Traffic Safety in Your Community. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Ill. Lave, C. 1985. Speeding, Coordination, and the 55-mph Limit. The American Economic Review, Vol. 75, pp. 11591164. Lave, C., and P. Elias. 1994. Did the 65 MPH Speed Limit Save Lives? Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 4962. Lund, A.K., and W.J. Rauch. 1992. On the Contrary! A Comment on Lave and Elias's Question "Did the 65 mph Speed Limit Save Lives?" Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arlington, Va., 5 pp. MacRae, D., Jr., and J.A. Wilde. 1979. The Optimum Speed Limit. In Policy Analysis for Public Decisions, Duxbury Press, Mass., pp. 133156. Marcellis, J.C. 1962. An Economic Evaluation of Traffic Movement at Various Speeds. Vehicular Speed Regulation Research Project, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Sept. McCarthy, P.S. 1994. An Empirical Analysis of the Direct and Indirect Effects of Relaxed Interstate Speed Limits on Highway Safety. Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 36, pp. 353364. McKnight, A.J., T.M. Klein, and A.S. Tippetts. 1989. The Effect of the 65 MPH Limit on Speeds and Accidents. DOT-HS-807-463. National Public Services Research Institute, Landover, Md., National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Aug., 48 pp. Montana Department of Transportation and Montana Highway Patrol. 1996. Data Reference Related to Montana Speed Laws. Dec. NHTSA. 1989. Effects of the 65 mph Speed Limit Though 1988: A Report to Congress. U.S. Department of Transportation, Oct. NHTSA. 1992. Effects of the 65 mph Speed Limit Through 1990: A Report to Congress. U.S. Department of Transportation, May. NHTSA. 1997. Traffic Safety Facts 1996. DOT-HS-808-649. U.S. Department of Transportation, Dec. NHTSA. 1998. The Effect of Increased Speed Limits in the Post-NMSL Era. Report to Congress. DOT-HS-808-637. NRD-31. U.S. Department of Transportation, Feb. Nilsson, G. 1990. Reduction in the Speed Limit from 110 km/h to 90 km/h During Summer 1989. VTI Rapport 358A, Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute, 36 pp. NSC. 1941. Speed Regulation. Committee on Speed Regulation, Chicago, Ill., July, 62 pp. Oppenlander, J.C. 1962. A Theory on Vehicular Speed Regulation. Bulletin 341, Highway Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 7791. Parker, M.R., Jr. 1997. Effects of Raising and Lowering Speed Limits on Selected Roadway Sections. FHWA-RD-92-084. Martin R. Parker & Associates, Inc., Wayne, Mich., Jan., 175 pp.
OCR for page 137
137 Managing Speeds: Speed Limits Parker, M.R., Jr., and K.H. Tsuchiyama. 1985. Methods for Reducing Large Speed Differences in Traffic Streams, Volume 1 - Inventory of Methods. FHWA/RD-85/103. Martin R. Parker & Associates, Inc., Canton, Mich., Aug., 124 pp. Pezoldt, V.J., R. Q. Brackett, and D.E. Morris. 1997. The Impact of the Change in Speed Limits on Texas Highways: A Nine-Month Evaluation. Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University System, College Station, Feb. 19. Pilli-Sihvola, Y., and K. Taskula. 1996. Mustaa Jäätä and Finland's Weather- Controlled Road. Traffic Technology International 1996, UK and International Press, Surrey, United Kingdom, pp. 204206. Retting, R.A., and M.A. Greene. 1997. Traffic Speeds Following Repeal of the National Maximum Speed Limit. ITE Journal, Vol. 67, No. 5, May, pp. 4246. Rosen, H.S. 1995. Public Finance (4th edition). Richard D. Irwin, Inc. Rowsome, F., Jr. 1965. The Verse By the Side of the Road. The Penguin Group. RTI. 1970. Speed and Accidents, Vol. II. Final Report, Summary and Conclusions. May. Salusjärvi, M. 1981. The Speed Limit Experiments on Public Roads in Finland. Road and Traffic Laboratory, Technical Research Centre of Finland, Dec., 133 pp. Sliogeris, J. 1992. 110 Kilometre Per Hour Speed Limit--Evaluation of Road Safety Effects. GR 92-8. Vic Roads, Kew, Victoria, Australia, Aug., 27 pp. Solomon, D. 1964. Accidents on Main Rural Highways Related to Speed, Driver, and Vehicle. Bureau of Public Roads, U.S. Department of Commerce, July, 44 pp. Sub-Committee on Speed Zoning. 1969. Resolution of the Annual Meeting of the American Association of State Highway Officials. Taylor, W.C. 1965. Speed Zoning, A Theory and Its Proof. Traffic Engineering, Vol. 34, No. 12, Jan., pp. 1719, 4850. Tennessee Department of Highways. 1968. A Summary of Practices in Establishing Speed Zones. Traffic Engineering Division, June. The American City. 1950. What Do Speed Limits Mean? Vol. 65, No. 11, Jan., p. 121. Thornton, M., and R.W. Lyles. 1996. Freeway Speed Zones: Safety and Compliance Issues. In Transportation Research Record 1560, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 6673. Tignor, S.C., and D.L. Warren. 1989. Speed Zoning in America: Some Preliminary Research Results. Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, June. Transport Research Centre. 1996. Toward Safer Roads: Opportunities for a Policy to Bring About a Sustainably Safe Traffic System. Ministry of Transport and Public Works, The Netherlands, 16 pp. TRB. 1984. Special Report 204: 55: A Decade of Experience. National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 262 pp. TRB. 1998. Special Report 209: Highway Capacity Manual. Third Edition, 1997 Update. National Research Council, Washington, D.C. TRL. 1997. M25 Controlled Motorways Monitoring: Executive Summary. Crowthorne, Berkshire, England, Feb., 4 pp. Ullman, G.L., and C.L. Dudek. 1987. Effects of Reduced Speed Limits in Rapidly Developing Urban Fringe Areas. In Transportation Research Record 1114, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 4553.
OCR for page 138
MANAGING SPEED 138 UVC. 1967. Rules of the Road with Statutory Annotations. Van den Hoogen, E., and S. Smulders. 1994. Control by Variable Speed Signs: Results of the Dutch Experiment. Conference Publication 391, Road Traffic Monitoring and Control, April 2628, IEE, pp. 145149. Várhelyi, A. 1996. Dynamic Speed Adaptation Based on Information Technology--A Theoretical Background. Bulletin 142. Lund University, Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden, 220 pp. West, L.B., Jr., and J.W. Dunn. 1971. Accidents, Speed Deviation and Speed Limits. Traffic Engineering, Vol. 41, No. 10, pp. 5255.
Representative terms from entire chapter: