The Marysville Police Division continually strives to enhance the safety of motorists and pedestrians in the community through the use of different tactics such as traffic studies, radar speed trailers, and increased enforcement efforts.
Speed limits are a traffic engineering tool used to derive the best traffic service for a given set of roadway conditions. Generally speaking, traffic laws that reflect the behavior of the majority of vehicle operators are found to be successful, while laws that arbitrarily restrict the majority of drivers encourage violations, lack public support, and usually fail to bring about desired changes in driving behavior. This is especially true of speed limits. The general public will often relay on widely held misconceptions regarding speed limits, such as:
- Speed limit signs will slow the speed of traffic.
- Speed limit signs will decrease the accident rate and increase safety.
- Raising a posted speed limit will cause an increase in the speed of traffic.
- Any posted speed limit must be safer than an unposted speed limit, regardless of the prevailing traffic and roadway conditions.
Speed limits are under the jurisdiction of the state government. The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) establishes minimum speed limits for different types of roadways in section 4511.21. A few examples of the ORC applied to municipal areas include:
- 15 miles per hour (mph) on an alley
- 20 mph in a school zone (during restricted hours on school days)
- 25 mph on a local (non-through) street or on a street within a business district
- 35 mph on through routes or on a street within an urban district
- 55-65 mph on freeways
If a speed limit established by the ORC is not appropriate for a certain location, an engineering study may be submitted for consideration to the Ohio Department of Transportation. Upon review and approval from the state, the speed limit by be changed. The study includes data such as existing travel speeds, roadway character, development density, and crash history. The state has the authority to approve or disapprove any speed limit change request it receives.
Realistic Speed Limits
Realistic speed limits serve as a clear reminder of reasonable speeds for nonconforming violators or drivers unfamiliar with the area and help inject logic into an otherwise arbitrary and often emotional issue.
What Realistic Speed Limits Do
Realistic speed limits are important for a variety of reasons:
- They invite public compliance by conforming to the behavior of the majority.
- They give a clear reminder of reasonable and prudent speeds to nonconforming violators.
- They offer an effective enforcement tool to the police.
- They tend to minimize the public antagonism toward police enforcement which results from obviously unreasonable regulations.
What Unrealistic Speed Limits Do
Unrealistic speed limits are also important for the following reasons:
- They do no invite voluntary compliance, since they do not reflect the behavior of the majority.
- They make the behavior of the majority unlawful.
- They maximize public antagonism toward the police, since the police are enforcing a "speed trap."
- They may create a bad image for a community.