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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3

    Default Speed Survey, Traffic Survey, or Engineer Survey

    I was stopped for doing a 55 in a 35 zone. I have been doing a lot of research and have looked over some case law that suggest that there should be a speed survey available that would permit a legal speed enforcement (where an officer can set up radar). I understand that some of this information is covered in the MUTCD (manual of uniformed traffic control devises). I have contacted the DOT, which seems to be having a problem placing their hands on this material. How should I go about finding it or proving to the judge that this does not exist? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default MUTCD

    The Federal Department of Transportation apparently publishes the MUTCD online. The link is not presently responding, but it appears to remain valid.

    North Carolina publishes a supplement to the Federal MUTCD, also available online.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3

    Default Speed Survey

    I have visited the MUTCD site as well as the North Carolina Supplement site. I now have a survey in my hand that the NCDOT calls "Nu-Metrics Traffic Analyzer Study". This survey says it covers the highway running through this town that I was ticket at.

    In my studies I understood there to be a way to tie this survey back to the MUTCD. Is that possible (how is my found document relevant to the MUTCD)?

    I would also like to know would the Federal Law trump the local posting of the speed limit (using the MUTCD)?

    More to the point I would like to know since I have this document now if would bind the city to the 85th percentile of the report. If they didn't post what the survey recommended what this then be a Speed Survey and be illegal?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default Nu-Metrics

    You may wish to contact Nu-Metrics directly with any questions about their work.

    If you were on a state or local road, it is unlikely that any federal regulation would preempt the state or local rule.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default

    A lot of your questions can be answered here http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/kno-faq.htm. Here is an extract from the 2003 MUTCD concerning Speed Limit signs:

    Section 2B.13 Speed Limit Sign (R2-1)
    Standard:
    After an engineering study has been made inaccordance with established traffic engineering practices, the Speed Limit (R2-1) sign (see Figure 2B-1) shall display the limit established by law, ordinance, regulation, or as adopted by the authorized agency. The speed limits shown shall be in multiples of 10 km/h or 5 mph.

    Guidance:
    At least once every 5 years, States and local agencies should reevaluate non-statutory speed limits on segments of their roadways that have undergone a significant change in roadway characteristics or surrounding land use since the last review.
    No more than three speed limits should be displayed on any one Speed Limit sign or assembly.

    When a speed limit is to be posted, it should be within 10 km/h or 5 mph of the 85th-percentile speed of free-flowing traffic.

    Option:
    Other factors that may be considered when establishing speed limits are the following:

    A. Road characteristics, shoulder condition, grade, alignment, and sight distance;
    B. The pace speed;
    C. Roadside development and environment;
    D. Parking practices and pedestrian activity; and
    E. Reported crash experience for at least a 12-month period.
    Note that the "standard" (which must be complied with for any public road by any state that receives federal funding for road construction -- see 23 USC 109(d) and 23 CFR 655.603) REQUIRES an Engineering and Traffic Survey, but the "guidance" only SUGGESTS that the speed limit be set at the 85th percentile -- it is not part of the "standard" itself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3

    Default Speed Survey/Traffic Survey/Engineer Survey

    Thank you for your help and input.

    -Sean

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3

    Default

    hey i was wondering if the speed limit is 25, does it not being within 5mph of the 85th percentile matter because it is consider a residentual area, and how exactly is a residentual area defined?
    thanks

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