Taylor on Updating Obsolete Speed Limit Rules

A Streetsblog California article on the “85th percentile rule” for setting speed limits cited Professor Brian Taylor, director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, who testified before a state Assembly committee considering legislation to change the policy. California cities currently set speed limits based on motorist behavior, under the assumption that about 85% of drivers on a given road will go at or below a reasonable speed, while about 15% will drive faster than is safe. In his testimony before the Assembly Transportation Committee, Taylor said the rule, created in the 1930s, was meant to be revisited when more evidence about science and safety was available but has instead persisted to this day. The bill, AB 43, would give local authorities more flexibility when it comes to setting speed limits and also require that pedestrian and bicycle safety be considered. The bill passed the committee on a 15-0 vote.


 

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