Governor Signs Long Desired Change to Speed Limit Law

Posted on April 5, 2024 by John LaMacchia

The League has consistently advocated for greater flexibility and clarity on how speed limits can be set at the local level to ensure all users of the roadway and the context of our local streets are considered. This week, House Bill 4012, sponsored by Representative Slagh, was signed by the Governor after receiving near unanimous support from both House and the Senate.

Specifically, this bill makes two important changes:

  • Clarifies that when setting a speed limit based on the 85th percentile speed the posted speed can be rounded to “within” 5 mph of the 85th percentile of speed rather than to the “nearest” 5 mph of the 85th percentile speed. This change will ensure that when setting a speed limit, communities will not have to post a speed limit above the 85th percentile of speed because the law would no longer force you into a position where you would have to round up.
  • Clarifies that a community can use and engineering and safety study to reduce the speed below the 85th percentile speed, but not below the 50th percentile speed, if the engineering and safety study demonstrates a situation with hazards to public safety that are not reflected by the 85th percentile speed.

After attempting to secure this change in each of the last three legislative sessions, we have finally been able to push this across the finish line. We want to offer our deepest gratitude to those that have helped make this possible, and specifically commend Representative Slagh who has been steadfast in his support and desire to see this legislation signed by the governor.

John LaMacchia is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0303.

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