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March 12, 2008



From my understanding, the speed limit starts
at the posting and ends at the next.


I agree with Geo.


After for sure. Take for instance the school crossing signs and how they say 25mph during a certain area after the sign.


You mean I can get pulled over for speeding 50 feet in front a speed limit sign for going the speed posted on that sign? That doesn't seem right.

brother john

The speed limit begins at the sign except for national limits which are in place sign or no sign.
Your "friend" should have taken the advice of The Ventures: Walk, don't run.


I just had a discussion about this with my husband a few nights ago. He seems to think, and I agree, that the speed on the sign is in force at the time you pass the sign, NOT when you see the sign coming up. Your 'friend' should keep his lead foot under control until he passes that next speed sign.


Hope your "friend" doesn't have to go to traffic court during his vacation.


It depends upon the governing agency. If there is only one sign posted on that stretch of road than that is the speed limit of the road. Unless posted otherwise. You(your friend) can contact the local agency (city, county etc.) ask for the Traffic Engineering Dept and request a copy of the latest Speed Study. This will show how the agency determined that speed limit.It will also show what the original speed study showed and what the justified speed is (in this case 50 mph) It also depends on how much OVER the speed limit you(your friend) were traveling. Anything 10 mph or faster. YOUR SCREWED!!


I don't know what the law is in Washington, but I know in California, the speed limit does not take effect until you are next to the sign. Think of the sign casting an invisible line across the street, as your front bumper hits that line, you need to be going the speed on the sign.


It starts at the sign not before, however your friend needs to backtrack to the previous speed limit sign to make sure the sign in the picture was not just a reminder of the speed on that road. Also your friend might want to think about investing in a good radar detector.


You should be responsible for adjusting your speed when you can realistically read the sign.

Angry Adam

It's only speeding if you get caught. Otherwise it never happened.


Dear Bean, er Bean's "friend",
When giving you a speeding ticket, the smart ass cop will tell you that as a driver you should know the speed limit on a given road and that the signs only serve as a reminder.

Like most other of the other commenters, I subscribe to the idea that the speed limit takes affect after you pass the sign.

However, I also subscribe to the idea that if you see a speed limit change coming up, and there's no particular reason for you to not adjust to that speed preemptively, then why not do it--i.e. does it really hurt anything when I speed up to 40 (from, say, 30) 100 feet before the sign, assuming that no additional risk is introduced for that 100 feet?


its when the sign starts. check with the city...i think its a regulation or some code or something like that.
just like when you're in a school zone...the signs are set up a certain distance from the school...they are required by i think municipal codes to be a radius of, for example, 40 feet from the foot of the school all the way around. and its within that 40 feet that you have to follow the speed limit.

have a beautiful day!
<3 vista


Actually 50 mph is only a suggested speed limit for that road. In fact you are allowed a little freedom if you'd like to travel faster in clear conditions. A cop can only give you a ticket if he feels that you were traveling too fast for the road conditions at the time. This is why on the freeways and other certain roads there is a Maximum Speed Limit. One that leaves no freedom for us regular folks!


I have often wondered that myself, and since I couldn't decide, I just went faster than the speed limit. It's only a guideline, right?


Plead insanity.


Um, Bean...

Okay so your "friend" got a speeding ticket for going over 50 mph? On an obviously non- freeway situaion. He must have been going pretty fast regardless of where the sign was. I'm just sayin'.

Bill S. Preston, Esq.

Eh. You're screwed. Statutorily, the speed limit on a rural road in Washington simply is 50 mph, regardless of the presence of signs. As a driver you are charged with this knowledge of the vehicle code, and the sign is a convenient reminder...and (oft-quoted) "ignorance of the law is no excuse." Just as murder is still murder without a sign reminding you, speeding is still speeding. The statute (RCW 46.61.400) is in absolute terms w/o exceptions. This is what they will say in court, anyway. Thank you, that's $500, please. Contact me if you wish to make a constitutional/fundamental fairness argument and pursue an appeal to the Supreme Court.


It's a guideline if it's black on yellow. If it's black on white, then it's . . . Black & White! It's the law. At the sign. The speed before is based on the previous sign or if no sign the basic speed laws.

If you thought there was room to be fuzzy and the road is the same before and after the sign, then your fight is with the officer. Once the ticket is written the fuzzy part goes away. The judge is going to enforce the letter of the law. Pay the ticket.


It takes effect when you PASS the sign (I asked my husband, we both spent a few minutes looking at the pictures, and we both agree).

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