Which of the above signs is the most effective in warning motorists of a slower speed zone ahead?
THE ANSWER: PICTURE #14-9!
The sign that identifies the actual maximum speed limit ahead is a real benefit. DelDOT is in the process of replacing the original “REDUCED SPEED AHEAD” sign with the new sign (picture #14-9). “The D Team” is concerned that Delaware drivers may misinterpret this new sign as identifying the maximum speed limit at the actual location of the sign – a potentially dangerous interpretation.
THE REAL MEANING OF BOTH SIGNS
They mean more than “REDUCED SPEED AHEAD”. What they really means is:
1. Take your foot off the gas at the sign to begin to decelerate.
2. If you are on cruise control then you should tap off the cruise control at the point of the sign.
While no driver will ever be perfect at these techniques due mainly to driver distraction, following this “REDUCED SPEED AHEAD” procedure will lessen heart palpitations when a police vehicle is spotted down the road – picture #14-10 below).
Below is a short review of Delaware Speed Laws. The speed limits identified below are the maximum legal speed limits when there is no speed sign posted. It is your responsibility as a Delaware motorist to recognize the speed classification of the area in which you are driving and adhere to the speed limits for those areas when there is no speed sign visible.
1. SCHOOL ZONE – 20 MPH
2. RESIDENTIAL – 25 MPH
3. TWO LANE OPEN ROAD (non residential/one lane each direction) – 50 MPH
4. FOUR LANES OR MORE – 55 MPH
5. I-495, PORTIONS OF I-95 & ROUTE #1 – 65 MPH
6. GENERAL SPEED LAW – never legal to travel at an unsafe speed either too fast or too slow.
The following are a couple of additional points about speed limits:
1. BLACK & WHITE speed limit signs identify the maximum legal speed under normal driving conditions.
2. YELLOW & BLACK speed limit signs are advisory (recommended) maximum speed under normal driving conditions, but they do not reflect the actual legal maximum
3. Please keep in mind no matter what the color of the speed limit sign the GENERAL SPEED LAW (Police Officer) is the controlling authority.
4. It is important to know that the speed limit sign is placed at the point where the enforcement begins. Just because you can see the sign up ahead does not give you the legal right to accelerate to that higher speed before reaching the sign. The same principal applies to reducing your speed by the time you reach that new lower posted area.