Variable speed signs are a good thing

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  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:36 p.m.

    The 80 mph should be no limit. Is this a nanny state?

  • Just one more opinion Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    It it's true, that you are sinning if you exceed the speed limit, it might explain why some around here go a good five miles slower than the posted speed limit. I hope no one is truly that concerned that going a mile or two over (particularly by accident) is not just worthy of a speeding ticket but a one way ticket to "The land of eternal purgatory", you'd be a bigger hazard on the road by not paying enough attention to things other than the speedometer. If you're deliberately blowing past the speed limit, then repent! Otherwise, please exercise a bit of common sense.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:35 p.m.

    No question about it, these signs are important and offer an increase in safety via their flexibility for different road conditions.

    But, these signs should absolutely be an important part of the solution in dealing with our inversion air-pollution problem.

    All things considered, cars pollute less if they are going slower. (They also happen to get significantly better fuel mileage, which is a fringe benefit).

    Most Utahns will stay within 10 mph of the posted speed limit. That needs to be 60 mph on the Interstates when we have high pressure systems and the gunk begins to build. And on other streets, dropping the speed limit from 45 to 35 (for example) will likewise produce less air pollution... and we'll probably see improved safety, as well.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 3:54 p.m.

    If our world continues to require individually piloted vehicles coming and going to different places, it is likely that we will have to develop smart highways along with smart vehicles.

    A smart highway would have a speed limit for every part of the road that would control the speed of the vehicles, the interval, and even the steering.

    Vehicles would be slaves to the highway and people would have traded the freedom to drive as they please for a new freedom of a more easy, pleasant and safe transport.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 21, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    One other thing --

    We had these sorts of variable speed signs posted on I-5 in Seattle to control traffic flow.

    Similar to the red-light / green-lights on Freeway on-ramps,
    The speeds were reduced at certain points when needed to stop the accordian effect of stop and go traffic and grid-lock ahead.

    Like the tortoise and the hare,
    it's better to go slow and consistant at 45-55 mph with thousands of people trying to get to work or go home,
    than it is for everyone to go 65 mph for 3 miles, and then sit dead stopped for 15 minutes.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    They have these in Germany on the autobahn. If they aren't displaying something, that means there's no speed limit but sometimes they might flash something like 120 (km/hr) in a city with higher traffic.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 21, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    @ open minded . . .

    Yes, seriously. In your car you probably have a heat gauge. Mine is marked so I know if everything is normal or if the engine is overheating. I have a tachometer. It has a green range and a red range. All I have to know is that if the gauge is in the 'green' that I'm okay. Every car has a speedometer. It tells us how fast we're going, but it doesn't indicate how fast we should be going. Where I live, the speed limit changes every few blocks and if I enter a street between the speed limit signs and if I'm not familiar with the speed limit, then I could be driving too fast or too slow. Either one could cause an accident.

    Surely you know that every signal light controller installed in the last twenty years has wi-fi. Why can't that wi-fi be used to broadcast the speed limit? Cars already have computers. Those computers could handle the chore, especially when the speed limit is variable.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    Variable speed limit signs should not be needed (IF people would us their heads). But from these comments I can see that they are needed for some people.

    If we were smart enough to know that you need to slow down when there's ice on the road or heavy traffic... we wouldn't need a sign to tell us that.

  • fm La Verkin, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    Variable speed limit signs are used all over Germany. On the autobahns, where many Americans think the speed limit is unlimited, those variable signs pop up all the time. In fact, the speed limit changes so often that the driver must be alert all the time. Construction and winding roads are reasons for fixed speed limit signs, but weather conditions change often and require adjusting the speed limit without warning. Just accept it!!

    Whether fixed or variable, though, the speed limits ARE enforced. And that is where we Americans get off easy. I support the use cameras, cops hiding behind trees, or whatever else is needed, to enforce the laws. And whether we be Mormon, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, or whatever, we should be law abiding citizens.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    Speed limits don't apply to me. I drive an SUV.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    If people will adhere to the speed limits posted on these signs (or even come reasonably close to adhering), then that would undoubtedly be a good thing from a public safety standpoint. I've had a concern about these new signs, though, since first hearing about them; namely, that an abrupt ad hoc decrease in the speed limit with no warning would result in nearly universal breaking of the speed limit by drivers, and would have the potential to be abused by law enforcement agencies (and the government entities they are affiliated with) as a means of "mining" speeding fine revenue. If the new variable speed signs are accompanied by "Reduced Speed Ahead" signs 0.25-0.5 miles prior to the variable speed signs, then I think that takes care of the problem; but as far as I know, that hasn't happened.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    Until we have electronics INSIDE the car that displays the current speed limit, having changeable speed limit signs OUTSIDE the car will not solve the problem.



    Utahns [mostly 'good Mormons'] don't "obey" the laws of the land as is.

    I'm tail-gated, high-beamed, and flipped off daily for driving the posted speed limit of 65 mph on I-15 in the far-right-hand lane.

    People already "know" the speeds and the laws,
    This has nothing to do with "knowing" anything -
    and everything to do with willfully dis-oberying the laws [i.e., anarchy].

    and to us Mormons - not only breaking the laws of the land,
    but a "sin" as well.

    Besides -
    If we are going to post the speed limit inside the cars,
    why stop there,
    Why not just go ahead and issue the speeding tickets inside them right then and there as well.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    Changeable speed limits signs won't change the driving of those who think they are immortal behind the wheel.

    I also see the potential to abuse this system to 'catch' people who didn't see the sign, or it changed after they passed. Could this be an effort to abuse power?

    It is a lot of money to spend on an experiment to save money. They will have to prevent a lot of wrecks, and thus emergency responses to come out in the black. They need to watch the benefit closely to make sure it pays, in tax payer dollars. If not, it is not worth taking away choice from drivers.

    This money would probably be better spent in schools.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 5:27 a.m.

    Speed limit signs all over this state are treated as "suggestions". Following the laws that make our communities livable is a very patriotic thing to do. And Utah is supposed to be home to those with an "extra gene of patriotism" according to Mike Lee. I find that assertion ridiculous when you see how most treat our laws. Even religions stress the value of our laws. Most Utahns are religious too.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 21, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    Until we have electronics INSIDE the car that displays the current speed limit, having changeable speed limit signs OUTSIDE the car will not solve the problem. I travel a great deal. I often find myself on roads that have no posted speed limits. There may have been signs posted at the entrance or exit to a town, but too often there are no signs along the way. Some might think that large electronic signs could never be missed, but all it would take is a driver checking his mirrors when he passed the speed limit sign to miss a new speed limit.

    Surely with today's electronics, it would cost less than $10 to build an LED display that could receive and display the speed limit signal. For less than $25 it should be easy to construct both a display and a "beeper" that sounded when the vehicle exceeded the speed limit.

    We're creatures of habit. When change is necessary, make the change so noticeable that no one can miss it.