Speed Limits on More than 100 Miles of LA City Streets Could Go Up

November 29, 2018 - 2:44 pm

(KNX 1070) - A very quirky "decades-old state law" has led the Los Angeles City Council to consider increasing speed limits on more than 100 miles of local roads.

The dilemma stems from a California law designed to protect drivers from speed traps, requiring cities to post speed limits that reflect the natural speed of traffic learned through local surveys.

California law requires all cities to survey busy streets to find the average speed most cars are traveling and that says Commanding officer Andy Neiman, of the LAPD's West Valley Traffic Division, is where the problem lies.

The law was designed to protect drivers from speed traps but it really creates a dilemma for city officials: either raise the speed limit to what the surveyed average is or continue to lose the ability to write most speeding tickets.

Neiman told KNX Thursday, "if you have a street that is posted is 35 (mph), and then we go out and we do the surveys, and the speed of the vehicles turns out to be 45 or 50 miles per hour and that's the average speed that everyone is driving, the state will take that average and actually increase the speed on that street." 

"Now the speed limit postings have not changed," he told KNX.