[Tagging] maxspeed:type vs source:maxspeed // StreetComplete

Tod Fitch tod at fitchdesign.com
Tue Sep 18 18:16:32 UTC 2018

> On Sep 18, 2018, at 10:41 AM, Tobias Zwick <osm at westnordost.de> wrote:
> There is a misunderstanding.
> So, there are 597 towns, 77 counties and 2 councils in the state of
> Oklahoma and I understand that you want to say that all these entities
> have authority over defining the default speed limit(s) within their
> borders, right?
> But if they do set a different default speed limit for their town, then
> they will post signs for that.
> What I mean with default speed limits are speed limits that apply *when
> no sign is posted*. These kind of speed limits that are known (learnt in
> driving school) by heart by drivers and usually explained in parts on
> big signboards at country borders [1].
> These defaults are with very few exceptions always defined state- or
> country-wide, because, claro, noone can be expected to know the special
> default speed limit that applies only in your town/country. Even if
> there it is only signposted once at the city limits, it still counts as
> signposted - perhaps as a (large) speed zone [2].

To the best of my recollection, there are no signs on the California border with Oregon, Nevada or Arizona stating default speed limits when you change jurisdictions.

It has been a long while since I have driven into or through states other than listed above, but I don’t recall seeing that type of signage anywhere I’ve driven and at one time or another I’ve driven in about half of the states.

I vaguely recall some towns and villages that had default speed signs when I lived “back east”. But that was the rare exception and I’ve not seen that in the western United States at all.

So, no: Many roads don’t have signed speed limits even if you accept a sign at a border potentially hundreds of miles away proper signing.

You are, I suppose, simply supposed to know the default or prima facia speed limits for the state or town you are going into. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the default speed limits are not radically different from one place to the next. A unsigned residential road might be 25 MPH or 30 MPH depending on the state but probably isn’t higher or lower than that. Since enforcement of speed laws is relatively relaxed you are pretty safe from being ticketed if you drive reasonably.

FWIW, at my last job one of my colleagues was originally from England and he noted that one of his pet peeves in driving in the United States was the lack of what he considered proper speed limit signage.

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