Metro Detroit motorists who exceed posted speed limits may not be breaking the law, because in many cases the limits themselves are unlawful, according to one of the state’s top traffic cops.

Four years after the passage of Public Act 85, which requires municipalities in Michigan to conduct studies to set proper speed limits, most cities, villages and townships have not complied, according to Lt. Gary Megge, head of the Michigan State Police Traffic Services Section. One likely reason, said Megge, whose section advises communities on how to set proper speed limits, is that communities want speeding ticket revenue, and failing to conduct the required speed studies allows them to keep enforcing their speed limits that Megge calls “artificially low.

  1. Improbus says:

    What would cities do for revenue if tomorrow everyone magically obeyed all traffic laws? The LAW should not be a PROFIT CENTER for ANYONE.

  2. Shouldn`t it be : “Decreasing speed limit”. Increasing a limit makes it higher.

  3. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    So, if they raise the limits and people drive even faster, they need to raise them again?

    I’ve driven all those Detroit-area roads listed in the article (click one layer deeper than Chereman’s link) many times, and they don’t need to have higher limits.

  4. Pink Floyd says:

    Pigs on the Teet!

  5. Mac Guy says:

    Ummm… How’s this news? Everyone knows that towns do this.

  6. Benjamin says:

    There is a road that crosses the borders among four towns. Each town has a different speed limit for the road. The lines are as close as 20 feet apart so you drive 35, then drop to 25, then speed up to 40 on a 25 feet stretch of road. It is rather stupid, but you have to slow down to speed up because there are police camped out where it goes down to 25.

  7. BubbaRay says:

    A small town in Texas hill country was sued by a lawyer for this BS and lost. The speed limit was raised from 45 to 60 mph on a 4 lane highway. The speed limit sign was partially obscured by a tree. Not anymore. Har!

  8. Otis says:

    I live in the Detroit Metro area. Eureka road just south of Detroit Metro is a prime example. It’s posted 45MPH, but it’s a four lane, limited access, divided stretch of road capable of 55MPH. Romulus cops are there 24 hours a day. Romulus officials have even stated publicly that traffic enforcement is what paid for their fleet of new Dodge Charger unmarked police cars.

  9. NelsonOH says:

    Eastlake, Ohio is a town near where I live and is notorious for this activity. Regrettably, I have to occasionally drive through this horrible place and when I do I make sure to comply with the ridiculously low posted speed limits. The ironic thing is this city considers itself the “Crown Jewel of Lake County”. Ridiculous.

  10. Nobody says:

    The UK’s most profitable speed camera books £150,000 ($1/4M) in tickets a DAY and there are > 9000 in the country.
    You can’t turn down that sort of income merely for fairness.

  11. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    The sad fact is that even if they raised the limits to what the study would recommend, the police could still find enough drivers exceeding the higher limit to keep them busy.

  12. bobbo, how can a government NOT become authoritarian says:

    One deeper issue is that cop departments should not profit from their “law enforcement actiities.” That won’t prevent abuses like this, but might take it down a notch or two plus set up a check & balance bewtween the PD and the town councils.

  13. bill says:

    “You want a raise? Get out there and write some more tickets!”

  14. natefrog says:

    #7, Bubba:

    Please explain how Michigan law applies to Texas and vice versa.

  15. Rickem says:

    In Van Buren Twp., near Detroit Metro Airport, the cops will pull you over for speeding and give you a break by writing the ticket for impeding traffic. No points on your record, just a $130 fine.

  16. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    #15 Which is a hoot, since impeding the flow of traffic usually means going to slow.

  17. cloewe says:

    Another example of how government is basically a leach on its citizens.
    Lets see politic speech:
    “A committee will be formed to resolve the issue.”
    “Its for the children.”
    I guess being part of the nanny state is better.

  18. LtSiver says:

    The jack liberty link no longer works, here’s a link to the originating Detroit News article:

  19. BubbaRay says:

    # 14 natefrog said, on April 29th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    #7, Bubba:

    Please explain how Michigan law applies to Texas and vice versa.

    Looks like their laws are quite similar based on the outcome of that lawsuit. I’m uncertain whether or not the city sets the speed limits rather than the state. It was the city that was sued and lost, however, leading me to believe the city sets the speed limit. I’ve never been issued a state traffic ticket, either by a state trooper or a Texas Ranger.

  20. James says:

    #18 – Thank you for the link to the original article.

    People drive how fast they feel safe. Instead of raising the speed limit on these roads, they need to be redesigned to encourage drivers to go slower (narrower lanes, fewer lanes, more stops, etc).

    Woodward in Ferndale most certainly does not need a higher speed limit. This is a nice small downtown area where people actually like to walk around. Increasing the speed limit to 45 would make it unpleasant and dangerous for pedestrians.

  21. James says:

    Also, the title of this post is completely inaccurate. It implies that the big bad government has come up with a new scheme to make money (by raising speed limits). In actuality the Detroit News article is talking about a 4-year-old Michigan law that requires roads to be re-evaluated for proper speed limits (suggesting the 10 named should be raised — which would actually decrease revenues with fewer speeding tickets).

  22. Faxon says:

    Municipal revenue from traffic and parking violations is another example of government out of control, and oppressing the people. I try hardest to obey as few laws as possible. I do pretty well at it. Mostly laws that cops can’t see.


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