Traffic Q&A: Slow down before you reach the sign

rob.carson@thenewstribune.comOctober 28, 2013 

Question: When there is a posted change of speed on a section of road, when does that change take effect? Is it when you first see the sign, when you pass the sign, or somewhere else? — Al, Belfair

Answer: Tie an imaginary string to the sign and stretch it across the road. That’s where the speed limit changes, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Since instantly changing speed is impossible, what that means in actual practice is if you’re in a 60 mph zone and you see a 40 mph sign up ahead, you should start slowing in advance so you’re going 40 when you pass the sign.

It works the same way when the speed limit increases. Don’t start speeding up as soon as you see the higher speed limit sign. Wait until you pass it.

Rob Carson: 253-597-8693

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