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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : letters December 17, 2014

12/8/2012 9:56:00 PM
Letter: Speed limit drops seem unnecessary


Why do we make roads safer, yet reduce the speed limits on such roads? I have two cases in point.

1) The stretch of Highway 69 from Prescott to Prescott Valley was known as "Blood Alley." It had a speed limit of 55 MPH. So we spent millions of taxpayers' dollars, put in more stoplights and installed a center median almost 3 feet tall. The road is safer now. So why drop the speed limit from 55 to 45?

2) Fain Road. This used to be a simple two-lane road, one-lane driving in each direction, right next to each other. Again, millions were spent on this upgrade. Now there are two lanes traveling in each direction, and a big buffer between the lanes traveling in each direction. This road is much safer. Yet, the speed limit dropped from 65 to 55. Why?

If it was safe to drive on Fain Road at 65 two years ago, it should be safe to drive on the same road at 75 now. What is the point of making all these improvements and then dropping the speed limit? Maybe ADOT had the wrong speed limit all the time. Or maybe we could have saved millions of dollars just by reducing the speed limit rather than improving the roads. You tell me.

Andy Anderson


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Invalid Passcode

"A quick review of ANY government's budget (readily available on most websites) shows that fines from traffic tickets (and even criminal arrest fines) equate to LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of any entities budget. "

Painting with a pretty broad brush, there. I had a city councilman (elsewhere) tell me that the police got everything they asked for because they took in enough fine money to finance anything they wanted.

A little closer is our Sheriff's helicopter. We are always told in press releases how this is paid for with no taxpayer dollars.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Dale Wilson

"shift judicial salaries to the counties - a $13 million impact for Yavapai County."

Justice courts in Yavapai County bring in six million per year.

15 percent of which goes to their retirement fund.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Dale Wilson

Mr. Griswold

I heartily support proper adjudication of all traffic tickets so long as it is in the proper venue and follows the established statutes. One need only read the statutes the precedent setting decisions and obey the law-as written.
Sadly that is not happening currently.

Supreme court decisions require we give statutes their "plain language meaning" unless an appellate body has construed it differently.
I implore you again to read the Statutes ARS 28-332 and the next one ARS 28-333.

Finally promoting proper law enforcement and civic responsibility is not Practicing Without a License as you seemed to imply via the Supreme Court Rule you mentioned.

Education is not as costly as ignorance.

Scripps/Howard Newspapers used to run their slogan in the Masthead it read: "give light and the people will find their own way."

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Do you think

Remember Bill Fain telling our council he'll be back for his prison? Well maybe ADOT is getting ready for the cut off that will be needed for Bill's prison. It will be convenient to house dui offenders don't you think!

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Fed Up

According to the A. D.O.T. the speed limit will revert to the original 65mph that it was after all the guard rails are in place and construction is completed

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Get Up to Speed, Dale

Due to the proliferation of an efficient means of transport known as the "bicycle", and bipedal humans who are wont to travel via "walking", setting speed limits by the 85th percentile is appropriately going the way of the dinosaur.

The car has long since been dethroned. Slow down and share the road.

Oh, and Liberal Perspective? To the notion that costly road projects are schemes concocted to generate revenue from the anorexic slice of each traffic ticket that goes into county coffers, I can only say, "Hahahahahaha." Ditto for "drug busts", the proceeds of which don't go to the "county". Ah. Whew. Thanks for the laugh.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Traffic Fines Do Not Boost Revenue

Andy raises a valid point, but I assure you the reason is NOT so law enforcement can write tickets and generate revenue. I know that's a popular notion with the anti-government crowd, but it simply isn't accurate.

A quick review of ANY government's budget (readily available on most websites) shows that fines from traffic tickets (and even criminal arrest fines) equate to LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of any entities budget. The government is not getting rich off of traffic tickets. Period. It just isn't happening.

If it were the government's strategy to increase revenue off of fines, all the police would need to do is issue a citation to everyone that makes an improper turn (failing to turn into the lane closest to your lane of travel. ARS 28-751) You'll see drivers violate this law constantly and many don't even know it's the law. Police could write this ticket all day long, but alas it is NOT about generating revenue.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Clark Griswold

Dale Wilson -

Do you really think you have stumbled upon a legal loophole that no attorney in the entire state has ever discovered that would render the prosecution of traffic citations ineffectual? Seriously? You need to go back and do a little more research before you continue to espouse inaccurate information. Seriously.

While you're doing that research, you may wish to review Arizona Supreme Court Rule 31 before you get yourself into trouble.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Dale Wilson

Speed limits are supposed to be set at the rate which 85 percent of the people travel already. Slower speed limits are set for fundraising for the city and county. If you do get a ticket I urge you to read ARS 28-332 which states Arizona Department of Transportation gets first shot at you and not the justice or municipal courts. Secondly, read ARS 28-333 which states that only the state's attorney general has standing to prosecute your traffic ticket. ARS 28-333 states: The attorney general "shall" prosecute and defend "all" matters arising under Title 28 the motor vehicle code. Also, if you sign your ticket that is merely a "promise to appear." Your first "appearance" shoud be in writing informing the court they lack jurisdiction and once they can prove jurisdiction then you will gladly appear in person. If you foolishly show up in person then you have surrendered in personam jurisdiction and cannot get it back. Make them prove jurisdiction and you will never pay another traffic ticket issued under Title 28 the motor vehicle code. Don't blather just read the statutes.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: @JL WHAT?

ON ramps to freeways are a "MERGE." That means you get your hiny up to speed to blend into traffic what ever speed they are going. NOT slow down or yeild. Vehicles already on the freeway have the right of way. Jeeezzzzz.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

Why is Florentine 25 MPH all the way? Clearly, West of Navajo there are no resident drives onto Florentine. Perhaps a 35 would be more appropriate.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: BOB ROSEVEAR

Have lived in AZ over fifty-six years and have watched us go from almost no speed limit to limits which are for revenue enhancement at it's finest.. Just returned from Texaz where we drove on the new 85 m.p.h. highway with no problem !! Two lane roads were 70 and many thruways were 80.. Saw no accidents on any of these roads.. BOB

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: J L

First, maybe you didn't notice Mr. Anderson that most if not all people DON'T have a clue what a speed limit is! 69 through Prescott Valley is 45 yes, but on a very rare occasion you get someone that actually goes the speed limit! As for Fain Rd. you are correct about the speed limit there, but according to the Photo (Gestapo) radar your allowed 11 mph over the speed limit so accelerate away! What's crazy is the fact that there are hardly any yield signs entering the highways from the on ramps and NO ONE slows down or yields. And let's not forget the off ramp speed limits where no one wants to slow down. Must be a CA thing.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: I Vote for 70 mph

@Andy. I believe the 55mph on Fain is only temporary because most of the signs are actually covering the 65mph signs. Did you now that for about a day the 65mph signs were uncovered? I applaud Fann Contracting for doing a very nice speedy job….that was until now. Now it seems they just continue to drag their feet on some of the finish work and it would be great to just, how can I put this…..Quit Screwing Around!

My vote would be for a 70mph limit on Fain and then also raise the same from Glassford Hill to the end at 89. This is as close as we will ever get to a real Freeway and by raising the limit, the time/distance to Prescott makes it a viable alternative to the Stop Light riddled mess that 69 has become.

Just for once it would be nice if the powers that be did something extra nice for the citizens that are actually trying to make a living and paying their salaries. TIME IS MONEY so quit wasting both of my most precious commodities

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Gar Dean

I also wonder why the speed limit is lower on the "new" Fain road. Maybe I have sort of an answer. Simply put, the road is not finished. It will be next spring before the ACFC surface is applied. That is the top surface of pavement that is a coarser mix than the regular asphalt. It is designed to provide more traction than the regular asphalt surface. I don't know this is the case, but am fairly certain that is the reason.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: speed limit

because here in az no one wants to drive the speed limit ,everyone wants to drive the speed limit they want to drive 10 or 15 or 20 miles over the speed limit cause they know there is NO cops on the hiways to give them a ticket and they do not Care.

they other day on the way from Prescott to Chino Valley i was doing the speed limit of 65 and a car was riding my bumper blowing his horn and blinking his lights he then passed us over the dubble line almost hiting an oncoming car They do not care,
They Have To Speed Whatever The Speed LIMIT

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Harvey Wallbanger

It seems that whenever a road project is completed, the speed limit mysteriously stays at the same posted limit that it was during construction. Watch the limit on 69 (at Frontier Village) permanently stay at 35 mph once that project is complete. Also, that new road connector that runs down to 89 will have a posted limit of 25 mph. It appears that "slow & steady" is the new Prescott and PV. Unfortunately, it doesn't help the traffic congestion problems that we have here.

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: A Liberal Perspective.

Dropping the speed limit opens up opportunities to ticket speeders which will generate revenue for the cash-strapped County. First off these roads are mostly traveled by those who live in this area. Over time they have become accustomed to driving at the higher rate of speed. Secondly, wider and larger roads give drivers the erroneous perception of going slower.
In my opinion these roads were built to move traffic more efficiently, not faster. The county (and drivers in general) know that a larger road will make drivers think they are traveling slower thus increasing the chances that they will speed. And then to further increase the chances of catching speeders even more they know that local drivers are unconsciously use to the higher speed limits.
In my opinion it's a psychological speed trap. It will help generate tons of new speeding tickets, open up opportunities for car searches and drug busts and will help pay for the new construction. I got their number. My plan? Don't speed. Don't play their game. I'm sure the police are out in force trying to nab speeders on those new roads. People tend to speed on newly reconstructed roads........especially those roads that have been widened and have had their speed limits dropped.

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