Officials bring attention to importance of following speed limits


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – It’s very easy to become frustrated when busy highways like 41 make you feel like you’re driving slower than 55 or 60 miles per hour.

“Traffic doesn’t move fast enough through there,” said driver Josh Basham. “Unless you’re there in the morning but mid-town I think it needs to be faster.”

According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, each stretch of has a speed limit specifically designed for that area.

“We’re always monitoring speed limits, crash history things like that. We have a team of engineers that, that’s their job, is to make sure our roads are safe,” said INDOT Communications Director Jason Tiller. “And that the design, the speed limit everything that goes into the making of you driving down the roadway is safe for the motoring public.”

Traffic Engineers study the topography of a roadway as well as the traffic count of an area.

The study is routinely performed by counters every two years.

JASON TILLER: “We have some in towns we have some at specific locations where we’ve had maybe a higher number of crashes,” said Tiller.

While INDOT is in charge of creating speed limits, it’s law officer’s jobs to enforce them.

“If we didn’t have speed limits out here, people would just drive as quickly as they can everywhere,” said Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Matt Ames. “And we would be responding to a lot more accidents and a lot more property damage accidents out here.”

Between mile marker one and mile marker 59 on Interstate 70, ISP has six troopers actively working the roadways, each one with an Ultra Lyte radar to measure speed.

According to Ames, 25 miles over the speed limit is wreckless driving and calls for an automatic court appearance and a possible fine of $500.

“It’s just like a lazer and we 100 percent know that that’s the vehicle we are clocking,” said Ames.

ISP doesn’t just focus on those who speed, they also look for aggressive drivers who push, what Ames calls, the tolerance of 300 feet between drivers.

“At that time you’re following too close,” explained Ames. “And we don’t want a rear end accident occurring at that time.”

ISP won’t stop a driver for no reason, and Ames says driving over the speed limit isn’t worth it.

“If you break down and you do the math, you’re not saving yourself that much time if you’re traveling five to ten miles an hour faster,” he said. “Number one you’re using more fuel and number two opening yourself up to the capabilities of being involved in a property damage accident or a personal injury accident as well.”

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