Varying Speed Limits Coming to Highway 99

Highway 99 to Implement Varied Speed Limits

Soon motorists will notice a number of digital speed limit signs along Highway 99. The values of the advisory speed limits will vary depending on traffic volumes.

As many Sacramento drivers have noted, Highway 99 carries a high volume of traffic at peak times, with seemingly not enough lanes to allow a free flow of traffic. 

A New Approach to Rush Hour Traffic Volumes

Caltrans has decided to implement varied speed limits in order to address the congestion, ease traffic, and hopefully reduce the number of accidents on the highway. 

The digital speed limit signs will change based on the flow of traffic. Additionally, metering systems will be used to limit the number of vehicles entering the highway. A spokesperson for Caltrans District 3 explained that these measures are necessary because Highway 99 is currently operating at maximum capacity. By managing the speed of traffic through a congested area during peak hours, it is hoped that the number of rear-end collisions will decrease. Vehicle emission levels should also experience a reduction.

Six Month Pilot Project

The varied speed limits are part of a pilot project that will last for six months. The area included in the project spans north from Elk Grove Boulevard to the Highway 50 interchange. Advisory speeds will be posted in ten separate locations along that route.

Other Cities Have Seen Positive Results

San Diego has implemented a similar project and saw positive outcomes, so traffic engineers in Sacramento have decided to test the same method here. The San Diego experiment resulted in overall traffic speeds increasing, which is indicative of less traffic congestion. Fewer vehicles being crammed together resulted in an easier flow of traffic. 

Many drivers who regularly use Highway 99 as part of their commute are hopeful that this approach will make their drives easier. 

Speed Limit Project Begins in November

The start date for the project is November 1, 2021. The advisory speed limits are not going to be enforced by the California Highway Patrol – they are recommended speed limits only.

Watch the YouTube video. The news clip below, from CBS Sacramento, reports on the Highway 99 project.

What are Advisory Speed Limits?

Highway 99 has a speed limit of 65 mph for the majority of the span between Elk Grove Boulevard and 50. Caltrans has released a sample plan that shows advisory speed signs with limits as low as 35 mph. The advisory speeds are only recommendations and they will not be enforced by CHP officers. What that means is that a driver cannot be cited for solely exceeding the posted speed of an advisory sign. This information can be found within the Caltrans manual on speed limits. Despite the fact that they are not enforceable as a sole violation, advisory speeds could be used as a contributing factor when a motorist receives a citation for violating the basic speed law. The basic speed law says that a motorist should not drive faster than is safe for the present road conditions. Such a citation can be issued regardless of the posted speed limit.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Sacramento

Thanks for visiting our legal blog. I’m Ed Smith, and I am a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Highway 99 is the setting for many automobile accidents. Daily crashes occur on other roads and highways in our region, as well. When an accident causes injuries and damages, our experienced injury attorneys are here to help. For nearly 40 years, we have been advocating for Sacramentans harmed by negligence. If you would like to receive our free and friendly legal advice following a car crash, call us at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400

Client reviews and case results can be accessed through the following links:

Photo: by Joshua Hoehne via Unsplash

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