Counties Support Local Flexibility in Speed Limit Decrease

On February 10, 2022, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 404 – Vehicle Laws – Speed Limits – Establishment. This bill expands to apply statewide the authorization for counties to decrease the maximum speed limit to not less than 15 miles per hour after performing an engineering and traffic investigation, subject to certain restrictions on the use of speed monitoring systems.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties handle a wide range of road safety and maintenance responsibilities. These responsibilities include building and maintaining roads, distributing de-icing agents before a storm, plowing, speed enforcement, responding to accidents, planning and zoning approvals, etc. Establishing speed limits is already a local responsibility, governed by best practices, but the current state law limits the lower bounds of that local authority to 25 miles per hour, other than in Montgomery County and its municipalities.

This bill recognizes a reasonable process for communities to recognize specific instances where the 25-mile-per-hour standard may not fully preserve driver or pedestrian safety, and to act locally to remedy them. Such decisions would remain subject to an appropriate study and local accountability.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.