Speed limits are the ultimate constraint on the roadways. Some places it's too low. Others, even though we thought it was impossible, are just way too high. Jalopnik readers have picked the most outrageous in the world.
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Speed limits are in place to save you from yourself. During the gas crisis, the national 55 speed limit was enacted to control fuel usage that was out of control. That was ridiculous in itself.
But that went out of fashion years ago. Now, speed limits on major highways range from 45 to 85 MPH, which are both insanity in different ways. Add in the backroads of America which become clogged with 25 MPH traffic, and you have a recipe for disaster, and, more often than not, gigantic amounts of frustration.
Here are the 10 worst offenders.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Some smaller roads have a 10 or 15 MPH. But what about a road that is slightly larger than a 10 MPH road but not quite up to snuff for a 15 MPH limit? Easy! Make the limit 13 MPH.
What are you saying? You're speedometer doesn't read in prime numbers? Well then you'll have an issue.
Suggested By: Greg Ducklowe
Hawaii has stuck with the 55 speed limit for decades. And it seems to be ignored by nearly everyone in the state. Not only are the drivers going 15 to 20 over at all times, but they are apparently driving like asshats while doing it, according to cesariojpn:
Even when i'm in the right lane (I have a slow commuter car, deal with it), I still find myself being tailgated by some asshat behind me trying to jockey position by gaining the grand total of ONE length ahead of some other car for miles cause some asshat in the left lane is keeping pace with me.
Suggested By: cesariojpn, Photo Credit: AP Images
The western half of the good old US and A has roads that are straight and flat for literally hundreds of miles. And while they are two lane roads, there is a pretty good chance that you won't be seeing any other cars the entire time on the road.
So why is the limit on Highway 20 just 55 MPH? On an empty road like this, 55 feels like a crawl and 65 seems like a slow walk. It seems to us that a suggested limit of 70 MPH might be a bit more prudent for this deserted stretch of tarmac.
Suggested By: CobraJoe
Sometimes you see these 10 1/2 MPH signs. We have to say, while ridiculous, it's also brilliant. If people see a sign that says 10.5, they'll have a laugh and actually consider the speed limit for a second. Unlike when they see a 15 MPH sign and just go 40 instead.
Clever move, Copake. Clever move.
Suggested By: burglar
The GW Parkway has limits that vary between 40 and 50 MPH, officers that'll pull you over for anything, and drivers that end up going 35.
It's basically hell.
Suggested By: samselp, Photo Credit: AP Images
Montana used to basically be the Autobahn of America. Reasonable and prudent put the limits in the hands of the drivers, which was a huge move to entrust drivers with their own safety. People from Montana got it. People from outside Montana didn't.
Now, speed limits are in effect in Montana because of
the amount of accidents on the roads one man getting a ticket for a speed an officer deemed unreasonable and not at all prudent. He was exercising a freedom, and ultimately it was that freedom that was its own downfall.
Suggested By: For Sweden
Trucks need to drive slowly. We understand this. But do you think they have the ability to select a precise speed like 37 or 26 for a downhill grade depending on the weight? Exactly, they don't.
This seems like it would be impossible to enforce.
Suggested By: smalleyxb122
A gradual reduction in a speed limit is the kind thing to do. But an immediate switch from 55 to 15 MPH AND a speed trap? That's pure evil. Here's what our friend Matt Farah has to say about one of the worst:
South Carolina's infamous "Bluffton Speed Trap." In Bluffton, SC, the speed limit on a mostly open 2-lane road is 55 mph, which is completely safe in any car (hell, in a proper sports car, I've tripled that number when no one was around). But there is a section of road about 100 yards long where it drops to 15 mph as you pass a post office and a few houses, and then goes right back to 55. Except there is ALWAYS a cop sitting right there. You see, no one stops in Bluffton, why would they? So a massive revenue stream for the town is this speed trap. It's mostly people who fly into Savannah or Hilton Head from out of town and would never return back just to fight the ticket, so they pay and move on. I got ticketed there for 55 in a 15 and was handcuffed for reckless driving, and given a $1,000 ticket. There is no reason to have an arbitrary drop of 40 mph other than to make those lazy cops' jobs easier.
Suggested By: The Smoking Tire, Photo Credit: Getty Images
This is so dumb that we'll let commenter Kiwi_Commander explain it:
Ok, I'm going to complain about my local highway system. Looking at you GA 400. So here is the deal, during rush hours the emergency lane is turned into a traffic/driving lane. However, the speed limit on this one lane is 45 while the rest of the lines follow the 55 speed limit. That being said, WHY IN GODS GREEN EARTH IS THE SPEED LIMIT 45? Just make the speed limit the same. Besides, during rush hour, I doubt we exceed 13mph.
Suggested By: Kiwi_Commander, Photo Credit: AP Images
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a ribbon of asphalt that competes with any in the world as the best driver's road around. It has hills, twists, turns, and is generally awesome. So how fast can you whip around these glorious roads?
A measly 45 MPH... at the most. It's like North Carolina had one administration of car enthusiasts build the road and then had a group of accountants determine what speed limit would let them get the most speeding fines. It's evil.
Suggested By: waveridin1959