Benefits outweigh inconvenience for uniform speed limits

By Ali Leist, CORRESPONDENT
On October 23, 2013

 

The alerts have gone out and new signs have been posted. It’s official — the campus-wide speed limit is 25 mph, unless otherwise posted.

While driving at 25 mph can be irritating and controlling that lead foot may prove to be difficult sometimes, a universal 25 mph limit on campus will be beneficial.

Considering that the highest speed limit on campus was only 30 mph previously, it’s really not much of a difference.

If anything, making a campus-wide speed limit is beneficial to drivers on campus because, according to the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), some limits were as low as 10 mph.

In June, CUTR did a study on 49 roadway segments throughout campus and found the average speed limit was 24.57 mph, which is why the 25 mph speed limit was recommended. The study also found the deviation to be nearly 4 mph, meaning there was a lack of consistency in speed limits.

According to the Florida Driver’s Handbook, the standard speed limit for business and residential areas is 30 mph. Considering the numerous amount of pedestrians on campus that are frequently crossing the streets, 25 mph is a safe and reasonable speed for drivers to be alert and able to make quick stops for people crossing the street.

According to University Police in a Tampa Tribune report, more than 300 speeding tickets were given out this year.

This may have been caused by the variation of speed limits around campus, as guessing the speed limit can be tricky and could leave drivers unintentionally speeding. The new universal speed limit could clear up this confusion and may reduce the number of speeding tickets on campus.

The 25 mph limit is much better than what some universities have, such as speed limits of 15 mph at the University of Delaware, or oddball speed limits like 18 mph at the University of Mississippi.

Some may say it is not uniform because there are still areas with lower speed limits such as the 20 mph school zone area, or the 15 mph Banyan Circle, Health Drive and Birch Drive. While these streets fall under the uniform speed limit, they are very small in number compared to the previous variations across campus.

The university has made a great decision to help improve safety on campus. While at first it may seem irritating to drivers on campus, drivers need to realize that it will make their driving experience easier and make the campus safer.

Ali Leist is a junior
majoring in mass communications.

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