New speed limit signs change with the flow of traffic - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


New speed limit signs change with the flow of traffic

TEMPLE, TX (KXXV) - Drivers on Interstate 35 may be noticing a few changes to how fast they will be allowed to drive. A new pilot program led by TxDOT will be controlling the speed limits on a portion of the highway through Temple. 

The variable speed limit signs have been placed in a mile and a half stretch in Temple from one mile south of Exit 297 to one mile south of South Loop 363. Only the northbound lanes will have the new speed limit signs.

Officials say the new signs will adjust the speed limit as you are driving to make sure that traffic is flowing, and is never reduced to a stop. The signs will use traffic sensors along the highway to determine what the appropriate speed would be to provide safe road conditions. Speed limits could drop in five mile per hour increments, or in some cases 15 mile per hour increments if traffic is very heavy.

TxDOT officials say these signs already exist in other states and in several school zones in Texas. It will not only keep motorists safe by warning drivers of traffic ahead, but it will also prevent drivers of getting stuck in stop-and-go traffic.

"This creates that kind of step down speed limit system. That, hopefully will be safer and keep traffic flowing. Instead of having to do the start stop start stop. it all slows down and then it all picks up again when you get out of that area," said Jodi Wheatley, TxDOT I-35 public information officer.

The new pilot program will go on for three months starting on Monday, June 23. Only two other locations will be involved in this study, including I-20 in Eastland County and Loop 1604 in San Antonio. Around September, TxDOT will remove the signs, and give the information they collected back to the state. If the state likes what they see, then expect to see more signs in the future.

TxDOT also wants to urge drivers that even though these signs are temporary, drivers are still expected to obey the signs or they will be ticketed.
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