§ 212.108. Speed limits.

 (a)  General. This section applies to maximum speed limits established according to 75 Pa.C.S. § §  3362 and 3363 (relating to maximum speed limits; and alteration of maximum limits). Engineering and traffic studies are not required for statutory speed limits, but documentation should be on file for urban districts and residence districts to show that the requirements defined in the Vehicle Code are satisfied.

 (b)  Engineering and traffic studies. Speed limits established in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. §  3363 may be established in multiples of 5 miles per hour up to the maximum lawful speed. The speed limit should be within 5 miles per hour of the average 85th percentile speed or the safe-running speed on the section of highway, except the speed limit may be reduced up to 10 miles per hour below either of these values if one or more of the following conditions are satisfied:

   (1)  A major portion of the highway has insufficient stopping sight distance if traveling at the 85th percentile speed or the safe-running speed.

   (2)  The available corner sight distance on side roads is less than the necessary stopping sight distance values for through vehicles.

   (3)  The majority of crashes are related to excessive speed and the crash rate during a minimum 12-month period is greater than the applicable rate in the most recent high-crash rate or high-crash severity rate table included in the appendix of Official Traffic-Control Devices (Department Publication 212). Crashes related to excessive speed include those crashes with causation factors of driving too fast for conditions, turning without clearance or failing to yield right-of-way.

 (c)  Variable speed limits. To improve safety, speed limits may be changed as a function of traffic speeds or densities, weather or roadway conditions or other factors.

 (d)  Special speed limits.

   (1)  Within a rest area or welcome center, a 25 mile per hour speed limit may be established without the need for an engineering and traffic study if pedestrians walk across the access roadways between the parking lot and the rest facilities.

   (2)  Within a toll plaza or a truck weight station, an appropriate speed limit may be established without an engineering and traffic study by the authorities in charge to enforce the safety of the operations or to protect the scales.

 (e)  Posting of speed limits. A Speed Limit Sign (R2-1) or variable speed limit sign showing the maximum speed limit shall be placed on the right side of the highway at the beginning of each numerical change in the speed limit, but an additional sign may also be installed on the left side of the highway. If the new speed limit begins at an intersection, the first sign should be installed within 200 feet beyond the intersection. The placement of this sign must satisfy both the requirement to post the beginning of the new speed limit and the requirement to post the end of the previous speed limit. Additional requirements for posting are as follows:

   (1)  Speed limits of 50 miles per hour or less shall be posted as follows:

     (i)   A Reduced Speed (


) Ahead Sign (R2-5), or a Speed Reduction Sign (W3-5), shall be placed on the right side of the highway 500 to 1,000 feet before the beginning of every speed reduction unless one of the following applies:

       (A)   The speed reduction is 10 miles per hour or less.

       (B)   The speed reduction begins at an intersection and all traffic entering the roadway with the speed reduction has to either stop at a Stop Sign (R1-1) or make a turn.

       (C)   The new speed limit is posted on variable speed limit signs.

     (ii)   Speed Limit Signs (R2-1) or a variable speed limit sign showing the maximum speed shall be placed on the right side of the highway at the beginning of the speed limit and at intervals not greater than 1/2 mile throughout the area with the speed limit.

     (iii)   The end of a speed limit is typically identified by the placement of a sign indicating a new speed limit, but the End Plaque (R2-10) may be placed above a Speed Limit Sign (R2-1) at the end of the zone if the appropriate speed limit is not known on the following section of roadway.

   (2)  On freeways, a Speed Limit Sign (R2-1) shall be installed after each interchange unless insufficient space exists for the signs.

Cross References

   This section cited in 67 Pa. Code §  212.109 (relating to bridge speed limit).



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