Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Slagh’s plan improving method for setting speed limits is now state law
RELEASE|April 2, 2024
Contact: Bradley Slagh

Plan empowers communities to keep roads safer

A bill introduced by state Rep. Bradley Slagh (R-Zeeland) to improve the method of determining speed limits on many Michigan roads is now state law.

Slagh, a former township supervisor, introduced the legislation in response to community officials who expressed frustration with the existing method as it bases local speed limits solely on metrics, not on common sense factors such as pedestrian safety, road visibility obstructions, or proximity to parks and playgrounds.

Under current law, a speed study and an engineering and safety study are administered to set speed limits on local roads. The speed study compiles the average driver speed on the road, and the limit is then determined based on the 85th percentile of that average. Local governments then round that number to the nearest multiple of 5 mph, often forcing them to round up rather than down. Slagh’s plan, House Bill 4012, instead allows communities to set speeds within the nearest multiple of 5 mph, giving them the option to round down.

For example, if a road’s average speed were 37.6 mph, Michigan law forced the speed limit to be posted at 40 mph, but the new law introduced by Slagh now allows that speed to be posted to 35 mph if the local government so chooses.

Additionally, the new law will allow local municipalities to put taxpayer dollars to better use by eliminating the requirement to do the engineering and safety study, giving small governments with limited budgets the option to choose what is best for their area.

This is the third consecutive term that Slagh has introduced the plan.

“I am happy this commonsense bill is now law,” Slagh said. “This will help to correct less-than-perfect language in our current law related to how speed limits are set, provide ways to reduce costs for our local road agencies, and institute clear guidelines to help keep all roadway users safer.” 

The new law is Public Act 33 of 2024.


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