LESSON 1/TASK 1
Traffic laws and regulations are periodically changed for many reasons. The information obtained in
devices studies may greatly facilitate recommending appropriate changes when this occurs. It also
allows these changes to be made in a complete and timely manner.
Speed is a major cause of traffic accidents. Even when not the direct cause, it is often a contributing
factor. Control of speeding, therefore, is of critical importance. At the same time, too slow a speed can
hamper operations and traffic flow. It also contributes to driver frustration, which in turn can contribute
to unsafe driver acts. Traffic should flow at a rate that is conducive to safety, while permitting traffic to
flow reasonably freely.
Speed studies are used to determine speed variations along a route at different times. They assist in
determining the number, location, cause, and frequency of delays, as well as the overall speed and
travel time. Speed studies, therefore, can contribute to the identification of accident causes and the
planning of enforcement efforts.
Speed studies are used to accomplish the following, either individually or in combinations:
o Determine whether speed limits are too fast or too slow.
o Determine proper speeds for new or improved roads.
o Determine if and where traffic control devices may be needed.
o Determine the relationship between speed and accidents.
o Measure the effectiveness of speed control programs.
o Study the need for change in the enforcement program.
One or two MPs are required at each location to conduct a speed-study. They should not be in uniform
and MP patrols should avoid the area of the study. The MPs conducting the study should be as
inconspicuous as possible. Their position should be one that does not attract undue attention. The
study should be conducted during good weather. The purpose of these restrictions is to allow the