Tuolumne County Leaders Okay State Directed Speed Limit Increases
Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Supervisors moved forward a proposal to increase the speed limits on stretches of two busy roads.
A 1.5 mile stretch of Jamestown Road is set to increase from the current 35 to 40 miles per hour and a two-mile section of Parrotts Ferry Road will go from 40 to 45 miles per hour (They still legally require a second reading and another board vote on December 14).
Public Works Department staff noted that state law requires speed limits to be in the 85-percentile of what travelers are driving, and a recent traffic study showed that travelers on Parrotts Ferry and Jamestown roads are regularly going over the posted limits.
District Five Supervisor Jaron Brandon was opposed. He argued, “I get a lot of calls about speeders, and it is never that the roads should be faster. I have concerns because these are two major roads affecting my district, either completely in or adjacent to it.”
Public works officials added that if it not adopted, law enforcement officials could not legally enforce speed limits on those stretches of road. Tuolumne County legal counsel clarified that there is some gray area, however, because officials could still cite people for reckless driving, just not “speeding.”
Board Chair Ryan Campbell stated, “I think there is some confusion that this is somehow a decision we’re making because we want to increase speed limits. That’s not the case. It is part of state guidelines where we have to follow the law in all cases even if we don’t necessarily agree with the decisions.”
During the public hearing portion, one person came up and voiced displeasure with increasing the limits.
The final vote was 4-1 in favor with Supervisor Brandon in opposition.