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For guidance on developing an action plan to manage speed, see the Jurisdiction Speed Management Action Plan Development Package, example plans, and other resources at FHWA’s Speed Management Reference Material

The tools below have been developed to serve as resources for setting safe and credible speed limits. While the first two resources continue to make use of the 85th percentile speed, they incorporate safety information and area context in recommending speed limits:

  • Methods and Practices for Setting Speed Limits – This report provides a summary of practices available to jurisdictions for setting speed limits (Forbes et al., 2012).
  • USLimits2 – This web-based tool provides expert-based assistance in speed limit zoning based on engineering practices. 
    • Note that NCHRP project #03-139 is underway to update this tool.
  • Posted Speed Limit Setting Procedure and Tool, NCHRP Report 966 – Researchers developed another speed limit setting tool that uses road function and context as a starting baseline for setting limits (Fitzpatrick et al., 2021).
  • City Limits – This guide focuses on setting speed limits in urban areas and is available from NACTO (Speed Safety Camera Program Planning and Operations Guide) along with an urban street design guide (Urban Street Design Guide).

Important speeding countermeasure resources include:

  • Crash Modification Factors Clearinghouse This searchable database can be used to obtain estimates of potential crash effects of speeding and speed-related countermeasures in different contexts. 
  • Speed Safety Camera Program Planning and Operations Guide – This update of FHWA and NHTSA’s 2008 guidelines provides in-depth information on planning and operating an effective and reliable speed safety camera program (NHTSA & FHWA, 2023).

For deeper insight on the complex problem of managing speed see:

  • Safe Systems in the United States: Guiding Principles and Lessons from International Practice – This document provides a comprehensive review of Safe Systems principles and lessons learned from international Safe Systems practices (Dumbaugh et al., 2019).
  • Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles The National Transportation Safety Board (2017) developed a report based on an assessment of evidence, current practices, and recommendations for reducing speeding-related crashes.
  • Pedestrian safety relative to traffic-speed management: A synthesis of highway practice – This report provides an in-depth look at practices and challenges for managing speed in urban areas where pedestrians are found (Sanders et al., 2019).

Advocacy organizations such as Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets may be able to help tell the story why speeding is so dangerous and the impacts it has on people, families, and communities. These organizations have helped some communities to achieve political support for managing speed (NHTSA & FHWA, 2023).

Other organizations such as the Vision Zero Network and Toward Zero Deaths provide peer networks and resources for jurisdictions that hope to reduce fatalities and serious injuries to near zero. In the United States, Vision Zero is primarily an initiative targeting local jurisdictions to get them to adopt speed-management policies and roadway design practices that encourage driving at speeds that are less likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities. As of November 2022 more than 45 cities had adopted policies from this initiative (Vision Zero Network, 2022).