Speed limit rule the same for off- and on-ramps

The in basket: I learned last year that the speed limit on a freeway on-ramp is the speed limit of the highway being entered. That makes sense, since the ramp is intended to let you get up to freeway speed to merge.

That often crosses my mind when I’m EXITING  a freeway, especially from northbound Highway 3 in Silverdale onto southbound Highway 303, where the ramp ends in a merge, not a stop sign. .

There’s a yellow 35 mph sign on the ramp, but yellow signs are just advisory,  not mandatory. I asked what the speed limit is there or at any other off-ramp.

The out basket: The rule is the same for off-ramps as for on-ramps, says Trooper Russ Winger of the state patrol here.

“The speed limit is the still the limit until otherwise posted by a regulatory sign,” he said. “The merge on SR-303 you are describing is almost impossible to take the turn at 60 mph safely, however, unless the vehicle is operating out of control and otherwise endangering other motorists, the speed (limit) is still 60.

“But, this said, a vehicle will have very little time to slow to the posted 35 limit because the sign is only a short distance away from the start of the merge lane.

“I cannot see citing this vehicle for speeding – as you describe – unless it obviously interferes with the safety of other vehicles with its merge,” he said.

Most off-ramps are self regulating, since they have a stop sign at their end. And citations for going too fast for conditions or negligent driving are always possible should a person crash, as one surely would trying to make the curve on the 3-303 off-ramp at 60 mph. But not a speeding ticket.”

2 thoughts on “Speed limit rule the same for off- and on-ramps

  1. Found this out the hard way when driving in the on-ramp by the sewer plant; I knew the hiway was 50 but went faster to go into a break in the traffic. Went to court and got the ticket reduced to $75.

  2. So, how does this apply to those legions of drivers who refuse to accelerate to match traffic speed when merging, and slow or stop at the end of the on-ramp, or just barge into 60 mph traffic at 40?

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