Tag Archives: advisory

35 mph signs in Gorst surprise driver

The in basket: My neighbor Teresa Adams said she and her son had a dispute the other day about whether there is a brief 35 mile per hour speed limit in Gorst, with a 40 mph zone on each side of it.

She lost the contest, as she contended there were no signs saying that. When she looked closely, there they were, she said, one in each direction.

The out basket: I had to look carefully too, as the one heading toward Bremerton is tucked under the overpass. I had to get pretty close to it to see the 35 mph segment, which is beneath an arrow indicating a curve. I didn’t drive all the way to Bremerton and return to check that the other direction has one, but Don Palmer of Gorst has complained a couple of times in the past that an arrow sign warning people coming from Bremerton of the upcoming curve isn’t sufficient warning, so I’ll assume it has 35 mph shown beneath it too.

But they aren’t speed limit signs. Yellow signs indicating a speed are advisory. You can’t be ticketed for going faster if you’re within the speed limit otherwise posted. Only the white signs with black lettering are enforceable with a ticket for exceeding the speed shown.

So, for example, the 35 mph sign approaching Ross Point coming out of Port Orchard is advisory, as is the 10 mph sign facing Highway 303 traffic about to turn to go north on Highway 3 in Silverdale. Both are yellow. There are hundreds of other examples in the county, many just before a speed hump.

I find that I can do 10 mph faster than the speeds shown on those yellow signs without any discomfort making the curve (most are posted at curves). Of course, if you’re driving a big awkward top-heavy vehicle and tip over, or hit an oncoming vehicle, you can be ticketed for going too fast for conditions, even if you got down to the advised speed.

Do we really have to do 10 mph in Silverdale turn?

The in basket:  Peggy and Pat Tillery send an e-mail about a sign on westbound Highway 303 approaching the new urban interchange with Highway 3 in Silverdale, asking “Why is there a yellow 10 mph sign approaching the on-ramp when coming from Waaga Way, where you slow down to 35 and then get ready to head north on Highway 3 at that horrible interchange in Silverdale? 

“The on-ramp heading north on Highway 3 from that point,” their e-mail said, ” is tricky enough without having to slow down to 10 mph only to have to pick up speed to hit Highway 3 going north. Did they just forget to remove the sign when they constructed that area?”

The out basket: No, that is an advisory sign, suggesting a safe speed for making the turn onto the northbound on-ramp to Highway 3. It is not mandatory, as a black on white speed limit sign would be. It apparently anticipates a tall unstable vehicle that might tip over going faster than that. 

In a passenger car, I’ve found that going 10 miles per hour faster than any advisory speed sign I’ve ever encountered will get you through the turn or whatever the obstacle is safely. The 10 mph sign is an excess of caution that drivers of small vehicles normally can disregard.

But even if you choose to drop to 10 mph there, there’s lots of room on the on-ramp to get up to 60 mph for freeway driving, if your car is operating properly.