When it comes to inclement winter weather, Maine is no stranger. But when accidents result, it’s not typically the weather that is blamed. Rather, it’s the driver reaction to the weather. Most typically, operators of motor vehicles are failing to adjust their speed to the current conditions.
It’s for this reason state police have erected flashing highway signs urging drivers to slow down to 45-mph, rather than go the normal 60- or 70-mph that is posted. But here’s the problem, according to a new report by WMTW: Those 45-mph speed limits aren’t legally enforceable. The notice is only a guideline, giving motorists a better sense of what is the safer speed given the conditions. But the black-and-white posted speed signs are the only sign that is enforceable by law.
Last year, authorities in Maine responded to an estimated 700 snow-related accidents. That figure doesn’t include incidents that did not result in injury or cause more than $1,000 in damage.