Temple, Tx (KWKT) — Beginning June 23, drivers going down 1-35 in Temple will need to pay extra close attention the speed limit.
The Texas Department of Transportation will begin a pilot program that tests a new type of variable speed limit system this month. The pilot program, will have testing sites on I-20 in Eastland County, I-35 in Temple and Loop 1604 in San Antonio.
According to a news release, the new system will alert drivers of upcoming road conditions and traffic congestion. The road conditions will determine the speed limits by using sensors and electronic signs. If successful, the variable speed limit system could serve as a model for additional roadways across the state.
"Saving lives and reducing congestion are two of our top priorities," said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). "We know other states have benefited from variable speed limit systems and we would like to mirror that success here in Texas in an effort to reduce crashes. This advanced technology has been shown to lessen stop-and-go driving and help reduce rear-end collisions as drivers approach slower moving traffic."
Using traffic sensors along the roadway, the variable-speed system identifies factors like construction, traffic congestion and weather to indicate when a lower speed limit could improve safety based on road conditions. Using portable signs, speed limits are automatically reduced in small increments to gradually reduce the speed of approaching traffic to a congested area.