New electronic variable speed limit signs that will allow the Wyoming DOT to drop the speed limit in 5 mph increments to as low as 30 mph when weather and road conditions make it necessary are now in operation on WYO 28 in the South Pass area between Farson and Lander.
The variable signs were installed on a 34-mi. section of the highway known for severe wind and surface conditions as well as heavy truck traffic. Long-term statistics show unsafe speed is a factor in more than 70% of wintertime crashes in Wyoming. WYDOT is using the variable speed limits and its “Ice and snow? – Take it slow!” information campaign to counter that problem.
The signs’ advanced technology allows WYDOT’s Transportation Management Center in Cheyenne to tailor the speed limit to match road conditions on highway sections as short as two miles in length.
The posted speed limit can be changed almost immediately after a reduction is recommended by WYDOT maintenance personnel or Highway Patrol troopers in the area.
The South Pass section is the fifth Wyoming highway section now served by variable speed limit technology. The other four sections are on I-80, where 128 miles are equipped with variable signs.
Decisions about where to install variable speed limit signs are based on traffic volumes, crash histories and frequency of severe weather on particular highway sections.