Abuse of Authority

Illegal speed limit signs represent a notorious abuse of the following authorities:

Simply put, neither the selectmen nor their civil servants have the statutory authority to post a regulatory speed limit sign by executive fiat, without a thorough traffic engineering study and the Commonwealth’s approval. If a speed limit sign is posted without this procedure, it is considered illegal and unenforceable. The fact of the matter is that the civil servants firmly believe, rightly or wrongly, that the Commonwealth is more likely to post a speed limit which is even higher than the default unmarked speed limit. But this would defeat the selectmen’s purpose, and therein lies the rub. Instead, they take the easy way out of their quandary – they just ignore this nettlesome law. Indeed, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”