Along the Top End of 285, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has installed 176 digital signs. You may not have even noticed them yet. They're inconspicuous and covered with plastic for now, but if all goes according to plan, they will transform the driving experience on the Perimeter starting next month. With a slogan of "Slow down to get there faster," the Variable Speed Limit (VSL) program is designed to reduce bottlenecks, stop-and-go traffic and accidents using the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race theory. Traffic studies have shown that cars traveling at slower, more uniform speeds get to their destinations faster than those who zoom then stop, zoom then stop. The standard speed limit for the Top End will go from 55 to 65 but depending on traffic, weather and road conditions, could be dropped to as little as 35mph if the 24/7 real-time monitoring deems it necessary. GDOT stresses that their "ability to remotely change the speed limit on the corridor is not intended to create speed traps." Washington state implemented a similar system and saw a 13 percent reduction in collisions. The real question is: Will anybody ever actually drive 35mph on 285 when not forced to do so by traffic?
· Variable Speed Limits [GDOT]