While the need to stop for stoplights and railroad crossing guard rails may seem obvious, other traffic laws can seem arbitrary. Have you ever wondered who sets the speed limits or designates no-passing zones? Traffic laws can seem complicated, but the fact is they are necessary for safety and efficiency. Just as governing bodies are responsible for creating effective traffic laws, citizens are responsible for obeying them properly.
One of the primary purposes for speed limits, stop signs, turn lanes, and sobriety requirements is to help prevent collisions and accidents. Most traffic signs and laws center on keeping vehicles in the proper lanes to avoid interrupting traffic flow in an unsafe way. When drivers are aware of the traffic laws and committed to following them, vehicles move smoothly and people can get to their destinations quickly and safely.
There are also traffic laws that exist to protect pedestrians. Bike lanes help cyclists stay out of the way of motorized vehicles and also help drivers be aware of bicycles on the road. Crosswalks with clear signage create a safe area for walkers and runners. Drunk driving restrictions help prevent tragedies from happening due to a driver's inability to see, understand, and follow the rules of the road.
Some traffic laws are customized to the local environment. Reduced speed limits keep neighborhoods and school zones safer for everyone. Restrictions on commercial vehicles within city limits help reduce noise pollution and traffic jams on narrow residential streets. Laws are based on the specific needs of the area. In many cases, law enforcement, fire rescue teams, and traffic lawyers all contribute information to help pass new traffic safety laws.
Finally, traffic laws can also help roads and bridges last longer and need fewer repairs. When traffic flows smoothly, it helps prevent collisions, stop-and-go traffic, and skids that can tear up asphalt and create potholes. In many cases, speed limits are calculated by taking into account the condition and materials of the roadways. Obeying traffic laws helps protect both people and property.