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MONTEREY/SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTIES – Caltrans announced today that it will be reducing the speed limit on a segment of US 101 between San Miguel and King City, from the existing posted maximum speed of 70 mph to 65 mph.

This decision was based on results of an engineering evaluation of this corridor which showed that in recent years this section of US 101 experienced an increase in fatal and injury collisions in both Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties.

This evaluation also considered data provided by the California Highway Patrol in the two counties. The CHP reported both a higher incidence as well as elevated speeds of high-speed offenders on this stretch of US 101. The CHP in King City reported that 71% of their citations for driving over 100 mph occur in this corridor.

Reducing the speed limit on the stretch of US 101 between San Miguel and King City, from 70 mph to 65 mph and the installation of new signs is expected to be implemented by Friday, August 25.

This decision is a result of Caltrans Director’s Policy 36, DP-36, which defines a shift in implementing safety at Caltrans. Adopted in February 2022, this policy promotes a vision to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on California’s roadways by 2050 and to provide safer outcomes for all communities.

In partnership with Caltrans, the California Office of Traffic Safety also embraces a Safe System approach, which focuses on both human mistakes and vulnerability, and provides a framework to design a system of protection for everyone. Safe roads, speeds, vehicles, road users and post-crash care all reinforce multiple layers of protection to protect everyone.

Caltrans uses several resources when making speed limit determinations on state

highways. These include the California Vehicle Code (CVC), the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (which is based on the CVC), the Safe Systems Approach by way of Caltrans Director’s Policy 36 (DP-36), as well as engineering judgement and engineering evaluation.

Caltrans consults these resources and considers additional factors when making an evaluation of established speed zone extensions. The decisive factor in the decision to lower the speed limit was that this corridor fails to satisfy the crash rate change metric, and this is the primary reason behind not extending the 70-mph speed zone.

This decision is made in the full spirit of the Caltrans Director’s Policy 36 which is intended to establish an agency expectation to prioritize safety to achieve its goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050. The Policy clearly directs that all divisions of Caltrans shall align their programs, plans, policies, procedures, and practices with the Safe System approach as appropriate to their division.

Additional Resources

The CA Office of Traffic Safety:

US Department of Transportation Safe System Approach:

Road information and updates can also be found on Caltrans District 5 Social Media platforms: Twitter at: @CaltransD5, Facebook at: Caltrans Central Coast (District 5) and Instagram at: Caltrans_D5. 

Our crews deserve to get home safely too.Drive slowly and carefully in work zones.


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