Unofficial speed limits

Varying sources report that the unofficial speed limit in Davis is 40mph everywhere. Others report that it is 10mph faster than the posted speed limit. There are even signs in town that will tell you how fast your are going.

For example, the Pole Line overpass is zoned at 25mph, but residents clearly opt for the unofficial 40mph speed limit. Cops have been seen going with the 40mph flow of traffic without pulling anyone over. This is probably because it is so universally recognized that 25mph is too slow for this stretch of road, even the police agree.

Davis speed limits are so slow that some people are known to double them and drive that speed. BrentLaabs has found that the lights on Russell are timed so that you can get through them all at 48mph (he once got from Arthur to G St. at that speed without stopping once).

Testing these limits may result in a ticket, traffic school, or a visit to the Yolo County Superior Court's traffic division.

A list of unofficial speedtraps in the city can be found here.

Official speed limits

Davis roads colored by speed limit

Highway Speeds

  • According to various websites on speed traps in California, the span of highway between Davis and Woodland was known to be a speed trap for some time.
    • However, I've never had a problem exceeding the speed limit by 10-15 mph. It's pretty much the flow of traffic. (Although since I live off Pole Line, it's usually faster to take Pole Line to woodland. People tend to drive 70ish on it.)
  • Heading towards Davis from Sacramento, I-80 can be extremely slow over the causeway. This is because 5 lanes compress to 3 as I-80 and Hwy 50 merge. But about 1/2-way through the causeway, things lighten up. 80 MPH is a fairly typical commuter speed. 75 MPH is generally considered "safe". The same holds true when heading to Sacramento from places west of Davis (like Dixon), since the 5 lanes of I-80 also merge into 3 before reaching Richards Blvd.

9 over versus 14 over

  • Many people entertain the illusion that going 9mph over or 14mph over will keep you safe from tickets. I think this has something to do with the fact that it's just under some threshold that makes the tickets more expensive, and vastly more worth the cop's time in giving out.
    • Anyone know what the CHP's actual take on speeding is? Obviously everyone does it, but they only pull some people over. I hear they tend to focus on people who zigzag around other cars. -jr
  • But a smarter theory is this: don't stick out. If everyone is going around 75 or 80, there's no reason for you to get pulled over more than anyone else.