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Dear Mahatma: I have tried several times to get a definitive answer to this question and hope you can help. If you turn from a county road with a speed limit of 35 mph onto an entry ramp that is approximately a half-mile long, merging into a divided highway with a posted speed limit of 60 mph, what is the speed limit on the ramp if no speed limit sign is posted? -- Nick

Dear Nick: A definitive answer? This column specializes in obfuscation, confusion, mistakes, smoke, fog and mirrors. But we'll try.

Speed limits on state highways, and their on-ramps, are generally set by the Arkansas Department of Transportation. We posed this question to the agency, which in turn posed it to a subset agency. That is, the Arkansas Highway Police.

We're all familiar with the Highway Police. They're the law enforcement people in the white SUVs who typically are seen having pulled over a big rig or working at the truck stops scattered around the state's major highways. Regulating the trucking industry is mostly what the Highway Police do.

Here's the answer.

If a speed limit isn't posted on the entrance ramp, drivers are allowed to accelerate to the maximum speed limit posted for the highway they are fixing to enter. Entrance ramps are designed to allow for such speed so that vehicles can safely merge.

O Wise One: A friend drives a big rig for a local company with several warehouses across the state and in other states. The company hauls its own merchandise and only to its own warehouses. My friend says it never sends a manifest or bill of lading with the shipments. Shouldn't every driver have such paperwork? I'm worried my friend will get in trouble should he be stopped. -- Good Guy

Dear Guy: Chief Ron Burks of the Arkansas Highway Police says your friend likely drives for a private carrier. Unlike a for-hire carrier, private carriers aren't required to have a bill of lading.

The exception would be if they transport freight classified as a hazardous material. If so, shipping papers would then be required.

Vanity plate seen on a Malibu: JOY2ME.

Dear Mahatma: Why does the Arkansas Department of Transportation allow inoperable vehicles to be perpetually parked within the highway right of way? These represent what highway designers call fixed objects, which if hit by a vehicle would cause major injuries. Inoperable vehicles are also a junky eyesore which contribute to the negative perception others have of Arkansas. -- Da Curmudgeon

Dear Da: Chief Ron Burks of the Arkansas Highway Police says the agency handles abandoned vehicles in accordance with Arkansas Code Annotated 27-50-1205. That is, the vehicle is tagged and removed. He adds that the Arkansas State Police do the same.

Burks suggests readers of this column contact the law enforcement agency with the proper jurisdiction to report an abandoned vehicle along the right of way.

Vanity plate seen on a Camaro: MYXANAX.

Metro on 02/24/2018

Print Headline: No signs on on-ramp? Accelerate

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  • TuckerMax
    February 24, 2018 at 2:28 p.m.

    I know it must have happened before, but this may be the first time I've seen "fixing to" in the newspaper. Apparently the AP style book doesn't have "fixin' to" as it is spoken.

  • Delta2
    February 25, 2018 at 12:40 a.m.

    Tucker, what do you expect from the Demozette, which strives to publish to the level of the majority of its readers (mostly those that take it in the print form)?