EDITOR’S NOTE: We asked Wess Winn, community services officer and crime prevention coordinator with the Waxahachie Police Department to write a weekly column in an effort to answer many of the law enforcement-related questions posed by our readers. Here’s this week’s column.

Someone asked me, “How do we know what the maximum or minimum speed limit is if it is not posted?”  

I replied, “You have to remember what the prima facie speed limits are.”   

This is a legal word which means “a fact presumed to be true unless it is disproved.” I was going to call my old friend Jim Jenkins and get him to explain it to me in “lawyer terms,” but I knew I would just be more confused.  

So let me give you the “Readers Digest” version.

When we took drivers education, and for some of us that was a long time ago, we learned the different speed limits  and where to use them.

 On page 8-3 of the current Texas Driver’s Handbook it lists the daytime and nighttime speed limits of different vehicles on different types of roads.  

In urban districts the maximum speed limit is 30 mph, unless otherwise posted, whereas on a beach or in an alley it is 15 mph. These speed limits apply daytime or nighttime.  

Urban districts are residential areas, whether right next to or away from highways or interstates. On a highway numbered by this state or the U.S. it is 70 mph daytime and 65 mph nighttime.  This applies to all vehicles except school buses.  

The list continues on but I will not go through each one of them. These speed limits are found in Section 545.352 of the Texas Transportation Code which is entitled, “Prima Facie Speed Limits.”  

If you find yourself in an area without a posted speed sign look around to see what type of territory it is, and then make the proper speed adjustment.   

FYI: Please go to the Waxahachie Crime Stoppers or the Waxahachie Police department website to sign up for the 10K/5K run and 1/K fun run on April 27th. Medals will be given out to the winners.

If you have a Police Beat question for Officer Wess Winn, he may be reached by e-mail at wwinn@waxahachiepd.org or call 972-937-9940, Ext. 212. Look for your questions to be answered here in the Waxahachie Daily Light every Sunday or listen to officer Winn’s show on KBEC Radio AM 1390 at 9 a.m. every Monday.