When I was in my early 20s, a friend and I traveled from Kansas to Florida to visit a mutual friend from high school. After arriving at the airport, we rented a car and headed down the highway about an hour to our friend’s house.
After about five minutes on the road, I became very confused after seeing what I believed to be a 40 mph speed limit sign. It was a four-lane highway, and we weren’t in a construction zone.
Still perplexed, I turned to my friend and asked, “What’s the speed limit?” He replied, “I don’t know. It has to be 65 or 70, right?”
I told him that I thought I saw a speed limit sign that said 40 mph. “There’s no way that’s right,” he replied. Having taken into account the flow of traffic, we agreed that I must have been mistaken.
However, I kept a keen eye out for the next speed limit sign. Sure enough, the next sign displayed “40” in big font. But what I missed the first time was that underneath the number was the word “minimum.” Shortly after, there was another sign that read, “Speed limit 65.”
My friend and I had never witnessed stand-alone minimum speed traffic signs before. It seemed as if Florida authorities were attempting to enforce the minimum speed just as much as the maximum.
Being an inquisitive person, I asked as many Florida residents as I could about this weird phenomenon. The answer was the same every time.