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What are statutory speed limits?

| Apr 9, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Have you ever received a ticket for speeding on a road where there was no limit posted? It may have seemed unfair to have to endure punishment when the usual rules did not seem to apply.

However, there are different types of speed limits to apply to every possible driving situation. Statutory speed limits are defaults that apply when there is no sign posted.

Who sets statutory speed limits?

According to the Federal Highway Administration, every state legislature determines statutory speed limits for its jurisdiction. These limits always apply when there is none otherwise posted. Legislatures set different speed limits for different types of roadways. For example, the statutory speed limit for a residential area is likely to be lower than for an interstate highway.

What are the statutory speed limits in New Jersey?

Because every legislature sets its own statutory speed limits, they are different in every state. In New Jersey, they are as follows:

  • 55 miles per hour on state highways
  • 65 miles per hour on interstates
  • 25 miles per hour in residential and business districts
  • 35 miles per hour in certain low-density districts
  • 50 miles per hour on all other roads

If you are not sure what the statutory speed limit is on a particular stretch of road, it is safer to err on the slower side, e.g., go 25 miles per hour rather than 35 if you are not sure the district you are driving through qualifies as low-density.

You can still receive a ticket for exceeding a statutory speed limit even if you were not aware it was in place. Nevertheless, you should still pay attention to posted speed limits. These take precedence over statutory limits regardless of which is higher or lower.