§47-11-801. Basic rule — Maximum limits — Fines and penalties.
A. Any person driving a vehicle on a highway shall drive the same at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface and width of the highway and any other conditions then existing. No person shall drive any vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than will permit the driver to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.
B. Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection A of this section, the limits specified by law or established as hereinafter authorized shall be maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of the following maximum limits:
1. Seventy-five (75) miles per hour in locations comprising:
- the turnpike system, and
- rural segments of the interstate highway system, as may be designated by the Transportation Commission. Provided, however, the Commission shall determine prior to the designation of such segments that the public safety will not be jeopardized;
2. Seventy (70) miles per hour in locations which are:
- four-lane divided highways including, but not limited to, the interstate highway system, and
- super two-lane highways. As used in this section, a super two-lane highway shall mean any two-lane highway with designated passing lanes, and consisting of paved shoulders not less than eight (8) feet in width;
3. Sixty-five (65) miles per hour in other locations;
4. For a school bus, fifty-five (55) miles per hour on paved two-lane highways except on multilane divided highways, turnpikes, and interstate highways where the maximum shall be sixty-five (65) miles per hour;
5. On any highway outside of a municipality in a properly marked school zone, twenty-five (25) miles per hour, provided the zone is marked with appropriate warning signs placed in accordance with the latest edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The Department of Transportation may determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that a speed limit higher than twenty-five (25) miles per hour may be reasonable and safe under conditions as they exist upon a highway, and post an alternative school zone speed limit. The Department shall mark such school zones, or entrances and exits onto highways by buses or students, so that the maximum speed provided by this section shall be established therein. Exits and entrances to controlled-access highways which are within such school zones shall be marked in the same manner as other highways. The county commissioners shall mark such school zones along the county roads so that the maximum speed provided by this section shall be established therein. The signs may be either permanent or temporary. The Department shall give priority over all other signing projects to the foregoing duty to mark school zones. The Department shall also provide other safety devices for school zones which are needed in the opinion of the Department;
6. Twenty-five (25) miles per hour or a posted alternative school zone speed limit through state schools located on the state-owned land adjoining or outside the limits of a corporate city or town where a state educational institution is established;
7. Thirty-five (35) miles per hour on a highway in any state park or wildlife refuge. Provided, however, that the provisions of this paragraph shall not include the State Capitol park area, and no person shall drive any vehicle at a rate of speed in excess of fifty-five (55) miles per hour on any state or federal designated highway within such areas; and
8. For any vehicle or combination of vehicles with solid rubber or metal tires, ten (10) miles per hour.
The maximum speed limits set forth in this section may be altered as authorized in Sections 11-802 and 11-803 of this title.
C. The Commission is hereby authorized to prescribe maximum and minimum speeds for all vehicles and any combinations of vehicles using controlled-access highways. Such regulations shall become effective after signs have been posted on these highways giving notice thereof. Such regulations may apply to an entirely controlled-access highway or to selected sections thereof as may be designated by the Commission. It shall be a violation of this section to drive any vehicle at a faster rate of speed than such prescribed maximum or at a slower rate of speed than such prescribed minimum. However, all vehicles shall at all times conform to the limits set forth in subsection A of this section.
Copies of such regulations certified as in effect on any particular date by the Secretary of the Commission shall be accepted as evidence in any court in this state. Whenever changes have been made in speed zones, copies of such regulations shall be filed with the Commissioner of Public Safety.
D. The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection A of this section, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hillcrest, when driving upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic, or by reason of weather or highway conditions.
E. 1. No person shall drive a vehicle on a county road at a speed in excess of fifty-five (55) miles per hour unless posted otherwise by the board of county commissioners, as provided in subparagraphs a through c of this paragraph, as follows:
- the board of county commissioners may determine, by resolution, a maximum speed limit which shall apply to all county roads which are not otherwise posted for speed,
- the board of county commissioners shall provide public notice of the speed limit on all nonposted roads by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The notice shall be published once weekly for a period of four (4) continuous weeks, and
- the board of county commissioners shall forward the resolution to the Director of the Department and to the Commissioner of Public Safety.
2. The Department shall post speed limit information, as determined pursuant to the provisions of subparagraphs a through c of paragraph 1 of this subsection, on the county line marker where any state highway enters a county and at all off-ramps where interstate highways or turnpikes enter a county. The signs shall read as follows:
- ENTERING __________ COUNTY
- COUNTY ROAD SPEED LIMIT
- _____ MPH
- UNLESS POSTED OTHERWISE
The appropriate board of county commissioners shall reimburse the Department the full cost of the signage required herein.
F. Any person convicted of a speeding violation pursuant to subsection B or E of this section shall be punished by a fine as follows:
- One to ten miles per hour over the limit – $10.00
- Eleven to fifteen miles per hour over the limit – $20.00
- Sixteen to twenty miles per hour over the limit – $35.00
- Twenty-one to twenty-five miles per hour over the limit – $75.00
- Twenty-six to thirty miles per hour over the limit – $135.00
- Thirty-one to thirty-five miles per hour over the limit – $155.00
- Thirty-six miles per hour or more over the limit – $205.00
or by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) days; for a second conviction within one (1) year after the first conviction, by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) days; and upon a third or subsequent conviction within one (1) year after the first conviction, by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.