Hawaii Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines | YourMechanic Advice

Hawaii Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines

Following is an overview of the laws, limits, and fines as they relate to speeding traffic violations in the state of Hawaii.

Speed limits in Hawaii

Hawaii has the lowest maximum speed limit in the United States, and was the last state to raise the maximum speed limit following 1995’s repeal of the National Maximum Speed Law.

60 mph: Interstate H-1 between Kapolei and Waipahu

60 mph: Interstate H-3 between the Tetsuo Harano Tunnels and the H-1 junction

55 mph: all other freeways

45 mph: freeways through central Honolulu

35 mph: mopeds

25 mph: school zones, when children are present

Other stretches of highways and other roads are as posted.

Hawaii code on reasonable and prudent speed

Maximum speed law:

According to section 291C-101 of Hawaii vehicle code “a person shall not drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent and having regard to the actual and potential hazards and conditions then existing.”

Minimum speed law:

According to section 291C-41(b) of Hawaii vehicle code “a person driving at less than the normal speed of traffic shall drive in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.”

“A vehicle or combination of vehicles designed to operate at speed ≤ 25 mph may be required to display a sign indicating that it is a slow-moving vehicle.”

Due to variations in speedometer calibration, tire size, and margins of error in speed-detecting technology, it’s uncommon for an officer to pull a driver over for going less than five miles above the speed limit. However, technically any amount over can be considered a speed violation so best practices are to stay within the limit.

While it may be difficult to fight a speeding ticket in Hawaii due to the absolute speed limit law, a driver may choose to go to court and claim their innocence based upon one of the following:

  • The driver may oppose the determination of speed. In order to claim this defense a driver must know how his or her speed was determined and then learn how to disprove its accuracy.

  • A driver may claim that an emergency situation caused the driver to break the speed limit in order to prevent injury or damage to themselves or others.

  • The driver may claim a case of mistaken identity. If a police officer clocks a driver speed and subsequently has to find them again in traffic, it’s possible that they could make a mistake and pull the wrong car over.

Penalty for exceeding the speed limit in Hawaii

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $200 (plus a $10 surcharge if the driver was going more than 10 mph over the limit)

  • Have their license suspended for between one and five years

Penalty for reckless driving in Hawaii

In Hawaii, driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit is automatically considered reckless driving.

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $1000

  • Be sentenced to up to 30 days of jail time

  • Have their license suspended for between one and five years

Violators may be required to attend traffic school, and/or may be able to have their speeding fine reduced by attending these classes.


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