Iowa Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines

Iowa 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 Iowa.

Speed limits in Iowa

70 mph: rural interstate highways

65 mph: urban freeways and interstate highways (may be 55 mph in some areas)

65 mph: four-lane roads (in some areas, otherwise as posted)

60 mph: interstate highways (trucks in suburban areas)

45 mph: suburban districts

35 mph: state park and preserve roads

25 mph: residential and school districts

20 mph: business districts

Iowa code on reasonable and prudent speed

Maximum speed law:

According to section 321.285 of Iowa vehicle code, “A person shall drive a motor vehicle 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 of any other conditions then existing, and no person shall drive any vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.”

Minimum speed law:

Sections 321.294, 321.285, and 321.297(2) state:

“A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

“A vehicle which cannot attain and maintain a speed of 40 mph cannot be driven on the interstate system.”

“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.”

Rural interstates carry a minimum speed limit of 40 mph. Most four-lane roads don’t have a minimum speed, as to accommodate slow-moving farm vehicles.

While it may be difficult to fight a speeding ticket in Iowa 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 speeding 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 Iowa

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined between $50 and $500 (plus an additional 30% penalty)

  • Be sentenced to up to 30 days of jail time

  • Have their license suspended for up to one year

Penalty for reckless driving in Iowa

In this state, traveling 25 mph or more over the speed limit is automatically considered reckless driving.

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined between $50 and $500 (plus an additional 30% penalty)

  • Be sentenced to up to 30 days of jail time

  • Have their license suspended for up to one year

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

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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