Michigan 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 Michigan.

Speed limits in Michigan

70 mph: many areas of urban and rural freeways and interstates (60 mph for trucks)

65 mph: divided highways (55 mph for trucks)

55 mph: default speed on most other highways, unless posted otherwise

45 mph: construction zones where workers are present

25 mph: business and residential districts, and park and school zones

25 mph: county highways or interconnected county highways less than one mile in length that connect with a county road system

Speed limits on Michigan freeways and interstates change frequently as they pass through urban areas, although they change from 70 mph to 55 mph much closer to cities than is typical in other states.

Michigan code on reasonable and prudent speed

Maximum and minimum speed law:

According to section 257.627 of Michigan vehicle code, “A person shall operate a 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 condition then existing.”

The minimum speed limit on freeways and interstates ranges from 45-55 mph.

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.

Michigan has a mix of absolute and prima facie speed limit laws. This means that in certain cases, a driver is allowed to argue their case based upon the claim that they were driving safely, despite driving above the posted speed limit. Drivers may also fight a ticket by claiming innocence based on the following arguments:

  • 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 Michigan

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $100

  • Have their license suspended for up to one year

Penalty for reckless driving in Michigan

There is no set speed in Michigan at which violating the speed limit is considered reckless driving. That determination depends upon the circumstances surrounding the violation.

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $100

  • Be sentenced to up to 90 days of jail time

  • Have their license suspended for up to 90 days

Violators may be required to attend traffic school if too many points are accumulated.


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