Speed limits are probably the last thing that comes to mind when traveling to an interesting place such as the U.S. state of Montana. However, the state’s traffic authority sets out clear guidelines that must be followed in order to avoid getting a traffic ticket, points added to your license, and subsequent insurance increases, or, worse, jail time!
If you are moving to Montana from another state, visiting or relocating from another country, or simply driving through the state, knowing what is the speed limit in Montana is extremely pivotal knowledge to have.
Knowledge of the correct speed limits is not only about avoiding punishment. It is also about driving safely on the roads to prevent accidents with another motorist. Driving within the speed limit helps reduce the possibility of crashes and promotes efficient use of the road.
Traffic laws, including speed limits and other motor vehicle-related laws, are established by the Montana Department of Transportation. The state speed limits are defined by two different types of speed limits, basic speeding Montana law, and absolute speed limits.
The basic speeding law prohibits driving “at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual hazards then existing”. This quote means that motorists must always drive at a safe speed for the conditions and environment they are driving in.
An example would be that if you were driving on a 75 mph road on a windy, dark, and snowy evening, you would be required to slow down your speed to significantly less than the signed speed limit of 75 mph. This is because the weather and road conditions would be considered dangerous, and if you were caught driving at the signed limit, you may be slapped with a fine.
Speed Limit in Montana
The absolute speed limit in Montana is the speed limit you see signposted on roadways, what you see is what you get. If the weather conditions are good and safe, you may go at the maximum speed limit. Surpassing it will likely cost you in fines.
Montana has the highest maximum speed limits in the U.S., with only a few states sharing the same maximum speed limit. The maximum speed at which you can travel on certain roads in Montana is 80 mph.
Here are the different speed limits to look out for in Montana:
- 25 mph is the speed limit in residential areas (always double-check the posted speed limit).
- 65 mph is the maximum speed limit for undivided roads.
- 70 mph is the maximum speed limit for divided roads.
- The urban highway speed limit in Montana is 65 mph.
- Rural highways in Montana are 75 mph.
- What is the highest speed limit in Montana? Interstate highways and rural interstates in Montana are 80 mph, however, trucks that drive on an interstate highway must abide by the limit of 70 mph (Montana truck speed limit).
When driving through residential areas and not a state highway, something to be aware of is schools, hospitals, and construction zones as these areas often have temporarily lowered speed limits and enforce these limits very strictly. You don’t want to receive a hefty fine for not being aware of this.
Montana Speed Limit Laws
Usually, in Montana, the cost of a speeding ticket depends on where the violation took place and how much you surpassed the signed speed limit. However, generally speaking, a speeding offense will cost the driver anywhere from $20 to $200 in fines, with offenses committed in school or road work zones being at least doubled.
If you receive a speeding ticket in Montana, the likelihood is that you will receive points added to your license too. There are many other driving offenses that will result in points being added to your license, receiving too many points over a certain period of time will most likely end up in your license being suspended. Here is an overview of how the point system works in Montana:
|Montana Speeding Ticket Points||Total Points|
|Felony involving vehicle||12|
|DUI (driving under the influence)||10|
|Driving while suspended or revoked||6|
|Failure to stop for accident involving injury||8|
|Failure to stop for accident involving damage||4|
|Fleeing or eluding officer||5|
|Driving without license||2|
|Speeding above posted limit||3|
|Speeding above prudent speed||2|
|All other moving violations||2|
When visiting or relocating your family to the beautiful state of Montana, it is normal to have your mind focused on fun things to do. Knowing what is the speed limit in Montana is – and adhering to the signed limits – will ensure your time is well spent and minimize the chance of you being fined or getting into an accident.