Anyone that lives in, is looking to visit Hawaii, or who plans to journey around the islands by car must understand what the speed limits are.

Laws surrounding speed limits are quite stringent in Hawaii, much the same as anywhere else in the U.S. However, it is better to be safe by abiding by the set speed limit as it will not only cost you less in fines and potential points on your license, but it can help save yourself and others from unnecessary accidents.

Hawaii speed limits

The Hawaii Department of Transportation has established the safest speed limits to travel in specific areas of the state. Speed limits in Hawaii are split into two different categories; basic speeding law and maximum speed limits.



Hawaii speed limits

The basic speeding law in Hawaii prohibits driving at a speed that is greater than “reasonable and prudent” under certain circumstances. The law requires drivers to assess the conditions of the road and the weather to determine a safe speed at which to travel. For example, if you were driving 60 mph on a 60 mph road on a rainy day with slippery road surfaces you could be violating the basic speeding law, which can result in a fine, as well as points added to your license, and maybe even suspension or jail time.

Maximum speed limits are simple to follow, what you see is what you get, literally. So, driving 60 mph on a 60 mph road when the conditions are perfect for driving would not result in an offense, however, if you were to surpass the limit you may have committed a speeding offense. Hawaii is known for being a safe place to live or visit, and this is reflected in the speed limits and maximum limits, with Hawaii having some of the lowest speed limits in the United States due to it being a chain of islands.

Here are the maximum Hawaii speed limits:

  • 25 mph is the speed limit for school zones.
  • 25 mph is the speed limit in the residential areas of the state.
  • Undivided roads in Hawaii have a maximum speed limit of 45 mph.
  • Divided roads in Hawaii have a maximum speed limit of 45 mph.
  • Urban freeways in Hawaii have a maximum speed limit of 50 mph.
  • Rural freeways in Hawaii are 60 mph.

These speed limits are defined as the maximum speed any motorist traveling on Hawaii roads can legally drive, should you drive over these limits you can and most likely will receive a traffic citation, fines, license suspension, and even in some cases, arrest.

We all know and are supposed to abide by the maximum speed limit and law. On the other hand, the minimum speed law states that no vehicle should be going at a speed that is so slow that it impedes the flow of traffic. With regards to driving on the highway, the law suggests that the right-hand lane is reserved for vehicles that go at or below the minimum speed limit. If this is not practical, the car should be as close to the right-hand side of the highway as possible.

What Fines & Points Apply When Breaking Hawaii Speed Limit Laws?

The consequences of a speeding violation really depend on what the circumstances are and how quickly you have surpassed the speed limit. Usually, the fines for a Hawaii speeding ticket are as follows:

  • $200 maximum for a first violation.
  • $300 maximum for a second within a year.
  • $500 maximum for a third or subsequent violation within a 12-month period.
  • There is also a $10 surcharge added to tickets involving a speed of more than ten miles per hour over the limit.
  • The fine you will receive should you speed in a school or construction zone is $250 with an additional surcharge of $100 for construction zones and $125 for school zones.

If you are caught driving 80 mph or faster, or exceeding Hawaii speed limit laws by at least 35 mph you will be cited for “excessive speeding”.

The penalties for excessive speeding are as follows:

  • A first offense within 5 years will be a fine of $500 – $1,000, with surcharges of up to $125, license suspension of up to 30 days, 36 hours of community service, or 2 to 5 days in jail.
  • A second offense within 5 years will be a fine of $750 – $1,000, with surcharges of up to $125, license suspension of up to 30 days, 120 hours of community service, or  5 – 14 days in jail.
  • A third offense within 5 years will be a fine of $1,000, with surcharges of up to $125, license revocation of up to 90 days to 1 year, and 10 to 30 days in jail.
  • All drivers caught and convicted of speeding in Hawaii must also complete an assessment for driver education and complete a driving retraining course.

Hawaii does not invoke a point system when it comes to violations of Hawaii speeding laws, however, as mentioned above, the state does record each moving violation on your record.

When relocating to Hawaii, or just simply visiting on vacation, there is a multitude of fun things to do and places to see. However, knowing and adhering to the Hawaii speed limits is essential in order for you to avoid penalties and potential accidents.