Speed limits are most definitely not the first thing that will enter your mind when traveling to such a beautiful and charismatic state as Utah. However, the state’s traffic authority has set out clear guidelines that must be adhered to in order to avoid fines, points, insurance increases, and even jail time!
If you are moving to Utah from another state, or even country, driving through the state to reach another, or for work purposes, knowledge and understanding of the correct speed limits in Utah is extremely important knowledge to have and follow.
Knowing the correct speed limits is not only about avoiding points and fines, it is also about driving safely on the roads to prevent accidents with another motorist or passerby. Driving within the speed limit helps reduce the possibility of crashes and promotes efficient use of roads.
Traffic laws, including speed limits and other motor vehicle-related laws, are established by the Utah Department of Transportation. Unlike most other states, Utah follows the “basic speeding law”, and the “presumed speed limits”, although the basic speeding law is commonly used in most states, the presumed speed limits are very unique when compared with most other states, Utah is an exception.
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 means that motorists must always drive at a safe speed for the conditions and environment they are driving in.
For example, if you were driving down an 80 mph rural highway in Utah, on a dark and rainy night, where the road conditions are less than desirable, you will be required to reduce your speed to significantly less than the signed limit of 80 mph. This is due to the weather and road conditions being considered dangerous, and if you were caught driving at the signed limit of 80 mph, you could receive a fine, and potentially even worse consequences.
Speed Limit in Utah
Most states have “absolute speed limits”, which is a simple concept to follow, what you see is what you get – if you drive faster than the signed speed limit, you will have violated the law and will likely face the consequences mentioned previously. Utah, however, opts for “presumed speed limits”.
If you exceed a presumed speed limit, or “per se” speed limit, you haven’t necessarily breached the law, and you may not be considered guilty. You will have the opportunity to prove in court that the speed you were driving was safe, and if you are able to present a compelling case, the judge may find you not guilty.
This unique speeding law would mean that if a police officer sees you driving at a speed under the presumed limit, there is a presumption that you have not violated Utah’s basic speeding law. So, unless posted otherwise, here are Utah’s presumed speed limits:
- 35 mph is the speed limit in residential areas (always double-check the posted speed limit).
- The school speed zone speed limit is 20 mph. You cannot overtake another car in a school zone or a school bus.
- 65 mph is the maximum speed limit for undivided roads.
- 65 mph is the maximum speed limit for divided roads.
- The urban highway speed limit in Utah is 70 mph.
- Rural highways in Utah are 80 mph.
- What is the highest speed limit in Utah? Interstate highways and rural interstates in Utah are 80 mph.
- Trucks that drive on an interstate highway must abide by the limit of 80 mph too (Utah 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.
Speed Limit in Utah
A speeding violation is a traffic infraction in Utah. The consequences of a speeding ticket depend on the circumstances. The fines for a speeding violation are:
- $120 for 1 – 10 mph over the limit
- $150 for 11 – 15 mph over the limit
- $200 for 16 – 20 mph over the limit
- $270 for 21 – 25 mph over the limit
- $370 for 26 – 30 mph over the limit, and
- $470 minimum for 31+ mph over the limit.
- A speeding violation will add between 35 and 75 points to your driver’s record.
The table below indicates the specific Utah point system that comes into play once you commit a traffic offense within the state.
|Utah Speeding Ticket Points
|Failure to yield right-of-way
|Driving on wrong side of road
|Driving wrong way on one-way street
|Traffic light violation
|Stop sign violation
|Speeding up to 10 mph over the limit
|Speeding 11 to 20 mph over the limit
|Speeding over 20 mph over the limit
|Other traffic violations
When visiting, passing through, or relocating your family to the state of Utah, it is understandable to have your mind focused on other things. Although, knowing what is the speed limit in Utah – 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.