Speed laws are created for the protection of the public and the curbing of unreasonable behavior.
To effectively enforce a law, the public must believe that the law is reasonable. Minnesota’s speed regulations are based on the same Basic Speed Law that is used in all 50 states. “No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions.”
Statutory speed limits are based on the concept that uniform categories of highways can operate safely at certain preset maximum speeds under ideal conditions. Whether the speed limit is posted or unposted, drivers are required to reduce speed below these values for poor weather conditions, curves or hills and potential hazards such as pedestrians. Drivers must also reduce speed when approaching or passing emergency vehicles with emergency lights flashing.
The most common statutory speeds are:
10 mph in alleys
30 mph on streets in urban districts
70 mph on rural interstate highways
65 mph on urban interstate highways
65 mph on expressways
55 mph on other roads
Whenever these statutory speed limits are not the correct value for a specific highway, the commissioner of transportation authorizes the posting of other regulatory speed limits.