Idaho’s Speeding Laws and Penalties

Read about Idaho’s speeding laws and the consequences of getting a speeding ticket.

Idaho has two types of speeding laws: “absolute limits” and a “basic speeding law.” This article explains the differences between the two and the consequences of a speeding violation.

(Also, check out our articles that discuss the different types of speeding laws and ways of fighting a speeding ticket.)

Basic Speeding Law

Idaho’s basic speeding law prohibits driving at a speed greater than is “reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.” The basic speeding law also requires drivers to reduce their speed as appropriate when approaching crossings, curves, a hill crest, or other road or weather conditions warrant the reduction. 

In other words, motorists must always drive at a safe speed. What a safe speed is will depend on the circumstances. For instance, on a certain road, 55 miles per hour might be safe on a bright, sunny day. But if it’s dark and the road is icy, going 55 miles per hour could be dangerous and a violation of the basic speeding law.

(Idaho Code Ann. § 49-654 (2017).)

Absolute Speed Limits

There is no trick to how Idaho’s absolute speed limits work: If the absolute speed limit is 50 miles per hour and you drive faster than that, you’ve violated the law. Idaho’s absolute speed limits include (unless otherwise posted):

  • 35 miles per hour in business, residential, and urban districts
  • 75 miles per hour on most interstate highways
  • 65 miles per hour on most state highways, and
  • 55 miles per hour on other roadways.

(Idaho Code Ann. § 49-654 (2017).)

Penalties for a Speeding Ticket

For most speeding violations, the fines and fees total $90 for exceeding the limit by 15 miles per hour or less and $155 for exceeding the limit by more than 15 miles per hour.

However, the fines and fees are $90 for speeding offenses in constructions zones and $156.50 for violations in school zones when children are present.

(ID R INFR Rule 9 (2017).)

Reckless Driving and Vehicular Manslaughter

Depending on the circumstances, a speeding violation can lead to a “reckless driving” conviction. First-time offenders face up to six months in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 in fines. The motorist's driver's license will also be suspended for 30 days. (Idaho Code Ann. §§ 49-326, 49-1401 (2017).)

And if a speeding violation results in the death of another person, it’s possible to be convicted of vehicular manslaughter. Convicted motorists may face up to ten years in prison and/or a maximum $10,000 in fines.

(Read more about Idaho’s reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter laws.)

Traffic Violation Points

A speeding ticket will typically add points to a motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension.

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