North Dakota Speeding Laws

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

Like most other states, North Dakota has two types of speeding laws: “absolute speed limits” and a “basic speeding law.” This article explains the differences between the two and the consequences of each type of violation.

Basic Speeding Law

North Dakota’s basic speeding law prohibits driving at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. It’s, therefore, possible for a motorist to violate the basic speed law without exceeding a posted speed limit. (N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 39-08-03 (2017).)

Absolute Speed Limits

There is no trick to how North Dakota’s absolute speed limits work: If the sign says the speed limit is 40 miles per hour and you drive faster than 40 miles per hour, you’ve violated the law.

Unless otherwise posted, North Dakota’s absolute speed limits are:

  • 75 miles per hour on access-controlled, paved and divided, multilane interstate highways
  • 70 miles per hour on paved and divided multilane highways
  • 65 miles per hour on paved two-lane highways if posted for that speed
  • 55 miles per hour on gravel, dirt, or loose surface highways, and on paved two-lane county and township highways if there is no speed limit posted
  • 25 miles per hour on any highway in a business district or in a residence district or in a public park, and
  • 20 miles per hour in school zones and in certain circumstances where the driver’s visibility is obstructed or limited.

(N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 39-09-02 (2017).)

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

For a violation of North Dakota’s basic speeding law, the fine is $30. Fines for exceeding an absolute speed limit depend on the driver’s speed. Generally, the following penalties apply:

  • 1 to 5 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $5.
  • 6 to 10 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $5 plus $1 for each mile per hour in excess of five miles per hour that the driver exceeds the limit.  
  • 11 to 15 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $10 plus $1 for each mile per hour in excess of ten miles per hour that the driver exceeds the limit.  
  • 16 to 20 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $15 plus $2 for each mile per hour in excess of 15 miles per hour that the driver exceeds the limit.  
  • 21 to 25 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $25 plus $3 for each mile per hour in excess of 20 miles per hour that the driver exceeds the limit.  
  • 26 to 35 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $40 plus $3 for each mile per hour in excess of 25 miles per hour that the driver exceeds the limit.  
  • 36 to 45 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $70 plus $3 for each mile per hour in excess of 35 miles per hour that the driver exceeds the limit.  
  • 46 miles per hour or greater over the limit. Fine of $100 plus $5 for each mile per hour in excess of 45 miles per hour that the driver exceeds the limit.  

And for absolute speed violations on highways with posted speed limits above 55 miles per hour, the fines are:

  • 1 to 10 miles per hour over the limit. $2 for each mile per hour over the limit.  
  • 11 miles per hour or greater over the limit. Fine of $20 plus $5 for each mile per hour in excess of 10 miles per hour that the driver exceeds the limit.  

(N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 39-06.1-06 (2017).)

Reckless Driving

Depending on the circumstances, speeding could lead to a reckless driving conviction. North Dakota defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle:

  • “in reckless disregard for the rights or safety of others,” or
  • “without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or the property of another.”

Generally, a reckless driving conviction is a class B misdemeanor and carries up to 30 days in jail and/or a maximum $1,500 in fines. (N.D. Cent. Code Ann. §§ 12.1-32-01, 39-08-03 (2017).)

(Learn more about North Dakota’s reckless driving laws.)

Point System

Basic speed law violations and exceeding an absolute speed limit by more than five miles per hour will add points to a motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension. (N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 39-06.1-10 (2017).)

(Find out about North Dakota’s traffic violation points system, including the number of points corresponding to different citations.)

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