In addition to "absolute speed limits" (see below), Hawaii's "basic speeding law" prohibits driving at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent and having regard to the actual and potential hazards and conditions then existing. (Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 291C-101 & 291C-198(a) (2017).)
A first-time speeding violator faces:
(Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 291C-161, 291C-170 (2017).)
Hawaii defines "reckless driving" as operating a vehicle “recklessly in disregard of the safety of persons or property.” For a first offense, the motorist is looking at up to 30 days in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 in fines. (Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 291-2 (2017).)
(Learn more about Hawaii's reckless driving laws.)
Hawaii has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There's no trick to how it works: If the sign says 40 miles per hour and you drive 41 miles per hour or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In Hawaii, you may be able to make three possible defenses:
Note that in Hawaii you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit—for example, driving exactly at the maximum posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.