Michigan’s Speeding Laws and Penalties

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

Michigan has two types of speeding laws: a “basic speeding law” and “absolute limits.” 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

Michigan’s basic speeding law requires motorists to drive at a “careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the highway and of any other condition existing at the time.” The law also prohibits driving at a speed “greater than that which will permit a stop within the assured, clear distance ahead.”

In other words, motorists must always drive at a safe speed. What a safe speed is will depend on the circumstances. For instance, 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.

Driving too slow can also violate the basic speeding law. For instance, driving five miles per hour on the freeway when all other cars are going 70 miles per hour would be unreasonable and likely lead to a citation.

(Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 257.627 (2017).)

Absolute Speed Limits

There is no trick to how Michigan’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. Michigan’s absolute speed limits include (unless otherwise posted):

  • 25 miles per hour in business districts
  • 25 miles per hour in residential districts
  • 25 miles per hour within the boundaries of a public park
  • 55 miles per hour on truck-line and county highways
  • 55 miles per hour on gravel highways, and
  • 70 miles per hour on limited access freeways.

(Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 257.627 (2017).)

Penalties for a Speeding Ticket

Speeding is a civil infraction. Generally, a speeding ticket will cost the driver up to $100 in fines and a maximum $100 in court costs.

(Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § § 257.627, 257.907 (2017).)

Reckless Driving

Depending on the circumstances, a speeding violation can lead to a “reckless driving” conviction. A standard reckless driving conviction is a misdemeanor. Convicted motorists typically face up to 93 days in jail and/or a maximum $500 fine. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 257.626 (2017).)

(Read more about Michigan’s reckless driving laws and penalties.)

Traffic Violation Points

Some speeding violation will add points to a motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension.

(Learn more about Michigan’s traffic violation point system.)

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