Rhode Island has several types of speeding laws: a “general speed restriction” and absolute limits. This article explains the differences between the two limits and the consequences of a speeding violation.
Rhode Island’s “basic speed rule” prohibits motorists from driving faster than is “reasonable and prudent” based on current conditions. In other words, motorists must always drive a safe speed taking into consideration traffic, weather, visibility, and other potential hazards.
Rhode Island also has “prima facie” speed limits. If a motorist is driving slower than a prima facie limit, there’s a presumption that the speed is reasonable and prudent. However, driving faster than a prima facie limit results in a presumption that the speed wasn’t reasonable and prudent. In either scenario, the parties can present evidence in court in an attempt to show the presumption shouldn’t apply in that specific case.
The prima facie speed limits include:
In other locations, the prima facie limits are 50 miles per hour during the day and 45 miles per hour at night.
Rhode Island’s statute on speeding penalties is somewhat confusing. But it appears the fines for speeding violations are:
In some circumstances, a speeding violation can also result in license suspension for up to 30 or 60 days.