By Tedia Gamino
When it comes to speeding, Wisconsin state law has a specific statute in place to help law enforcement better evaluate the safe-driving practices of others.
The “Reasonable and Prudent Limit” states that you need to adjust your speeds based on road conditions (naturally, you can’t go over the limit). At the same time, you must also maintain a “regard for the actual and potential hazards” that can arise while driving.
Additionally, all motorists must travel at the right rate of speed to avoid collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians and other objects.
You might be surprised to know that in some cases, driving too slowly can be a crime.
If you’re accused of a traffic offense and you want to fight it, you might want to talk to a traffic and driving offense lawyer who understands the laws and how they apply in your situation.
Driving too Slowly
The minimum speed regulation states that you cannot operate a vehicle at a speed that impedes the “normal and reasonable” movement of traffic unless it’s absolutely necessary because of road conditions or to comply with the law.
If you’re driving slower than everyone else, you’re required to pull over or change lanes when a faster vehicle is attempting to get by you.
When There is No Posted Speed Limit
If you are driving in an area with no posted speed limit, you have to follow the Fixed Limits law. Under this statute, you may not go any faster than:
- 15 miles-per-hour when going past a schoolhouse with a crossing sign, crossing guard, or schoolchildren present
- 15 miles-per-hour on a street or town road
- 70 miles-per-hour on a freeway
- 55 miles-per-hour as a general rule-of-thumb
Common Infractions and Penalties
Minimum speed regulation violations:
- First offense: $20 to $40 fine
- Subsequent offenses: $50 to $100 fine
Freeway speed violations:
- $50 to $300 fine
Reasonable and prudent speed violations, 15 miles-per-hour school zone violations, failure to slow for pedestrians, and failure to slow for a stopped car unloading its passengers:
- First offense: $40 to $300 fine
- Subsequent offenses: $80 to $600 fine
Motorcycle or moped violations:
- $30 to $300 fine
- Fine up to $20
Doubling Fines for Traffic Violations
If you violate the posted speed limit in a school zone area, a highway maintenance area, a construction area, or a utility area, your fines may be doubled under state law.