Michigan Speed Limit Laws - What You Need to Know

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What Are Michigan’s Speed Limit Laws?

speeding driver

Getting information about the speed limit laws in Michigan are important for every driver. Some roadways have posted speed limits while others do not. A driver must know the speed limit no matter what the situation.

Speeding is one of the leading causes of injury and wrongful death in Michigan car accident cases. In 2022, speeding resulted in 26,996 reported traffic crashes and 209 fatalities in Michigan. Speeding was a factor in over 9% of all crashes and 12.4% of fatal crashes. The highest number of excessive speed crashes occurred during snowy road conditions at 7,842 (29.4%), followed by icy road conditions with 7,281 (27.3%).

If you have any questions about Michigan’s speed limit laws, please call our office of experienced and dedicated Michigan car accident lawyers.

What is the Speed Limit Law in Michigan?

Under Michigan law, a driver operating a car or truck on a roadway must travel 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. In addition, an individual cannot operate a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than that which will permit a stop within the assured, clear distance ahead. MCL 257.627(1).

School Zone:

The speed limit in a school zone may be decreased by not more than 20 mph less than the speed limit normally posted but shall be not less than 25 miles per hour. A school zone speed is in effect beginning 30 minutes before the first regularly scheduled school session, and for no longer than 30 minutes after school is dismissed. MCL 257.627a(2).

Mobile Home Park:

A person cannot drive faster than 15 mph while driving within the boundaries of a mobile home community. MCL 257.627(2)(a).

Business District:

A motorist cannot drive faster than 25 mph while driving on a highway segment within a business district. This means if you are driving on a roadway in large corporate park, 25 mph is the maximum speed limit. MCL 257.627.

Residential Street:

In general, the speed limit is 25 mph while driving on a residential street or a roadway that is part of a local street system and designated for residential use. This includes resident subdivisions and condominium subdivisions. MCL 257.627(2)(d).

Work Zone:

A vehicle travelling through a work zone, where a normal lane or part of the lane of traffic that has been closed due to highway construction or maintenance must not go faster than 45 mph unless a different speed limit is posted. MCL 257.627(6). Signage may be posted at any work zone to warn drivers of any different in the speed limit. MCL 257.627.

Freeways and Highways:

The maximum speed limit on a freeway is 70 mph, unless otherwise posted. The minimum speed limit on all limited access freeways is 55 mph, unless otherwise posted. MCL 257.627(8). There are certain freeways with at 75 mph speed limit, but only in certain areas.

Trunk Line Highways:

The speed limit in Michigan on all trunk line highways and all county highways is 55 mph unless otherwise posted. This is also known as the “general speed limit.” MCL 257.627(9). These roads typically run through multiple counties and are maintained by the Michigan Department of Transportation. Examples of trunk line highways include:

  • US 131 – Runs north and south thru Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids up to Petoskey
  • US 127 – Roadway connecting Jackson, Lansing, Mt. Pleasant in the middle of Michigan
  • US 10 – Midland area
  • M1 – Woodward Ave in Wayne and Oakland County
  • M3 – Gratiot Ave in Wayne and Macomb County
  • M5 – Grand River Avenue in Wayne and Oakland
  • M10 – Lodge Freeway in Detroit and into Southfield
  • M14 – Runs from the Detroit suburbs out to Ann Arbor
  • M33 – Runs from Arenac County to Cheboygan
  • M37 – Connects Battle Creek, Grand Rapids and Traverse City
  • M46 – Runs from Port Sanilac across the state to Muskegon
  • I696 – Busy freeway that runs from Macomb through Oakland County

Dirt Roads:

The speed limit on all county highways with a gravel or unimproved surface upon which a speed limit is not otherwise fixed is 55 mph. However, in certain counties where the population is more than 1,000,000, the county road commissions can lower the speed to 45 mph. MCL 257.627(10).

What is the Speed Limit on Unmarked Roads?

The speed limit for a roadway or highway that is not marked with a speed limit depends on the location and area. In residential areas, the speed limit is 25 mph while on trunk line and county highways the speed limit is 55 mph.

What is Careless Driving?

A person who operates a vehicle upon a highway open to the general public in a careless or negligent manner likely to endanger any person or property, but without wantonness or recklessness. MCL 257.626b.

What is Considered Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is when a person drives upon a roadway open to the general public in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. A driver is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by jail for not more than 90 days or a fine of $500 or less, or both. MCL 256.626(2). However, a person who is guilty of reckless driving and causes serious impairment of a body function to another person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail, a fine between $1,000 to $5,000, or both.

What Happens if a Person Causes Death from Reckless Driving?

The criminal penalty for causing a fatality while driving recklessly in Michigan is very serious. A person who is guilty of reckless driving that ends in the death of another person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years or a fine between $2,500 to $10,000, or both. Typically, additional charges are added to make the criminal penalty much more severe.

What is the Law for Texting and Driving?

Under Michigan’s anti-texting law (MCL 257.602b) a driver “shall not hold or use a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.” This includes:

  • sending, receiving or reading a text message;
  • viewing, recording or transmitting a video;
  • accessing, reading or posting to a social networking site
  • reaching for a mobile electronic device in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that the driver is no longer in a seated driving position.

However, a person can use the navigation feature of their cell phone if the information is not entered by hand while driving. In addition, the use of a mobile electronic device in hands-free mode is also permitted. Using a mobile electronic device that is integrated into the car and uses an interface that is permanently installed into the car is also allowed.

What are the Points for a Speed Limit Violation?

In Michigan, there are specific points allotted to a driver that is put on their driving record for a given speed limitation violation. Below is a list of the infraction and the points handed out under MCL 257.320a.

  • Negligent Homicide or manslaughter – 6 points
  • Failing to stop and disclose your identity at the scene of an accident – 6 points
  • Reckless driving – 6 points
  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer – 6 points
  • Speeding in a work zone greater than 25 mph – 5 points
  • Traveling greater than 15 mph over the speed limit – 4 points
  • A moving violation resulting in an at-fault collision with another vehicle – 4 points
  • Careless driving – 3 points
  • Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign, or improper passing – 3 points
  • Speeding by more than 10 mph but not more than 15 mph – 3 points
  • Speeding by more than 5 mph but not more than 10 mph – 2 points
  • Driving with an open alcoholic container – 2 points
  • All other moving violations – 2 points

What are the Fine Amounts for Speeding in Michigan?

A person who is responsible for violating a maximum speed limit on a limited access freeway or part of a  limited accident freeway where the speed limit is 55 mph or more must pay the minimum fine and get the following points on his or her driving record: MCL 257.629c.

  • 1 to 5 mph over the speed limit – 0 points and a $10 fine
  • 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit – 1 point and a $20 fine
  • 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit – 2 points and a $30 fine
  • 16-25 mph over the speed limit – 3 points and a $40 fine
  • 26 mph over the speed limit or more – 4 points and a $50 fine

Michigan Car Accident Lawyers Who Fight For You

The Michigan car accident lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. investigate every case our clients are involved in, especially when there is speeding. Speeding is a violation of the law and negligence per se. This evidence is vital to obtain and introduce to the court. Our immediate investigation can make the difference between winning or losing your case.

Call our Michigan car accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE for a free consultation. And our “no fee guarantee” means you never pay a penny until we win your case.