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What are the Michigan speed limit laws?

February 11, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Learn the legal speed limit on highways, residential streets and when weather changes — to avoid that dreaded speeding ticket

Michigan speed limit lawsHave you ever been driving and thought, “I hope I don’t get a speeding ticket.  I have no idea what the speed limit is here, and I haven’t seen any signs with posted speed limits for miles.”

There are some Michigan roads that do not have any speed limit signs, and there are stretches of highways that are unmarked. But knowing the speed limit laws can help you avoid that dreaded speeding ticket or the flashing lights you see in your rear-view mirror.

The speed limit on highways

Here’s the Michigan speed limit law for highways, according to MCL 257.628 of the Michigan Vehicle Code:

  • The statewide maximum speed limit on all unposted highways at 55 mph.
  • Gravel roads are included.

When weather conditions change: The Basic Speed Law

When weather conditions change, the Michigan Basic Speed Law (MCL 257.627) requires drivers 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 then existing.”

For example, if the road goes from dry to snowy and icy, you are expected to drive according to that inclement weather. In this case, you would drive with more caution, and slower than the posted speed limit.

Even if you’re driving the speed limit in inclement weather, it is possible to get a ticket for going too fast or too slow in such weather.

Gravel roads are currently excluded from the process of lowering posted speeds through a Traffic Control Order due to the changing conditions of the roads.

The speed limit on Michigan residential and business streets

Where no speed limit is posted, the speed limit on paved or gravel residential streets and streets in business districts is 25 mph in Michigan.

While the law is clear, drivers should consider the following, per the Michigan Vehicle Code:

The basis for all speed controls is predicated upon the nationally accepted principle that the majority of drivers are cautious, prudent and drive at speeds that are reasonable and proper regardless of the posted speed limit.

Basically, this law states that motorists must always drive at a speed which allows them to stop safely. This Basic Speed Law governs the speed of all drivers regardless of any speed controls.

For additional information on Michigan laws, visit the Traffic Control Orders webpage of the Michigan State Police.

 – Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Related information:

The speed limit in Michigan construction zones

What’s the law for making Michigan lefts?



[Community Guidelines]

One Reply to “What are the Michigan speed limit laws?”

  1. We live off Wireline road in Caro which is located off M-24. While there isn’t a speed limit sign posted on Wireline I feel after reviewing your website it should be posted as 25 Mph. It’s a dead end residential road. During the Covid19 crisis I have seen a great deal of people and children either walking or bike riding on Wireline. I have also witnessed many irresponsible drivers whizzing past these people at a high rate of speed. I myself had to run down into a ditch when an oncoming vehicle refused to slow down and move over while passing me. There are signs posted to watch for pedestrians. That doesn’t seem to be happening.
    This is what you have listed and I feel Wireline meets this standard.
    “The speed limit on Michigan residential and business streets
    Where no speed limit is posted, the speed limit on paved or gravel residential streets and streets in business districts is 25 mph in Michigan.”
    I am retired law enforcement. 27 years. Seeing this behavior infuriates me and I am sure the people whom are trying to enjoy getting fresh air during this crisis don’t appreciate it either.
    Our neighbor was out getting his mail which the box is on Wireline. Both he and his dog were hit by a person who was driving to fast on Wireline and slid into them. The dogs leg was broken and unfortunately never regained use of it. Thankfully our neighbor was only “clipped” by the mirror and wasn’t injured. There is an example whereas if the speed limit was 25 one would hoped the person in question would have been going much slower and the entire incident would not have occurred.
    I thank you for reading this and I hope it will not fall on deaf ears.
    God bless and continue to pray for an end to this pandemic.

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