Minimum Speed Limit?

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by m6soto, Mar 30, 2008.


What speed do you dare do on a 65mph freeway w/ traffic scooting along at 70mph?

  1. 40-45mph

    3 vote(s)
  2. 45.1-50mph

    7 vote(s)
  3. 50.1-55mph

    24 vote(s)
  4. 55.1-60mph

    36 vote(s)
  5. 60.1-65mph

    18 vote(s)
  1. m6soto

    m6soto Guest

    Hi all,

    Anyone have any info about MINIMUM speed limits? I live in California, and a friend advised me (in a rather heated tone), that there are such things as minimum speed limits. (She seemed quite peeved when I mentioned that I drove 60-55mph, depending on conditions). The below is taken from the California DMV website. To me, the below looks quite vague, and my feel is that I don't think I could get a ticket for going 55mph in the most right hand lane... (Maybe a few fingers, but that's about it)...

    Anyone had any real experience w/ their.. reduced speed and tickets? Generally in my area, the prevailing speeds range under free traffic flow range from 65-75. Generally I aim for my max to be 60 mph, but if surrounding traffic seems to be going 60, I'll drop down to 55. (This all happens in the most right-hand lane, of course. :rolleyes:

    I'm interested to hear what your experiences have been on this.


    - Mike

  2. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    It would be good to have some resources on mininum speed limits, but I think 40 is the limit on most freeways unless posted (in those cases it's typically 50).

    Morning before Dallas rush hour traffic, I go as low as 45, sometimes a hill will get me down to 40, but 45-50 is what I typically do. Evenings I go 10mph faster in heavier traffic.
  3. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    I think that the Maximum truck speed is 55 MPH in California. So if you go 55 MPH I can't see how you could get a ticket.
  4. pumaman

    pumaman Well-Known Member

    The most common minimum speed I see posted is 45 mph.
  5. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    45 is a common minimum limit on Illinois interstates; 40 in Iowa. I don't know anyone who has been ticketed. Trucks frequently merge at lower speeds than that, so the minima do not appear to be strictly enforced.
  6. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    I'll never go below 55mph on a freeway unless the limit is lower or traffic makes the speed slower.

    Here the speed limit only goes up to 65mph. I highly doubt you'd get an impeding traffic ticket for going 55mph here, even though everyone has to pass. I'm sure if I was going under 50 it would be a lot more likely to happen. I would think that impeding traffic would mean you'd have to be going so slow as to effectively be blocking that lane.

    Anyways, if you do manage to get a ticket, you can always make two arguments:

    The first argument is more logical, and it's that the speed limit is the upper limit of speed you are legally allowed to travel at on that road, and anything between 0 and 65 or whatever the limit is should be legal.

    The second argument comes from my chemistry teacher. He says to argue that since the speed is rated in miles per hour, you can argue that the cop had to follow you for a full hour to know how many miles per hour you were traveling.

    Yep, both bad arguements, but that's what I'd say.
  7. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    I94 through minnesota has a posted minimum of 40. i never see anyone going that slow. on the other hand the limit is 70. i never see anyone going THAT slow either.
  8. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    i pulse up to 65 and glide down to about 42 mph. sometimes 40-41. never got pulled over, there is always room to pass on the left...
  9. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    There have been reports of a certain Seaside Pearl '07 Prius traveling 45-50 mph on I-94 in and around Chicagoland.;)
  10. Ptero

    Ptero Hydrogen Nut, Battery Skeptic

    Ptero's Rant :Banane36:

    I drove across Canada and around the perimiter of the US at 50 mph in 1973. Some ahole in Texas tried to run me off the road but when I then tried to PIT him the coward ran away. People won't mess with you if they think you're crazy, and hypermilers are already halfway there. Some of us, anyway. Besides, everybody in Texas thinks everybody else has a gun. And they're usually right.

    Not sure I could PIT anyone with my Smart but I'm looking for a horn that sounds like Dirty Harry getting his day made. That should make them haul ass out of my space. Luv that .44 long.

    If I'm in thick traffic, I'll always get behind a truck. No one will ever tailgate you if you're behind a truck. It's great. There is even a new phenomonen I call the Smart Superdraft that Wayne can add to his list. This is when a couple Detroit dreadnaughts come up beside you while you're close drafting and roll down their windows and start taking pictures. It makes this really great pocket of sucking air that just pulls you along. There's nothing like it.

    The legal max speed (55) for a truck isn't enforced anymore, but lots of corporate haulers run satellite tattletails that get them in trouble if they exceed 55. Some will run 52. That's a great drafting speed for mileage.

    I won't back up traffic. It's either speed up or onto the shoulder with the turn signal. On two lanes I'll speed up if some yahoo is overtaking me fast, then back down to 55. If he rides my bumper, it's 45. He's breaking the law by tailgating. I'll wait until some cop pulls him over. Even the DMV tells you to slow down if some idiot gets on your bumper. Tap your brakes to show them your lights and speed up at the same time. They hit their brakes and your 50 feet ahead of them. God they hate that.

    On windy roads, if a yahoo comes up fast, I put the turn signal on for a couple flashes to make him think I just pulled onto the road. I'll speed up to 55 until I'm sure he's seen me, back off to 50 where he can pass, then down to 45 or so if I feel like it.

    To me, it's not that you're going too slow. It's that they're forcing you to go too fast, waste fuel, send your kids to Iraq to die for oil, using too much gas and driving the price up. I mean, why do I have to politely speed up? Why don't they politely slow down? The country is in an oil crisis. But there they are, waving their hands and cursing, blinking their lights and honking when I'm going the legal speed limit and trying to be responsible, safe and patriotic and they're going 90 mph in their giant battlecruisers thinking they own the highway and everyone else is in the way.

    Why are they so right and I'm wrong? They're the ones breaking the law. I think they're pigs. They want the left lane, fine. They want to ride my bumper and endanger my life - well that can work two ways.

    I'll tell you about my biker friends back in the '70s. In their twisted way, they had a pretty rightous view of justice. Anyone stupid enough to tailgate a pack could get their windshields broken with ball bearings. But the worst thing, short of getting stomped, was my good buddy Jerry who drilled and tapped a hole in the toe of his steel toe boot and carried a little nail that screwed into it. If some yahoo passed him and nearly clipped his handlebar, he'd get really pissed. He'd follow that yahoo to a gas station or diner, then give him a piece of his mind while he kicked the guy's tires a few times.

    Anyway, you get the picture. Sometimes tailgaters choose the wrong people to terrorize- which is what they're doing when they tailgate, just like old Jerry. Except Jerry wasn't a coward. He'd killed scores of people as a mortorman for Uncle Sam. These clowns who climb your bumper with their big SUVs are always cowards.

    They're stupid, too. They don't know how to pass. To pass efficiently and spend the shortest amount of time in the oncoming lane, you hang back until you see your opportunity headed toward you from a mile up the road, then you gradually build speed, easy on the throttle, closing on the car your overtaking just as the oncoming traffic clears, then you pull gracefully into the oncoming lane at your chosen speed, giving plenty of room between you and the guy you're overtaking, and move swiftly by like KY.

    But these morons in the battle barges invariably gun it, mashing the accelerator to the floor, pulling out clumsily, missing your bumper by inches, belching over-rich fumes all over you as they roar by in utter confidence that any oncoming traffic will politely dive onto the shoulder to avoid their ineptitude.

    But where were we? Minimum speed limits? Would you get pulled over? Doubtful. Unless you were making an obvious ass of yourself. I don't worry about that. I worry about getting pulled over for terrorizing trucks in my Smart. They don't seem to want anything to do with me. Even the slow ones speed up when I establish a good draft.

    I figure if I gotta pay this much for insurance, I might as well have some fun.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  11. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    I drive 50, 55 if I'm late. PSL is 65. Only time I break 70, sometimes 75 is downhill. :D

    No matter what part of my commute there's always at least three lanes, sometimes up to five, so it's the other guy's problem if he's tailgating and complaining how I'm going too slow.
  12. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    I-95 max speed limit is mostly 65 in eastern CT (east of New Haven) and 55 in western CT (New Haven to the NY border). Merritt Parkway is 55 max, most other divided highways are 65 max.

    There is little difference in traffic speeds whether posted max is 55 or 65 (or 40 in our eternal construction zones): mostly 65-75 in all areas, with some doing 80 or more.

    Only minimum speed signs I recall seeing are a few on I-95 in eastern CT which list 40 as the minimum.

    I try to keep the Insight between 50 and 53, but occasionally it drops to 45 (uphill) or goes up to 55-60 (downhill or really good traffic side drafts). The Subaru has more power on tap, so I P&G it 50-60 in the 65 zones. I go a bit slower in both vehicles in the 55 zones. No problems in either vehicle. Probably people can't be bothered to slow down to fight with me. I do everything I can to help trucks get by me smoothly because slowing down wastes a lot more fuel for them.

    Never gotten more than a glance from a trooper in either vehicle at these speeds.
  13. iamian

    iamian Well-Known Member

    I think just about every state has some version of a law on the books about reckless and hazardous driving... which 90+% of the time the wording of the law defines the hazardous driving as something that makes it dangerous for others to drive around you...the laws rarely give numbers and are almost always subjective police opinion that you are driving in a hazardous way... So the Police could technically ticket you for going 1 mph under the speed limit under those laws when the rest of traffic around you is going significantly over the speed limit.

    My Sister in Vergina was given a ticket for changing lanes too often... she thought it was pull and tried to fight it... and lost.

    I personally try to stay around 5 mph from the posted limit... sometimes I will drift 5 over on a down hill... sometimes I will slow to 10 or so bellow depending on conditions.

    I have been given a speeding ticket for 5 MPH over the limit... I fought it because I didn't think I was going 5 over and lost had to pay the ticket anyway... I think the judge said something like, "The speed limit is the limit even 1 MPH over said posted limit is in violation."

    I've had a cop pull me over ... keep me on the side of the road for about 30 minutes .... and all I got was a warning to not drive so slow on the highway... I was going ~58MPH in a 65MPH zone... No ticket ... but 30 minutes lost.... the kicker was most of the traffic was going like 75+ MPH.
  14. 93Hatch

    93Hatch Well-Known Member

    A co-worker was talking about speed limits, and said I couldn't go under the speed limit. I said its a speed limit, not a speed minimum. Then she said that it was unsafe. So I said that in order to be safe that I must break the law and drive 65 in a 60 mph zone? She said yes. I said, yeah I don't think so.
  15. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

    My answer is: It depends. First goal is safety, then fuel economy. At one end of the spectrum is light traffic with visibility unrestricted by curves or hills. I might drop as low as 45 MPH. Then there is this coming weekend when m'lady and I make a trip to Washington, DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival. The main route is heavily-traveled and moderately hilly I-95 through central and northern Virginia. 45 would be dangerous. Depending on volume and how well I think traffic behind me can see me and safely change lanes well in advance, I might let it go as low as 55 on occasion. But from experience, I know I'll mostly be running between 60 and 65 except on downhills where warp-stealth will let it drift higher.

    That is, assuming I take I-95 the whole way. After I get out of the Richmond area, I might divert to US1 until I get close to Fredericksburg. It's 4 lanes and lightly traveled -- a great alternative to the highway. North of Fredericksburg it becomes too congested and would take too long.

    The Code of Virginia doesn't define a specific minimum, though it allows state or local officials to set one for a specific stretch of road:
    ยง 46.2-877. Minimum speed limits.

    No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

    Whenever the Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner or local authorities within their respective jurisdictions determine on the basis of a traffic engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the Commissioner or such local authority may determine and declare a minimum speed limit to be set forth on signs posted on such highway below which no person shall drive a vehicle except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law. ​
  16. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    ptero, you ask the same question that is always in my mind. why are WE the ones who are wrong for going slow???? why why why? i have been picked on at work for driving slow, like driving fast is something we all need to aspire to. this is where the problem lies. everyone thinks they have the right to make you go faster to accomodate them. when you don't, they will choose any number of ways to get around you, including illegal/dangerous passing, which i see all the time.

    rant away, you have my rapt attention on this one.
  17. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    Count me in the same group as you Laurie. I wonder what these people would say to something I have thought of; this is purely hypothetical:
  18. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Excellent post Ptero!

    I'm coming to the conclusion that most of the drivers that truly offend me either are or will be criminals....the other 95% of the drivers are not that bad, but the ones that stick out are reckless drivers that are usuall 20-something guys trying to prove something, drivers on drugs, drivers on booze, drivers that just beat up their girlfriend/wife, drivers that need to be certified by the state as insane and locked up.

    Unfortunately, that's not always the case - my experience has been if someone really gets you steamed - they are crazy and won't back off. :eek: Still, I've been know to see a Fast and Furious type hopping like a jackrabbit on crack, so I just within my lane just weave to let them know "I'm psycho too...and your driving sucks".
  19. rmcmast

    rmcmast Well-Known Member

    Minimum around here on the interstate is 40mph. I'm usually at 55-60 except for downhill where I let it creep up to 65 which gives me a little extra to bleed off on the next hill. I will increase to 63 or so if traffic is heavy and there is little opportunity for someone to pass to the left.

    I live in the country and speed limit goes up to 70 away from the city. There are 2 lane highways I can take then which actually cut off some distance on the daily commute, and the limit is 55mph. That's where I have the most problems with drivers coming up on my tail though. The roads are hilly and I let the speed bleed of to 45-50 going up, and coast to 55 or a little higher going down. There are few opportunities to pass on these roads, so I do increase speed (to 55mph max) and try to stay more consistent if I have traffic behind me.

    -- Rick
  20. AlphabetBackward


    Thank you! I wish that was a bumper sticker... My girlfriend also gave me a dirty look when I said that...

    But I also live in California and have been driving 55 in the right hand lane.

    I think I'd get ticketed if there was a line of cars behind me which happens only momentarily before people start changing lanes. I drive to school at 6:30 in the morning and hate rush hour so I might leave school at 6-7-ish so the traffic isn't too hectic so driving at 55 doesn't result in a whole lot of cars piling behind me. I'd say 90% of the drivers behind me realize I'm going slow and change lanes long before they even get close to me. The other 9 like to tailgate angrily before changing lanes. The last 1 decide to follow me at my speed for some odd miles before they change lanes and zoom away. I find it very odd.

    I just think people are in a rush and thus causes them to make bad choices. They're late, so they're impatient, so when met with a slower driver (one who goes the speed limit or slower), it infuriates them more, making them jam on the accelerator and change lanes dangerously.

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