New York Speed Limit Laws
Speed limits in New York are governed by the NY Vehicle & Traffic laws, Title 7: Rules of the Road, Article 30: Speed Restrictions. All pertinent laws and regulations regarding speeding and speed limits are found in these sections of New York laws.
New York speed limits summary:
- Rural freeways, interstates and highways: 65 MPH
- Urban freeways and other roads: 55 MPH
- Residential area roads: 45 MPH
Always watch out for local speed limit traffic signs! Our overview of New York speed limits above is based on general NY state laws. Every county, town or road can have specific regulations and restrictions. This means you must always keep an eye on traffic signs with posted speed limits which supersede these general rules.
School zones generally have 15 to 30 MPH speed limits. Roads in residential areas vary from 25 to 45 MPH. Certain “neighborhood slow zones” in NYC have 20 MPH speed limits. Some divided roads have 45 MPH speed limits, whereas 55 MPH is the default speed limit unless otherwise posted.
You are always required to adhere to the posted speed limit on roads, or if no limit is posted you may not drive faster than 55 mph. Keep in mind certain cities in state of New York have lower speed limits. For example, New York City has a speed limit of 30 mph unless posted otherwise.
While driving during difficult conditions such as snow or dense fog you are required to adjust your speed accordingly. New York laws have provisions where police officers can cite you for driving at an “unreasonable or not prudent” speed, even if traffic signs allow your speed.
Minimum speed limits
New York laws do not specify minimum speed limits on state roads. Section 1181 (“Minimum speed regulations“) of New York Vehicle & Traffic laws states the following:
1181 (a) 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.
Although minimum driving speed is not specified, keep in mind I-787 and I-495 both carry a minimum speed limit of 40 mph.
Driving over speed limit in New York has different penalties and fines. You can also receive points for speeding, or even prison sentences in some cases.
- Less than 10 mph over speed limit carries a $45 – $150 fine, potentially up to 15 days in jail, and 3 speeding points.
- Driving with 10 to 30 miles per hour over legal speed limits in New York results in a $90 to $300 fine, potentially up to 30 days in county jail, and 4 to 6 speeding points.
- Driving over 30 miles faster than speed limit can set you back $180 to $600 and potentially include up to 30 days in jail, as well as 8 driver penalty points. In NY state this is automatically considered reckless driving!
- Exceeding more than 40 MPH over posted speed limits results in 11 speeding points.
Note that driving less than 5 mph over legal speed limit in New York state is considered acceptable and you should not get a traffic ticket for it. This is a reasonable margin of error and most law enforcement officers will not pull you over for exceeding speed limits by less than 5 miles per hour.
All aforementioned fines will increase in severity in case you have been convicted with another speeding violation in the past 18 months. For three convictions within 3 years your driver’s license will be revoked.
There may also be additional fines for speeding in school zones or restricted highways. Furthermore all fines are doubled for work zones (construction activities on roads).
In addition to fines and penalties noted above, speeding in New York also requires paying state surcharge which further increases your financial risk.
Receiving 6 or more penalty points on your driver record within 18 months (3 years) requires you to pay for Driver Responsibility Assessment to the DMV (see link below for further information). This is in addition to other fines and surcharges.
Excessive speeds may get you in other legal trouble based on Street Racing Laws or Reckless Driving Laws. Driving 30 mph over legal or posted speed limits is considered reckless driving, which can carry excessive fines and even jail sentences.
Sources and references:
- NY Vehicle & Traffic laws, Title 7: Rules of the Road, Article 30: Speed Restrictions
- New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee – Speeding & Speed Limits
- New York DMV – Driver Responsibility Assessment