Following is an overview of the laws, limits, and fines as they relate to speeding traffic violations in the state of Idaho.
Speed limits in Idaho
Idaho has one of the highest maximum speed limits in the United States, and in 2014 raised the limit to 80 mph on rural interstates and highways.
80 mph: rural freeways and interstates
70 mph: maximum speed for trucks
70 mph: most two- and four-lane highways
65 mph: urban freeways
60 mph and under: roads with traffic lights
35 mph: residential, urban, and business districts
20 mph: school zones (excepting Grangeville, in which the school zone speed limit is 15 mph)
Idaho code on reasonable and prudent speed
Maximum speed law:
According to section 49-654(1) of Idaho vehicle code, “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent and having regard to the actual and potential hazards and conditions then existing.”
Minimum speed law:
According to section 49-655 of Idaho vehicle code, “No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such 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 the law.”
Due to variations in speedometer calibration, tire size, and margins of error in speed-detecting technology, it’s uncommon for an officer to pull a driver over for going less than five miles above the speed limit. However, technically any amount over can be considered a speed violation so best practices are to stay within the limit.
While it may be difficult to fight a speeding ticket in Idaho due to the absolute speed limit law, a driver may choose to go to court and claim their innocence based upon one of the following:
The driver may oppose the determination of speed. In order to claim this defense a driver must know how his or her speed was determined and then learn how to disprove its accuracy.
A driver may claim that an emergency situation caused the driver to break the speed limit in order to prevent injury or damage to themselves or others.
The driver may claim a case of mistaken identity. If a police officer clocks a driver’s speed and subsequently has to find them again in traffic, it’s possible that they could make a mistake and pull the wrong car over.
Penalty for exceeding the speed limit in Idaho
First-time violators may:
Be fined up to $100
Have their license suspended for up to one year
Penalty for reckless driving in Idaho
There is no set speed in Idaho at which violating the speed limit is considered reckless driving. That determination depends upon the circumstances surrounding the violation.
First-time violators may:
Be fined between $25 and $300
Be sentenced to between five and 90 days of jail time
Have their license suspended for up to 30 days
Violators may be required to attend traffic school, and/or may be able to have their speeding fine reduced by attending these classes.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Idaho Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines and was authored by Valerie Johnston.