Following is an overview of the laws, limits, and fines as they relate to speeding traffic violations in the state of North Dakota.

Speed limits in North Dakota

75 mph: interstates in rural and mid-sized urban areas

70 mph: four-lane divided highways

65 mph: maximum posted speed on two-lane restricted highways

55 mph: maximum posted speed on gravel roads

30-40 mph: typical limit on urban four- and six-lane divided roads

25 mph: residential and business districts

15-25 mph: school zones, as posted

North Dakota code on reasonable and prudent speed

Maximum speed law:

According to section 39-09-1 of ND vehicle code, “No person may drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.”

Minimum speed law:

Sections 39-09-09 and 39-10-08 state:

“No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

“A person driving at less than the normal speed of traffic shall drive in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the highway.”

Minimum speed limits apply only where signs are posted. The minimums don’t apply to vehicles towing other vehicles.

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.

North Dakota has an absolute speed limit law. This means that a driver cannot argue a speeding ticket on the basis that they were traveling safely despite exceeding the speed limit. A driver may, however, 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 speeding and subsequently has to find them again in traffic, it’s possible that they could have made a mistake and pulled the wrong car over.

Penalty for exceeding the speed limit in North Dakota

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined between $5 and $170

  • Have their license suspended (based upon a point system)

Penalty for reckless driving in North Dakota

Exceeding the speed limit by 36 mph is automatically considered reckless driving in this state.

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $1000

  • Be sentenced to up to 30 days of jail time

  • Have their license suspended (based upon a point system)

Violators may be able to get their fine and/or points reduced by attending a defensive driving course.

This article originally appeared on as North Dakota Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines and was authored by Valerie Johnston.

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