In most countries road and highway speed limits set the maximum or minimum speed at which vehicles may legally travel. Speed limits may be variable and in some places speed is unlimited like in Germany on Autobahn sections.
Speed limits are normally indicated on a traffic sign. Speed limits are commonly set by the legislative bodies of nations or provincial governments. The speed limita are enforced by national or regional police or judicial bodies.
In most of the world speed limit signs display the limitation within a red circle. This design follows the style set out by the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. The exceptions are United States and Canada.
Primarily the United States and the United Kingdom, use speed limits given in miles per hour. However most jurisdictions in the world use the metric speed unit of kilometers per hour for speed limits.
For example, speed limits in the United States are set by each territory or state. Highway speed limits can range from an urban low of 35 mph (56 km/h) to a rural high of 85 mph (137 km/h). Speed limits are typically posted in increments of five miles per hour (mph). Some states have lower limits for trucks and at night, and occasionally there are minimum speed limits. Most speed limits are set by state or local statute, although each state allows various subdivisions (counties and municipalities) to set a different, generally lower, limit.
The highest speed limits in US are generally 70 mph (113 km/h) on the West Coast. 75–80 mph (121–129 km/h) speed limits are posted in inland western states, along with Louisiana. And 70 mph (113 km/h) is posted in eastern states. The highest posted speed limit in the US can be found in one single stretch of rural freeway in Texas. There the speed limit is 85 mph (137 km/h).
View the Speed limits in USA:
National speed limits in the United States by state: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Washington DC.
More about speed limits in the world
The first maximum speed limit was the 10 mph (16 km/h) limit was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1861. Most noteworthy, the highest posted speed limit in the world is 99 mph (160 km/h) in the UAE.
But if you want to drive as fast as you can you can go to Germany. Furthermore on Germany’s less congested highway sections automobile drivers have no maximum speed! Likewise rural roads on the Isle of Man and some Indian states also lack speed limits.
Speed limits are usually set to attempt to cap road traffic speed. First of all the main purpose is to improve road traffic safety. Therefore this reduces the number of road traffic casualties.
Consequently speed limits are also set in an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of road traffic like vehicle noise, vibration and emissions.
Since their introduction, speed limits have been opposed by some motoring advocacy groups.
Drivers are required to drive at a safe speed for conditions. So in the United States this requirement is referred to as the basic rule.
Speed limit enforcement
Speed limit enforcement is the action taken by appropriately empowered authorities. Therefore methods used include roadside speed traps set up and operated by the police. Also there are automated roadside speed camera systems. These systems may incorporate the use of automatic number plate recognition.
For example in 2012, in UK, 30% of drivers did not comply with speed limits.