Rhode Island Speed Limit
What is the Rhode Island speed limit?
Rhode Island traffic laws define the maximum speed that any motorist travelling on Rhode Island roadways can legally drive. Driving over the Rhode Island speed limit can result in a traffic citation, fine, license suspension, or even arrest.
Drivers are expected to drive at a speed that is safe for the road conditions.
Rhode Island has a relatively low maximum speed limit. There are a total of 40 states that have higher maximum speed limits than the Rhode Island top speed of 65 miles per hour.
Rhode Island Speed Limit - Rural Freeways
The maximum speed limit on rural freeways and interstates in Rhode Island is 65 miles per hour. "Rural freeways" are the sections of major highways that passing through rural and sparsely populated areas, and can safely allow faster driving. Rural highways will generally have the highest legal speed limits in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Speed Limit - Urban Freeways
The maximum speed limit on urban freeways and interstates in Rhode Island is 55 miles per hour. "Urban freeways" are the segments of large highways that are located within a city or densely populated area's limits, and are generally more prone to traffic congestion and other hazards.
In most cases, the freeway's speed limit will return to the rural freeway speed limit of 65 mph after the road passes through the most densely populated area.
Rhode Island Speed Limit - Divided Roads
The maximum speed limit on divided roads in Rhode Island is 55 miles per hour. Divided roads must have a concrete median or buffer zone separating opposite lanes, and may have one or more lanes going in the same direction.
Because the median helps protect drivers from head-on collisions, Rhode Island has a higher maximum speed limit for divided roads than undivided roads.
Rhode Island Speed Limit - Undivided Roads
The maximum speed limit on rural undivided roads roads in Rhode Island is 50 miles per hour. This category includes most small backroads and local routes.
When these routes pass through a residential or heavily-trafficked area, the speed limit will usually drop to 25 mph or below.
Rhode Island Speed Limit - Residential Areas
The maximum speed limit on residential roads in Rhode Island is 25 miles per hour. Residential roads have the most potential for speed-based accidents and collisions, so residential districts tend to have the lowest speed limits with the most strict enforcement policies.
When driving in residential areas be on the lookout for school, hospital, and construction zones. These areas often have even lower speed limits, with strict enforcement and heavy fines for speeding.
Rhode Island Speeding Tickets and Citations
Driving over the posted speed limit, driving too fast for conditions, or failing to obey special speed limit zones can result in a Rhode Island speeding ticket, points on your license, and even a license suspension or revocation for repeat offenders.
Rhode Island highway patrol officers monitor traffic using radar, speed traps, and cameras. Radar technology is not exact, and as a general rule an officer will not pull you over for exceeding the speed limit by less than 5 mph (70 mph on a rural freeway, or 55 mph on an rural undivided road). However, any speeds in excess of the posted speed limits can be considered a ticketable offence.