Washington Speed Limit
What is the Washington speed limit?
Washington traffic laws define the maximum speed that any motorist travelling on Washington roadways can legally drive. Driving over the Washington speed limit can result in a traffic citation, fine, license suspension, or even arrest.
Washington law requires drivers to drive at speeds that are safe for the road conditions. The speed limit on country roads is 55mph; and 25mph in towns, and cities.
There are a total of 16 states with higher maximum speed limits than Washington.
Washington Speed Limit - Rural Freeways
The maximum speed limit on rural freeways and interstates in Washington is 70 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 Washington.
Washington Speed Limit - Urban Freeways
The maximum speed limit on urban freeways and interstates in Washington is 60 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 70 mph after the road passes through the most densely populated area.
Washington Speed Limit - Divided Roads
The maximum speed limit on divided roads in Washington is 65 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.
Unlike many states that allow higher speed limits on divided roads, Washington has the same maximum speed limit for both divided and undivided roads.
Washington Speed Limit - Undivided Roads
The maximum speed limit on rural undivided roads roads in Washington is 65 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 50 mph or below.
Washington Speed Limit - Residential Areas
The maximum speed limit on residential roads in Washington is 50 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.
Washington 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 Washington speeding ticket, points on your license, and even a license suspension or revocation for repeat offenders.
Washington 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 (75 mph on a rural freeway, or 70 mph on an rural undivided road). However, any speeds in excess of the posted speed limits can be considered a ticketable offence.