What Are the Basic Speed Limit Rules in Utah?
Speeding is a traffic offense that can not only be expensive, but that can also affect your driving privileges. The type and frequency of speeding offenses can determine the penalties a defendant can face if they are convicted of speeding. If you or a family member was cited for speeding, contact an experienced Salt Lake City traffic ticket lawyer. At Overson Law, PLLC, we are dedicated to providing you with the legal representation you need to fight your criminal case. Our firm is here to explain the basic speed limit rules in Utah.
Utah Speeding Laws
It is required that all motorists follow the speed limit for a particular location or road. Speed limits are put into place to ensure the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and others. The State of Utah has a number of regulations that pertain to how drivers should adjust their speed depending on the situation. For example, if a driver is approaching or driving around a curve, Utah speed restrictions require them to do so carefully. Other situations where a driver may be required to adjust their speed include:
- Crossing an intersection or railroad crossing
- Traveling across a hillcrest
- Driving through a narrow or winding road
- Traversing through a street filled with pedestrians
- Driving in adverse or inclement weather
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other instances where a motorist is required to drive carefully or risk being cited for speeding.
The State of Utah also has speed limits that vary depending on the area traffic is being routed through:
- School zones have a reduced speed of 20 miles per hour
- Urban districts that are typically filled with pedestrians have a 25 mile per hour limit
- 55 miles per hour for areas not zoned as a school zone or urban district
- 65 miles per hour for highways
- Maximum 75 miles per hour for specific freeways
It is important to note that every county in Utah possesses the authority to change the speed limit in their respective county. As a result, some counties may have stricter laws regarding speeding on a freeway or school zone. Be sure to consistently check the speed limit and avoid assuming the speed limit is the same for every county.
Additionally, speed limits can also be adjusted temporarily for certain circumstances. For example, if a stretch of road is undergoing construction, the speed limit in that area may be drastically reduced to ensure the safety of workers and motorists.
Penalties for Speeding Violations in Utah
The penalties for speeding violations will vary depending on the circumstances of a particular offense. For example, if a motorist drives their vehicle above 20 miles per hour in a school zone, their speeding offense can be charged as a class C misdemeanor. While class C misdemeanors are the least serious type of misdemeanor in Utah, a defendant is still subject to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine if they are convicted.
Many violations of Utah speed limits are charged as infractions. The commission of an infraction is typically punishable by a fine of up to $750. However, the State of Utah can mix this with other penalties like compensatory service.
Compensatory service is used as an alternative to jail time, typically for first-time offenders that commit class B or C misdemeanors or infractions. Under this law, a defendant must complete a certain number of hours of unpaid work in order to avoid paying a criminal fine. Each hour of work is worth $10, and a defendant must work until they pay off the fine for their speeding violation. Compensatory service can be performed for:
- State or local government agencies
- Nonprofit organizations
- Other legal entities approved by a court
Additionally, a defendant can also be subject to driver’s license suspension depending on the frequency and severity of their speeding violations. Utah operates on a demerit point system that adds points to a person’s license for committing a traffic violation. Demerit points for speeding can range from 35 points to 75 points per violation.
Once a driver reaches 200 or more points in a three-year span, their license will be suspended. If a driver is under the age 21, they only need 70 points in three years to have their license suspended. If you are worried about how your speeding offense might impact your life, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Salt Lake City Traffic Defense Attorney You Can Trust
If you or a family member was arrested for a speeding offense, you should consider speaking with an experienced Utah traffic defense attorney today. Overson Law, PLLC understands the stress of being involved in a criminal proceeding, and we are here for you in your time of need. Criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson possesses nearly two decades of legal experience and would be honored to use this knowledge to represent you. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287, or contact us online.