What Are the Different Types of Speed Limits?

Drivers of all ages drive too fast from time to time. Nevertheless, according to the Illinois State Police, drivers under the age of 30 are more likely to speed than drivers in other age demographics.

This should concern both young drivers and their families because speed is responsible for approximately 33% of all fatal crashes. Some young drivers may not even be aware of the different types of speed limits on Illinois roads.

Posted speed limits

Posted speed limits are probably the type with which drivers are most familiar. Also called regulatory speed limits, posted speed limits appear on rectangular signs along the side of the road in black print on a white background. Posted speed limits always show the maximum speed limit. On highways, they may also show the minimum speed limit, which is also enforceable.

Statutory speed limit

According to the Federal Highway Administration, lawmakers in every state set statutory speed limits for their own jurisdiction. These are speed limits that apply when there are no signs informing drivers of the speed limit.

The statutory speed limits in Illinois are different than those in neighboring states. Here are the statutory speed limits in Illinois, depending on the type of road:

  • 30 miles per hour in urban areas
  • 55 miles per hour on highways and interstates in or near major cities
  • 65 miles per hour on rural highways
  • 70 miles per hour on non-urban interstates

If a posted speed limit is higher than the statutory limit, drivers can follow the posted speed limit.

Special conditions speed limits

Conditions on certain roads require slower speeds. Special conditions speed limits exist in school zones and on sharp curves.

There are also temporary special conditions that affect speed limits, such as construction or inclement weather. Authorities may inform drivers of these speed limits using a changeable message sign.