Speeding and Penalties in Arizona

We all know that you should always drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent. This is all the more important given harsh weather conditions here, like dust storms, which can leads to lower visibility.

Generally, speed limits are posted on most roads in Arizona, but when there are no posted speed limits, the speeding laws come into effect. Have you ever wondered about the specific speeding and penalties in Arizona? Learn more below!

There are three types of speeding laws in Arizona…

  • Basic Speeding Law
  • Prima Facie Limits
  • Absolute Speed Limits

Basic Speeding Law

The basic speeding laws of Arizona are clear. You cannot drive at a speed that is unreasonably high and unsafe under the given circumstances, keeping the potential hazards in mind.

As a motorist, you must always drive safely depending on the circumstances. So, while it’s okay to drive at 55 miles per hour (if this is the posted limit of course) on a hot sunny day, driving at the same speed when it’s dark and wet is dangerous and is in violation of Arizona’s basic speeding laws.

Prima Facie Speed Limits

We use prima facie speed limits in Arizona, also referred to as presumed limits. When you drive faster than the presumed limits, this can be taken to mean that the basic speeding laws have been violated. But this does not equate to guilt in the court of law.

You can still prove in court that your speed was perfectly safe and get away without paying a fine.

The prima facie speed limits in Arizona are….

  • 15 mph when approaching school crossings
  • 25 mph when driving through business and residential districts
  • 65 mph when driving through other locations

Absolute Speed Limits

Arizona’s Absolute Speed Limits are easy to understand. If the absolute speed limit is 50 mph and you drive faster than that, then you are in violation of the law – as simple as that. Essentially, you cannot drive faster than 65 mph on interstate highways in Arizona.

Penalties and Speeding Violations in Arizona

If you’re caught violating any of the speeding laws in Arizona, then you could be held guilty of a civil traffic violation, which carries a fine of $150 to $500.

The exact penalty depends on a number of factors such as the speed, whether there was an accident in which other vehicles were involved, and the county where you were caught speeding.

The fines are doubled if the violations were committed in hazardous areas such as construction zones.

Class 3 Misdemeanor

Class 3 Misdemeanor is a more serious speeding violation. It is said to have happened….

  • When you drive over 35 mph at a school crossing
  • When you drive 25 mph over the speed limit in a residential or business district
  • When you drive at 45 mph or more in a residential or business district or over 85 miles mph in any other area

Class 3 misdemeanors are not taken lightly. They can carry a sentence of 30 days in jail and $500 in fines.

Reckless Driving and Vehicular Homicide

Reckless driving is a very serious speeding violation that carries up to four months in jail and a fine of $750 in Arizona. It is defined as driving a vehicle “in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

If reckless driving leads to the death of a person, then manslaughter or vehicular homicide charges are pressed. This is a very serious charge and the accused is given a lengthy prison term.

Demerit Points

A speeding violation results in three demerit points added to the driver’s driving record. Accumulating too many demerit points can result in suspension of the driver’s license.

On the Arizona DMV page, you will find all the details about AZ traffic tickets such as penalties, fine amounts and more.

How to Fight an Arizona Traffic Ticket?

You can contest the Arizona traffic ticket by pleading “not guilty” in court. It is also possible to have your traffic ticket dismissed by completing a defensive driving program. Learn more about this at servicearizona.com.



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