How Fast Can You Go When There Is No Speed Limit Sign Posted?

When you are out on the road, it can be difficult to know what the speed limit is at any given time. One of my biggest frustrations is when I'm out on the road and I can't find a posted speed limit sign.

Christopher Furlong
Christopher Furlong

In Washington State, there are laws in place that regulate how fast drivers should go when they are not in an area with posted speed limit signs and I was surprised by the law.

You make an assumption as a driver when there is no posted speed limit sign and I discovered after reading the law, I was wrong in my understanding of Washington State speed limit laws

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Understanding these laws and regulations can help keep you safe and avoid a potential ticket.

School zone speed limit sign in front of trees
Garrett Aitken

Let’s take a look at what the speed limit is in Washington if there isn’t a sign posted.

Basic rules and maximum limits.

(1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.
(2) Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection (1) of this section, the limits specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized shall be maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of such maximum limits.
(a) Twenty-five miles per hour on city and town streets;
(b) Fifty miles per hour on county roads;
(c) Sixty miles per hour on state highways.
The maximum speed limits set forth in this section may be altered as authorized in RCW 46.61.40546.61.410, and 46.61.415.
When driving on roadways throughout Washington State without any visible posted signs indicating a particular speed limit it's important to know what laws apply so that you can stay safe while avoiding any potential tickets or citations from law enforcement officials.
Chris DeRidder
I was surprised to discover the 60 MPH speed limit on state highways.
The basic rule of thumb is to drive no faster than what would be considered reasonable for existing conditions such as traffic levels and weather patterns while also taking into account factors like school zones and construction zones along the way.
You can read more details on Washington State's speed limit laws here.

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