Ask a Trooper: When does the speed limit start

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Question: When the speed limit changes on a road, does the new speed limit start at the sign, or does it start when you can see the sign?

Answer: The speed zone becomes effective when you reach the sign. If the speed limit reduces, you must begin to slow down before the sign. If the speed limit increases, you must wait until you reach the new speed limit sign before increasing your speed.

Each year, illegal or unsafe speed is a leading contributing factor in Minnesota fatal crashes. To continue educating the public on the dangers of speed, law enforcement across Minnesota will conduct extra speed patrols June 18 to July 21.

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Speed contributed to:

  • In 2018, preliminary numbers show speed was the number one contributing factor in single-vehicle crashes.
  • Preliminary numbers show 113 people were killed in speed-related crashes in 2018.
  • During the past five years (2014-2018), preliminary numbers show that 462 people lost their lives in speed-related crashes.

The most common speed limits are:

  • 10 mph in alleys
  • 30 mph on streets in urban districts
  • 55 mph on other roads
  • 65 mph on expressways
  • 65 mph on urban interstate highways
  • 70 mph on rural interstate highways

Troopers actively enforce speed limits throughout Minnesota in an effort to reduce crashes and save lives. Please remember, the posted speed limit is not a suggestion, it is posted to keep motorists safe. Please pay attention at all times while driving and obey all traffic laws.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,