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Ask a Trooper: Where do speed limits start?

Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Trooper

Question: When the speed limit is changing 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 limit zone area becomes effective at the point you reach the sign. So, if the speed limit sign/zone changes to a slower speed, slow down before the sign and not after. If the speed limit changes to a higher speed, wait until you get to the increased 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 July 6-22.

On average, speed contributes to:

• 82 deaths and 2249 serious injuries each year (2012-16).

• 21 percent of all fatal crashes.

• Speed-related crashes contributed to 106 deaths in the last five years (2013-17) during Minnesota 100 most deadliest days on the road (Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day).

Speeding can lead to:

• Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.

• Increased stopping distance.

• Decreased response time for crash avoidance.

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.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811. You can follow me on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE or reach me at