Speeding Tickets in Colorado
Colorado Points – Fines Reciprocity and Other Issues
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Colorado
Absolute Speed Limit in Colorado
Colorado is an absolute speed limit state. In absolute speed limit states, it is presumed that you are speeding in violation of the law if you are going any amount of speed over the posted limit—that is, the speed limit indicated on the signs on the side of the road. All speeding violations in Colorado are Class A Traffic Infractions, punishable by a fine between $15 and $100, unless otherwise noted. Speeding is also a strict liability offense and one may be convicted of it without the government showing that there was intent to speed.
Posted speed limits for the State of Colorado are as follows:
- 20 mph on narrow, winding mountain highways or on blind curves
- 25 mph in any business district
- 30 mph in any residence district
- 40 mph on open mountain highways
- 45 mph for single rear axle vehicle in the business of transporting trash that exceed 20,000 lbs., where higher speeds are posted, when said vehicle is loaded as an exempted vehicle
- 55 mph on open highways which are not on the interstate system and are not surfaced, four-lane freeways or expressways
- 65 mph on surfaced, four-lane highways which are on the interstate system or are freeways or expressways
- The absolute maximum lawful speed limit is 75 mph
Posted speed limits only apply where no special hazard exists that requires a lower speed, such as inclement weather or an accident. In fact, the law states that no driver “shall fail to reduce” his or her speed when special hazards do exist.
Presumed Speed Limit in Colorado
Colorado has laws that provide speed guidelines for drivers—that is, they do not contain specific speed limits, but require caution and reasonableness in choosing a speed. The most basic of these laws says that it is presumed that drivers “shall not drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.”
Similarly, there are minimum speed limits and maximum speed limits in the State of Colorado. As noted above the absolute maximum lawful speed is 75 mph. The minimum speed limit is not a specific number but, rather, prohibits drivers from driving “at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable forward movement of traffic, except when a reduced speed is necessary for safe operation of such vehicle or in compliance with law.” It is assumed that the minimum speed on the highways is between 40 and 55 mph.
Some townships and cities have citywide speed limits that are the presumed speed limit on any road within its limits unless otherwise posted. This speed limit varies—it can be as low as 25 mph for small, largely residential towns—and is generally posted at the city limits.
Along with the minimum speed requirement, there is a “move right” law requiring drivers in light traffic to travel in the right lane, leaving the left lane open for passing. There is also a law requiring drivers going less than the normal and reasonable speed of traffic to use climbing lanes and turnouts where available so that the flow of traffic can pass them.
Commercial Vehicles in Colorado
Some states have different maximum and posted speed limits for commercial vehicles. With one exception, Colorado is not one of these states. As noted above, there is a maximum speed limit of 45 mph for any trash collecting and transporting vehicle that is loaded with trash.