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Old 10-12-2011, 09:53 AM   #1
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speed limit question

I've been searching through the MT state traffic regs for awhile this morning and I'm not finding the info I was hoping to. I assume other states would have similar regs so maybe you guys can help me out.

We all know there are speed limits stating the maximum allowed speeds - in MT 75 mph on divided highways/interstates and 70 on 2-lane highways - but is there such a thing as a minimum speed limit? Driving too fast can be dangerous and hazardous but so can driving too slow... All I can find in the MT regs is this:
61-8-311. Minimum speed regulations. (1) A person may not drive a motor vehicle at a speed slow enough to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
(2) On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of oncoming traffic or other conditions, the operator of a slow-moving vehicle behind which four or more vehicles are formed in line shall turn off the roadway at the nearest area where a sufficient and safe turnout exists in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. If the shoulder of the highway to the right of the slow-moving vehicle is wide enough and is in a condition allowing safe travel, the operator of the slow-moving vehicle may drive onto the shoulder and proceed at a safe speed until passed. As used in this section, a slow-moving vehicle is one that is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place. The department of transportation is authorized to designate and construct turnouts and to erect official traffic control devices at appropriate places advising motorists of this statute.
(3) If the department of transportation or local authorities within their respective jurisdictions determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a highway impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the commission or the local authority may set a minimum speed limit below which a person may not operate a vehicle except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

The reason I'm hoping to find out more info on this is that I keep coming across these European RV's - I think they call them overland trucks (?) - made by Mercedes. They are all licensed with foreign plates so I'm assuming that there are certain regulations that would apply only to them and they need to meet certain requirements before being allowed on US roadways. These behemoths are becoming more common around here on the roads leading to Yellowstone National Park. The problem is that they can only seem to travel at a maximum of 40 mph (I've gotten caught behind 3 in the last couple of months and each time its a maximum of 40 mph) and the roads to the park are two lane and very curvy so there is not a lot of safe areas to pass other vehicles. Traffic backs up very quickly and people start passing on corners, etc and in general it seems like an accident is imminent.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:55 AM   #2
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I know for a fact there are minimum speed limits on most interstates (I think Oklahoma actually has the min speed limit posted).
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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Not sure if this helps but on the Interstates in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma there were Minimum Speed Limits posted along with the Maximum Speed Limits (I believe the minimum was 40).

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Old 10-12-2011, 09:57 AM   #4
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Alabama has a minimum posted speed limit of 40mph on all of our interstates.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:57 AM   #5
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Yes there is a such thing as a minimum speed limit. I've seen them posted in some areas.
I dont think there is any across the board minimum though.

From what i remember from my years ago drivers ed.. its any disruption to the flow of traffic.

I worked in a tourist area as well and had similar issues with large slow vehicles not using the pull outs and causing and issue. Perhaps you could talk to the local law enforcement?
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:58 AM   #6
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I'm not a LEO but Wisconsin used to post max speed & min speed (10mph under max) I don't know if they still do. That's the only place I've seen it posted.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:00 AM   #7
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The minimum you're looking for is only on 4 lane limited access freeways, and you're talking about speed (or lack thereof) on 2 lane roads.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:03 AM   #8
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yeah the tourists always drive 20mph through the small town im from because of the chili/pumpkin farms and the corn maze in october. Makes me angry because the road is 4 miles long with no passing what so ever so these retards will have about 1 mile of traffic backed up behind them without a care in the world.

Ill admit I have honked at them and motioned to get out of the way, not proud of that

so... I feel your pain but I doubt there are laws regarding min speed on small back country roads.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:04 AM   #9
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i did not read word for word. but i se you are asking what the MINIMUM speed limit is. i know out side are bigger cities. the speed limits go from 55MPH to 65MPH in some places and even 70MPH. we have a law that state you must do no less than i think it’s 10 or 15MPH under the posted speed limit. example. if the posted speed limit is 55MPH you have to do 45MPH, if the speed limit is 65MPH you must do at least 55. and so on. (thats going on a 10MPH minimum. but it may be 15. and i know is some places. that it is 65MPH BUT it is still posted 55MPH for trucks. it is like this in the county i live in. wear it’s 65MPH or cars,suvs and any class D or class M license. but CDL have to do 55.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmoose View Post
The minimum you're looking for is only on 4 lane limited access freeways, and you're talking about speed (or lack thereof) on 2 lane roads.
Other roads have minimum speed limits too, not just 4 lane limited access freeways.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:05 AM   #11
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In SC they have a sign that says "Speed Limit 55" and then usually one under it that says "Min Speed 40", which is what it usually is, on the highways. The interstates like I95 usually have it a 50 or so with a max of 70.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:07 AM   #12
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Back when I was a firefighter/EMT, we would call in vehicles going below the Minimum Speed Limit on the Interstate if it ended up impeding our response.

I only heard of one person getting ticketed for it. I probably called in close to 15 or 20 of them in the four years I worked there.

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Old 10-12-2011, 10:10 AM   #13
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In California, the speed limit signs posted tell you the minimum speed, because if you're not going faster than that, good luck!

California drivers...

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Old 10-12-2011, 10:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTgirl View Post

(2) On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of oncoming traffic or other conditions, the operator of a slow-moving vehicle behind which four or more vehicles are formed in line shall turn off the roadway at the nearest area where a sufficient and safe turnout exists in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. If the shoulder of the highway to the right of the slow-moving vehicle is wide enough and is in a condition allowing safe travel, the operator of the slow-moving vehicle may drive onto the shoulder and proceed at a safe speed until passed.
I think the intent of the law is clear - you can drive slowly as long as you don't impede traffic, with "traffic" defined as four or more vehicles. On a two-lane road there's not much you can do, and European drivers deal with it all the time. The car drivers just need more passing discipline (and skill). Got to use the V6 and swaybar some time, right?
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:34 AM   #15
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In the state of Georgia the minimum speed limit is posted on the highways which is 40 mph and I am pretty sure NC is the same way
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLyns View Post
I think the intent of the law is clear - you can drive slowly as long as you don't impede traffic, with "traffic" defined as four or more vehicles. On a two-lane road there's not much you can do, and European drivers deal with it all the time. The car drivers just need more passing discipline (and skill).
I was caught behind one of these RV's this past Sunday....me and 14 other vehicles! The driver of the RV was obviously not aware of the regulations.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:38 AM   #17
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something i do. is IF someone is going slow and i fill unsafe on a 2 lane road behind them. i will pass when i fill it is save to do so and i can see oncoming traffic and KNOW i have the space to pass. even if it is not a passing sone and there are double solid yellow lines. but ONLY if i don’t fill safe be hind the person and i KNOW i can make a safe pass. brother also told me i should do this and he is a cop.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:45 AM   #18
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CT has minimum speeds posted below speed limit signs on most highways
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:53 AM   #19
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I believe there is no official minimum in CA but if you go too slow you will get pulled over for impeding traffic.

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Old 10-12-2011, 10:56 AM   #20
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I worked in a tourist area.. had to pass a lot on double solids... didnt like it, but it was safe if you are going 15mph (30 below posted limit)

The worst I've ever experienced was a caravan of the large bus type super luxury motor homes, about 30 or so.. going literally 15mph and not pulling over at all, and leaving barely any space between them for passing cars. I think I lost a good portion of my hair that day. my point - i feel your pain MTgirl
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