Speeding and Aggressive Driving
Setting speed limits has traditionally been the responsibility of states, except for the period of 1973-1994. During that time, the federal government enacted mandatory speed limit ceilings on interstate highways and similar limited access roads through a National Maximum Speed Limit.
Congress repealed the National Maximum Speed Limit in 1995. Since then, 41 states have raised speed limits to 70 mph or higher on some portion of their roadway systems.
In many states, maximum speeds vary depending on vehicle type (car or truck), roadway location (urban or rural), or time of day. GHSA tracks state maximum speed limits for both urban and rural interstates, as well as other limited access roads.
In a few states, speed limits are not set by law.
The term aggressive driving covers a range of unsafe driver behaviors. State laws define what constitutes aggressive driving and stipulate the related fines and penalties. Often, a driver must demonstrate more than one action to be considered aggressive.
To date, 15 states have addressed aggressive driving in their legislatures.
11 states have passed laws specifically defining aggressive driving actions.
- California and Utah have amended existing reckless driving laws to include actions similar to those defined as "aggressive" by other states.
- Pennsylvania has passed a resolution against aggressive driving.
- New Jersey enforces agressive driving under existing laws.
NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on speed limit or aggressive driving laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.
Speeding is a factor in nearly as many traffic fatalities as is impairment, yet it lacks the same social stigma. GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins speaks to the need for speed enforcement and education.
Article by Teresa Boeckel
October 25, 2017
A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board highlights the severity and frequency of speeding as a traffic safety issue. GHSA Director of Government Relations Russ Martin discusses the importance of education and enforcement campaigns to deter speeding.
August 14, 2017
Article by Dan Vock
In July, five Southern states collaborated on Operation Southern Shield, a high visibility enforcement campaign targeting speeding. GHSA Board Member Bill Whatley of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs discusses the campaign's success.
August 8, 2017
Article by Rowland Sauls
NTSB's recent study on speeding highlighted the issue at a national level. GHSA's Kara Macek discusses the lack of social stigma around speeding, despite its involvement in a similar number of fatal crashes as alcohol.
July 31, 2017
Story by Gail DeLaughter
A recent study by the National Transportation Safety Board highlighted the danger and significance of the issue of speeding on our roadways. This article cites GHSA's statement on the NTSB study, calling for more attention to be paid to this issue.
July 30, 2017
Article by Tanya Mohn
Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee are teaming up to deter speeding with an "Operation Southern Shield" enforcement period July 17-23. GHSA Vice Chair and Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood discusses the Operation and the issue prompting it.
July 10, 2017
Story by Kim Gusby
Minnesota's law enforcement is in the midst of a speeding enforcement campaign running through late July. Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety Director Donna Berger comments on dangers and misconceptions of speeding.
July 8, 2017
In light of a recent bill proposing an increase in speed limits on Iowa's interstate highways, safety officials including GHSA member Pat Hoye of the Iowa Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau discuss the dangerous impact of increased speeds.
April 21, 2017
Article by Madison Arnold