Speed too Fast for Conditions is the most common driver violation contributing to crashes. Arizona Revised Statute, 28-701 addresses speed that is too fast for conditions and establishes a reasonable but prudent measure for determining whether someone is speeding. Arizona’s speed law 28-701 requires drivers to always drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent for conditions. For example, a driving the speed limit in an area highly congested with pedestrians may not be reasonable and prudent. Other environmental conditions such as rain, fog or blowing dust may also require a person to drive at a speed lower than the posted limit.
Reasonable and Prudent is not a defense for driving at a speed more than the posted speed limit.
Traffic engineers place a high priority on managing speed limits with consideration for driving conditions.
The posted speed limit in Arizona Business Districts, and in most communities nationally, is 25 miles per hour. Shorter and narrower streets may experience increased traffic crashes because the is a need for stop and go traffic patterns to accommodate pedestrians and parking. Driving risks increase simply because there are more distractions.
Shorter and narrower roadways are more dangerous to drive on due to restricted visibility, density and frequency of intersecting streets and driveways. They impair a driver’s ability to look well ahead and to plan their driving maneuvers.
Similarly, the speed limit on Arizona residential streets is 25 miles per hour. Residential streets tend to be narrower, more cluttered with parked vehicles and the nature and number of pedestrians in the roadway is greater. People on bicycles, children playing and vehicles entering and exiting driveways all lead to increase hazards and less visibility.
Residential areas also often contain neighborhood parks. Many communities have established special speed limits in their parks. Park speed limits are generally created by specific City or Town Ordinances enacted to supplement state law. The City of Tucson has a 15-mile per hour spend limit for many park roadways.