If you are a driver, it is important for you to understand the different types of speed limits. There are different types of speed limits that apply in various situations.
Usually, there are signs that inform you that a speed limit applies, but this is not always the case. You can get in trouble for violating speed limits even in the absence of a sign. Here are the different types of speed limits that you may encounter.
1. Posted speed limits
Posted speed limits are probably the type that you are most familiar with. They appear on rectangular signs along roads large and small in black text on a white background. A long stretch of road may have several different signs informing or reminding you of the speed limit, and when the speed limit changes, you should see a new sign.
2. “Special conditions” speed limits
According to the Federal Highway Administration, particular hazards on the road may require “special conditions” speed limits. Sometimes these hazards are permanent, such as a school zone or a curve in the road. You will see these speed limits posted at all times, but they are on a yellow background instead of white. There are also variable speed limits in response to temporary hazards, such as inclement weather. A changeable message sign may communicate the change to you.
3. Statutory speed limits
Statutory speed limits apply when there are no posted speed limits or “special conditions” speed limits. The state legislature is responsible for setting them. North Carolina has different statutory speed limits for rural areas and incorporated municipalities, with the former being faster.
Posted speed limits and “special conditions” speed limits take precedence over statutory speed limits. Therefore, if there is a sign telling you that you can drive faster than the statutory speed limit, you may obey it.