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Speed Zones

Effective May 1, 2020, the process for conducting speed zone investigations and determining recommendations has changed. Review an overview of the new process or review the corresponding Oregon Administrative Rule updates for information about the change. We've also updated the Speed Zone Manual to reflect the change.

Oregon Speed Zone Standards

State statutes give Oregon motorists the following speed zone standards. Posted speeds override statutory standards.

  • 15 mph - Alleys, narrow residential roadways.
  • 20 mph - Business districts, school zones and some residential.
  • 25 mph - Residential districts, public parks, ocean shores.
  • 55 mph - Most rural highways; trucks on most interstates.
  • 65 mph - Passenger vehicles, light trucks, motor homes and light duty commercial vehicles on most interstates.

Although most interstates have a statutory speed of 55 mph for trucks, many of these interstates have designated truck speeds of 60 mph by Oregon Administrative Rule. See OAR 734-020-0011 for all designated speeds.

In addition, Oregon Revised Statute (ORS 811.111 subsection 2-12) establishes different statutory speeds than those shown above for specific sections of rural highways and interstates in eastern Oregon. Although these highways and interstates may have some segments with designated speeds, they generally have posted speed limits as follows:

Some Rural Highways:

  • 60 mph - Trucks.
  • 65 mph - Passenger vehicles, light trucks, motor homes and light duty commercial vehicles.

Some Interstates and Specific Rural Highways:

  • 65 mph - Trucks.
  • 70 mph - Passenger vehicles, light trucks, motor homes and light duty commercial vehicles.

See ORS 811.105 and 811.111 for more details on statutory speeds.

Speed Zone Brochure

Frequently Asked Questions

American law follows the basic idea that most people are reasonable and laws exist to control the few who are unreasonable or inconsiderate. The posted speed zones follow the same idea.

How does ODOT determine the posted speeds?

Studies performed in Oregon and throughout the United States serve as the basis for how we establish speed zones. These studies show that traffic moving at a speed reasonable for the road and weather conditions results in fewer crashes. Drivers are more patient because a reasonably uniform speed allows progress with less passing, less delay, and fewer rear-end collisions.

Reducing the posted speed helps the problem, right?

While many people believe that lowering posted speeds will mean fewer crashes, but studies do not prove this.

Studies show drivers become frustrated by unreasonably low speeds. Frustrated drivers are more likely to engage in unsafe driving practices, which actually cause more crashes. Some motorists may try to make up time by taking a shortcut through residential or other areas that are not suited for higher speeds and increased numbers of cars.​

All roadways in Oregon have specific speed limits.

Speed limits do not authorize speeds higher than those required for compliance with the basic speed rule.

Eastern Oregon Speed Limits

Preliminary Analysis of Speed Limit Changes in Eastern Oregon, presentation by Portland State University, January 2019

Preliminary Analysis of Speed Limit Changes in Eastern Oregon, report by Portland State University, November 2018

In addition to speed limits, all travel on public streets and highways is subject to the "basic speed rule."

What is the basic speed rule?

The basic speed rule states that a motorist must drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent at all times by considering:

  • Other traffic.
  • Road and weather conditions.
  • Dangers at intersections.
  • Any other conditions that affect safety and speed.

In other words, drivers are expected to use good judgment in selecting their speed.

How do you violate the basic speed rule?

The basic speed rule does not authorize a driver to exceed the posted or statutory speed limit. If a motorist is charged with violation of the basic speed rule, the posted or statutory speed limit becomes the primary evidence that he or she exceeded the basic speed rule. In this case, it would be up to the motorist to prove that he or she was driving in a reasonable and prudent manner for the conditions.

A person can also drive below the posted speed and violate the basic speed rule. For instance, if there is ice or snow on the roadway, a driver can be traveling less than the speed limit posted and still be traveling faster than is reasonable and prudent for the conditions.

Requests from Private Citizens

Please email ODOT's Traffic Roadway Section at ODOTSpeedZoning@odot.state.or.us requesting a review.

If you know the jurisdiction of the road:

  • For city streets or county roads: Please contact your local jurisdiction.
  • For state highways outside of city limits: Please email ODOT's Traffic Roadway Section at ODOTSpeedZoning@odot.state.or.us requesting a review.

Resource Materials

Requests from Cities or Counties

If a city or county thinks the speed for a particular street or highway should be changed, it can make a request to ODOT for a review and investigation.

Submitting a Request:

Cities and counties may submit requests to ODOT via our online request form. Once received, we initiate an investigation to determine if a speed zone should be changed.

Additional documents may be submitted by replying to the automated acknowledgement email received after submittal.

Investigation Considerations:

ODOT's regional traffic engineering staff conducts an investigation using nationally-accepted traffic engineering standards and procedures. Factors we will consider include:

  • Context and functional classifications.
  • Crash history.
  • Roadside culture, including pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Traffic volumes.
  • Roadway alignment, width and surface.
  • Motor vehicle speeds.

Investigation Results:

When our investigation is complete, we prepare a report, with photographs, detailing the existing conditions and proposed changes. The report is sent to the city or county for review.​

If the city or county agrees with the recommendation, the new speed zone is established.

If ODOT and the local road authority cannot reach agreement on the setting of a speed zone, the speed zone request is referred to the Speed Zone Review Panel. The panel is comprised of representatives of the Oregon Transportation Safety Committee, the Oregon State Police, the Association of Oregon Counties, the League of Oregon Cities, and ODOT.

The panel hears ODOT's recommendations and testimony from the local road authority and makes the final decision.

It is the responsibility of the road authority to install new speed zone signs.

Work Zone Speed Reduction Request, Form 734-2874

Contact The Traffic Engineering Services for assistance: 503-986-3573.

​With the exception of temporary construction or emergency speed zones orders, all speed zones on interstate highways in Oregon (I-5, I-82, I-84, I-105, I-205 and I-405) are set by statute (ORS 811.111) at 65 or 70 mph for passenger cars, unless otherwise directed by OAR 734-020-0011​.

A recommendation for setting speed limits on interstate highways in Oregon can be found in:

Interstate Truck Speeds

In 2017 ODOT performed an engineering study on the impacts associated with increasing truck speeds on interstate highways. Information about this effort can be found on the Interstate Truck Speeds page.

Online Copies of Speed Zone Orders

Current designated speed zone orders and engineering and traffic investigation reports statewide.

Making the Most of Your Search

When you get to the search page there's a few things to know in order to help you find your document:

  1. This database only holds the most recent order or investigation report for a road.
  2. Contact our speed zone specialist if the current order does not cover the section of road you are looking for, or if you are looking for an old order.

  3. The search function identifies data that exactly matches your criteria.
  4. You don't have to fill out everything to get what you're looking for. For example, you enter "Main" for road or highway name. The system will identify orders in which the word "Main" is all or part of the road name, i.e. Westmain, Main, or Quartermain. However, misspelling your search term will impact your results. For example, no records will be found for "Main" if the term was entered as "Mane."

  5. Start with a simple search.
  6. We suggest you keep your first search simple by using only one or two terms. You can always refine your search by adding terms to focus on what you want.

  7. Narrow your search.
  8. The more data you fill in, the fewer records the system will return. If you find there are too many "Main Streets" in the state, consider narrowing the search by adding a term to another field such as city.

  9. Broaden your search.
  10. The less data you fill in, the more records the system will return. For example, if you're looking for a speed zone for a city street without success, remove any entry in the "City" field. In this way, you may find the speed zone order was issued when the street was still outside city limits. If you're not sure if a street is within city limits, try leaving the city and county fields blank. You may want to see all the speed zone orders in one city. Just fill in the city name and leave the other fields blank.

  11. Avoid Abbreviations
  12. With exception of directional designation, i.e. north, south, we spell out all words, such as street or avenue. Searching for "Main St." will bring zero results. Revisit your search terms to ensure no abbreviations are used to maximize your results.

    For streets with a directional designation, we use the first initial(s) for directions in street names such as "S Main Street" or "1st Street NE."

Can't find the speed order for the road in question?

If you are unable to get results on a search for a street and if you've double-checked your spelling, it is possible there is no designated speed zone order on that road.

One common explanation is the road operates under a statutory speed limit, such as a 25 mph residential speed zone. Statutory limits do not require speed zone orders and we do not maintain a record of these in our database.

Need help?

If you're having problems locating a speed zone order or having other issues with this service, email our Speed Zone Specialist for assistance.

Training classes in conducting speed zone investigations are offered periodically to local agency personnel.

Speed 70 miles per hour sign

Contact the Traffic Section

4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, MS5
Salem, Oregon 97302
Phone: 503-986-3568
Fax: 503-986-3749

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