Will a lower speed help reduce speeding?

Facts indicate otherwise.  Research conducted throughout the country over several decades has shown that drivers are influenced by the type of street and current traffic conditions, and not the posted speed limit.
When a speed limit sign is not posted, the City of Springfield basic speed law still applies.  A person may assume the speed limit is 25 mph, but drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent under existing conditions.  In every event, speed must be so controlled as to avoid colliding with any object, person, or vehicle on the highway.  It is the duty of ALL persons to exercise reasonable care for the protection of others.

Under Springfield law, the speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted. Speed Limits higher than 25 mph are established on the basis of traffic engineering studies.  These studies include roadway conditions, accident records and the prevailing speed of prudent drivers.   If an unreasonably low speed is posted, most drivers will ignore the signs, while a few may try to stay within the posted speed limit.  This causes real safety concerns because of the difference between faster and slower drivers.
Some lower speed limits have been established in certain districts throughout Springfield.

  • 20 mph on MSU Campus
  • 20 mph School Zones 
  • 20 mph in Downtown Business Districts (Park Central & Commercial Street) • 


Lowering Speed Limits unnecessarily can have two adverse effects. They make violators out of reasonable and otherwise law abiding citizens.
But most importantly, police enforcement is diminished, which plays a vital role in controlling speed.  Unrealistic speed limits create a difficult situation for the police and the community, and citations are not upheld in court.  

Show All Answers

1. How are speed limits determined?
2. How can I make comments regarding Springfield traffic?
3. When should a traffic signal be installed?
4. What is traffic engineering?
5. Will a lower speed help reduce speeding?
6. Will a traffic signal reduce crashes at an intersection?
7. Does the City install "Children At Play" signs to slow traffic ?
8. Will more stop signs slow traffic on a street?