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Speed Limits

Safety and common sense should determine your driving speed, even if it means driving more slowly than the posted speed limit. Traffic engineers study streets and intersections to set safe speed limits that reflect the speeds of prudent motorists. When determining your driving speed, it is important to remember the California Vehicle Code (CVC) Basic Speed Law: No person shall drive a vehicle...at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent...and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.

Sacramento Speed Limit Maps

The roadway segments included in the Resolution Speed Limits List below reflect the latest speed limits adopted by the City Council.

The Engineering and Traffic Surveys associated with each roadway segment are on file in the Transportation Division office. Should you wish to obtain a copy of a speed survey please contact our office at 916-808-5307.

Federal and State Law

Some speed limits are established by federal or state law while others are set by local authorities and posted on the street. Some general guidelines set by California State law are:

  • 65mph (miles per hour) is the maximum speed in urban areas.
  • 25mph is the speed limit in any business district or residential street.
  • 25mph is the speed limit in school zones when children are present.
  • 15mph is the speed limit in alleys, intersections and railroad crossings (where visibility is limited).

These limits are generally presumed to be reasonable and may not always be posted on the street.

Speed Limits Set Locally

The California Vehicle Code (CVC) allows cities to set specific speed limits for streets within their boundaries. In Sacramento, the City has established limits between 25 and 55mph, based on engineering traffic surveys. In each street's survey, traffic engineers study these factors:

  • Street collision history
  • Pedestrian and bicycle traffic
  • Amount of traffic typically on the street
  • Speed of traffic
  • Roadway characteristics (length, width, lanes and visibility)
  • Amount and severity of curves
  • Curbside parking practices and number and type of driveways
  • Type of area (residential, commercial, offices, recreational, etc.)

After considering these factors, traffic engineers set the speed limit either at or below the speed driven by 85 percent of vehicles surveyed.

Speed Limits and Collisions

People frequently ask to lower the speed limit on residential streets to make their streets safer and more livable. It is a common misconception that speed limits signs reduce collisions. Studies indicate that no significant change in average vehicle speeds has occurred after the posting of new or revised speed limit signs. In fact, research shows no direct relationship between posting speed limits and collision frequency.

Reducing Speeding Problems

An effective way of reducing speeds in residential neighborhoods is through a radar speed display board. Public Works' Transportation Division uses a radar device to clock and exhibit motorist speeds. This oversized display board, mounted on a small trailer, helps control chronic speeding problems by letting motorists know when they are exceeding the limit. For more information about how to place a radar speed display board on your street, please call 916-808-5307 or contact us by email.