We all know that you can get a speeding ticket for driving above the speed limit, but can you also get ticketed for driving too slow?
You can get a ticket for driving too slow. Although minimum speed limits are rarely posted, police will issue tickets to drivers who impede traffic, fail to use turnouts, and drive too slow in the fast lane on the highway.
Police generally only ticket drivers for going too slow if their speed is hazardous to traffic on the road. Read on to learn more about what kind of tickets you may get when you’re driving.
How Slow Do You Have to Drive to Get a Ticket?
No matter which state you live in or which road you drive on, chances are there is a sign around to indicate the maximum speed limit.
On the other hand, seeing a minimum speed limit sign is practically unheard of.
With that said, that does not mean that a minimum speed limit does not exist. The truth is that minimum speed limits are often implemented and enforced based on the judgment of the officer issuing the ticket.
Much like with maximum speed limits, minimum speed limits exist to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Given the legal obscurity of driving too slow, police generally only ticket drivers that are creating hazards due to their speed.
If your slow speed impedes traffic or encourages other people to drive recklessly, don’t be surprised when you see blue and red lights flashing in your rearview mirror.
Although it’s quite hard to provide an accurate figure for what constitutes as "too slow," 20 mph slower than the posted speed limit will likely incur a fine.
How Does One Get a Ticket for Driving Too Slow?
Given that minimum speed limit signs are rarely posted, a lot of people are wondering what it takes to get a ticket for driving too slow. Each state has a protocol or guidelines on this, but you may find that there is not an official minimum speed limit in your area.
When most people do get ticketed for driving too slow, it’s usually due to their speed creating a hazard on the road for other drivers. Although you can technically receive a ticket for driving too slow on any road, this usually only happens on the highway.
Highway traffic follows a flow system to keep driving safe and efficient. A slow driver sabotages the entire highway flow and, by doing so, creates a dangerous environment for everyone around them.
These are the most common ways that you can get a ticket for driving too slow:
The most common reason you would get a ticket for driving too slow is if you are impeding traffic by doing so. This can happen on any type of road, whether its a residential street, city street, or a highway.
Although some drivers may not like the obscurity of minimum speed limits, it’s not very hard to identify when slow driving begins to impede traffic.
If you notice a line of traffic behind you that is desperately trying to pass, chances are it’s due to you driving too slow.
So long as the conditions that you are driving in are safe, there is no reason that you should be impeding traffic.
Failing to Use Turnouts
Not everyone drives at the same speed. Some people prefer to drive 5 miles under or 5 miles over the limit – whereas others like to hover right at the posted speed limit. Regardless, this can be hazardous, which is why a system that enables the flow of traffic is the safest way to prevent accidents.
Multi-lane highways simplify this by giving drivers plenty of options to pass slower traffic. However, single-lane highways are particularly dangerous when people drive too slowly, as there is often no way to bypass traffic safely.
To prevent unnecessary hazards, turnouts are created so that slower drivers can pull out and let other people pass. If a slow driver does not pull out at a turnout, this can easily result in a ticket. That said, you are not required to pull out at every turnout if you drive below the speed limit.
You need to be aware of your surroundings to know when to use turnouts. Much like with impeding traffic, being aware of your surroundings is key to preventing hazards and getting ticketed.
When you notice that your slow driving is creating a line of traffic behind you, it’s safe to assume that you should take the next turnout to let everyone else pass. Failing to use turnouts when needed is one of the most common reasons that people get tickets for driving too slow.
Driving Too Slow in the Fast Lane
On the highway, it is generally recognized that the left lane is for faster drivers or for those looking to pass others.
People use the left lane to pass slower drivers, which prevents traffic congestion and road hazards.
In addition, drivers are often given a bit more leeway for speeding in the fast lane, with most officers casting a blind eye to people slightly breaching the limit in the left-most lane. With that said, driving too slow in the fast lane is an easy way to get ticketed.
Naturally, if you are driving the speed limit and people behind you are trying to pass, you are not technically breaking any laws and you cannot be ticketed.
On the other hand, if police notice you driving too slow in the fast lane, they will see this as a hazard and may pull you over. Depending on how slow you were driving, they may write you a ticket or simply let you off with a warning.
How Much Is a Ticket for Driving Too Slow?
The amount of money that you will have to pay for driving too slow can vary depending on a number of different factors such as the state you live, the speed you were driving, and the level of danger that your driving was creating.
Many police officers will issue a warning instead of ticketing you, but you could end up with a fine of $200+.
Justified Reasons for Driving Slow
Just because you are driving slow, that does not mean that you are guaranteed to get a ticket. There are plenty of situations where driving well below the speed limit is totally justified such as:
- Poor Road Conditions
- School Zones
- Other Roadside Hazards
How to Avoid Tickets for Driving Too Slow
Getting a ticket is never fun – especially when it’s for driving too slow. However, not everyone is in a rush when they commute to work, and some people simply don’t feel comfortable driving fast.
So long as your driving is not hazardous to the people around you, police will likely not issue you a ticket for driving below the speed limit.
The most common situations in which people get ticketed for slow driving is when their speed endangers others. Try the following methods to avoid getting a ticket for driving too slow.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This is something that you should be doing every time that you get behind the wheel, regardless of your speed. Being aware of your surroundings is the best way to prevent hazards, accidents, and even tickets.
If you prefer to drive slow and want to avoid getting ticketed, you should check your mirrors regularly and be mindful of how your driving affects traffic.
Once you notice that your are impeding or blocking traffic in anyway, change lanes when necessary or take the next turn out, and police should not issue you a ticket.
Obey Traffic Laws
Although minimum speed limit signs are rare, they do exist. When you see a minimum speed limit sign on the road, obey the traffic law and you will not receive a ticket.
In addition, when you see signs for a turn out while on the highway, that should be an indicator to pull out when needed so that you do not impede traffic.
Drive the Speed Limit
It can be hard to determine what police consider to be “too slow,” as minimum speed signs are by no means a standard in most states.
While this may be frustrating for some drivers, virtually every road has a speed limit sign.
Driving the speed limit is the most standard and acceptable speed that you can maintain on the road. You cannot receive a ticket and other drivers can only get so upset with you if you are impeding traffic. Perhaps the most sure way to avoid a ticket for driving too slow is to just drive the posted speed limit.
Key Takeaways to Tickets for Driving Too Slow
You can get a ticket for driving too slow, but generally only if you are creating hazards on the road by doing so.
Police issue tickets to slow drivers for impeding traffic, failing to use turnouts, and for driving too slow in the fast lane on the highway.
You can avoid tickets for driving too slow by being aware of your surroundings, obeying traffic laws, and driving the posted speed limit.