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FHWA Home / Safety / Speed Management / Policy

Policy

In December 1995, Congress repealed the National Maximum Speed Limit (NMSL), which had been 55 mi/h on urban Interstates and 65 mi/h on rural Interstates and certain rural Interstate look-alikes. Full authority to set posted speed limits on all public roads returned once again to State and local governments, ending 20 years of Federal involvement with national speed limits. The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (which contained the repeal) also ended the requirement that States provide travel speed data to FHWA; Congress had linked noncompliance with the NMSL to possible loss of Federal funds. In 1997, the U.S. DOT developed the formal speed policy and implementation strategy in use today.

Page last modified on October 15, 2014.
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Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000