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Does California Enforce Its 55 MPH Towing Speed Limit?

Does California Enforce Its 55 MPH Towing Speed Limit?

Does California Enforce Its 55 MPH Towing Speed Limit?

Can’t drive 55 mph even when you’re towing your RV trailer? It could cost you!

The maximum speed limit in California varies depending on your vehicle’s setup. To avoid fines, you’ll want to be mindful of your driving situation.

Today, we’ll help you understand whether the 55 mph speed limit applies to you and if California enforces it for towing vehicles.

Let’s get started!

What Is the Speed Limit in California?

Speed limits in California vary depending on the type of road. A majority of the divided highways in California have a maximum speed limit of 65 mph.

However, some of the newer divided highways have bumped it up to 70 mph. Two-lane undivided highways typically have a speed limit of 55 mph unless otherwise posted.

It’s important to note that these are for standard passenger vehicles. California does have a lower maximum speed limit for vehicles that are towing. This lower limit is 55 mph and applies to all vehicles that are towing a trailer.

So make sure you keep an eye on the speed limit signs and are mindful if you’re towing.

Welcome to California sign.
Towing vehicles in California have a speed limit of 55 mph.

Why Does California Have a 55 MPH Speed Limit for Trucks?

The primary reason for a lower speed limit is to increase safety for truck drivers and others on the road. Stopping distances for vehicles increase significantly the faster a vehicle is traveling.

Heavier vehicles also require more room to stop. A speeding vehicle that has a heavy load is the perfect storm for an accident.

By reducing the maximum speed for trucks, California increases the safety of everyone on the road. It reduces the chance that a large truck making a quick stop could jack-knife or plow into the back of another vehicle.

While it may be frustrating to slow down, safety is always more important than speed.

Pro Tip: While cruising through California make sure to stop at these 7 Best Roadside Attractions in California.

Does an RV or Tow Vehicle Have to Go 55 in California?

Yes, the law states that any vehicle towing must not exceed 55 mph.

Some believe that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) no longer enforces the rule.

However, CHP still issues citations for those exceeding the speed limit while towing. Seeing other vehicles towing and exceeding the 55 mph speed limit doesn’t mean no one is enforcing the rule or that it does not apply to you.

It’s more likely that the drivers going too fast are ignorant of the law or ignoring it.

Speed limit 55 sign.
Keep yourself and others safe by not exceeding 55 mph while towing.

Can You Get Away with Going Faster Than 55?

Whether you’re towing or not, you’ve likely gone over the speed limit and gotten away with it. However, that doesn’t make it right or safe to do so.

Simply because you can get away with something doesn’t make it appropriate for you to do it. So save yourself the trouble and money, and back off the pedal a little while towing in California.

Pro Tip: Need a place to stay while exploring California? We found The Best Beach Camping in California.

What Is the Fastest You Can Go on a California Highway?

The fastest you can drive on a California highway is 70 mph. However, some California highways have a slightly lower speed limit of 65. It’s also important to keep an eye on the speed limit signs, as they change depending on whether or not you’re in a rural or more urban location.

However, there’s a maximum speed limit of 55 for all vehicles towing on any California highway.

RV driving down road.
You can get a fine for driving too fast or too slow.

What Is the Slowest You Can Go on a California Highway?

While maximum speed limits are often a significant concern, you should also know how slow you’re going. You can get a citation under Vehicle Code 22400 VC in California for driving too slow. The minimum speed limit of California highways varies depending on the location but is typically 45 or 55 mph.

Driving too slow can cost you $237 or more in fines and could likely cost you more if your insurance premium increases.

So it’s essential to watch your speed for going too fast or too slow. If driving conditions are such that you can’t maintain a safe speed, it’s best to find a secure place to park until the conditions improve.

Even If You Can Drive Faster Than 55 While Towing, You Probably Shouldn’t

When you’re towing an RV, you should never be in a hurry. Exceeding the speed limit is dangerous and can cost you a pretty penny if you get caught.

Not to mention that there are many situations where an RV simply shouldn’t be going very fast. These rigs are not like cars, even if you’re driving a truck towing another vehicle. You need to take more precautions and perhaps go a bit slower than drivers in cars.

So it doesn’t matter whether you’re in California, Maine, or somewhere in between; make sure you follow the posted speed limit. We want you to arrive at your RVing adventure safely and enjoy many more experiences in the future.

Have you ever had to follow California’s lower speed limit for towing or a similar law in a different state?

What is the strangest traffic law you’ve encountered during your travels?

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Rudy

Thursday 4th of November 2021

I was a truck driver for 10 years. Duel speed limits are some of the worse ideas there are. First, all vehicles do not go exactly 55 indicated. All trucks do not pull even small grades at the same speed. So, now you have a truck passing while going 55 out on the open interstate. Now cars are coming up behind you at 70+. This is a recipe for disaster. You finally pass the slower truck. The automobile driver is now enraged. He pulls in front of you then slams on the brakes. What happened to safety????

Vince

Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

Very good that you pointed this out to people. All roads and interstates entering into California 55 MPH if towing. The only exception of a sign not posted is if the road is posted 50MPH or less; And that's because everyone should be doing no more than the posted speed. I have made it a personal choice to do 55MPH when towing. Even when in AZ and it's posted at 75MPH. I do this for all the safety reasons you so well pointed out. Blow outside and stopping distance are the top 2 reasons amongst many others. Again, very good article people need to pay more attention to.

George

Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

If folks pulled campers with the right size vehicles there wouldn't be an issue. I see campers being pulled with cars or mini vans. Even see some trucks maxed out pulling 5th wheels with a half ton pickup. These are the folks that ruin it for everyone.

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