Arkansas Code Title 27. Transportation § 27-51-201. Restrictions

<Text of section effective July 1, 2020.  See, also, section 27-51-201 effective until July 1, 2020.>

(a)(1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.

(2) In every event, speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

(b)(1)(A) The maximum speed limit for a motor vehicle operated on a controlled-access highway is seventy-five miles per hour (75 m.p.h.) if the controlled-access highway:

(i) Is located outside an urban area;  and

(ii) Has at least four (4) lanes that are divided by a median strip.

(B) The maximum speed limit for a commercial motor vehicle operated on a controlled-access highway described in subdivision (b)(1)(A) of this section is seventy miles per hour (70 m.p.h.).

(2) The Arkansas Department of Transportation shall erect the appropriate signs giving notice of the maximum speed limit provided in subdivision (b)(1)(A) of this section along the controlled-access highway.

(3) Upon an engineering and traffic investigation, the State Highway Commission may decrease the maximum speed limit on a controlled-access highway from the speed limit provided by subdivision (b)(1) of this section.

(c) On all facilities other than controlled-access highways under subdivision (b)(1) of this section, except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection (a) of this section, the limits specified in this section or established as authorized shall be maximum lawful speeds, and a person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of:

(1) Thirty miles per hour (30 m.p.h.) in any urban district;

(2) Fifty miles per hour (50 m.p.h.) for trucks of one-and-one-half-ton capacity or more in other locations;

(3) Sixty-five miles per hour (65 m.p.h.) on a controlled-access highway in an urban area;  and

(4) A motor vehicle which is overwidth, overlength, or overheight or the gross load of which is in excess of sixty-four thousand pounds (64,000 lbs.) excluding the front axle, even if operated under a special permit, shall not be operated in excess of thirty miles per hour (30 m.p.h.).

(d) Consistent with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, the driver of every vehicle shall drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching the crest of a hill, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

(e) In every charge of violation of this section, the complaint and the summons or notice to appear shall specify the speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven and the prima facie speed applicable within the district or location.

(f) No person shall operate any motor-driven cycle at any time mentioned in § 27-36-204(a) at a speed greater than thirty-five miles per hour (35 m.p.h.) unless such motor-driven cycle is equipped with a headlamp or headlamps which are adequate to reveal a person or vehicle at a distance of three hundred feet (300′) ahead.

(g) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to relieve the plaintiff in any civil action from the burden of proving negligence upon the part of the defendant as the proximate cause of the accident.

(h) As used in this section, “commercial motor vehicle” means any motor vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle or vehicle combination has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of twenty-six thousand one pounds (26,001 lbs.) or more.


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