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39:4-98. Rates of speed. Subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-96 and R.S.39:4-97 and except

in those instances where a lower speed is specified in this chapter, it shall be prima facie lawful

for the driver of a vehicle to drive it at a speed not exceeding the following :

a.     Twenty-five miles per hour, when passing through a school zone during recess, when the

presence of children is clearly visible from the roadway, or while children are going to or leaving

school, during opening or closing hours;

b. (1) Twenty-five miles per hour in any business or residential district;

(2)     Thirty-five miles per hour in any suburban business or residential district;

c.     Fifty miles per hour in all other locations, except as otherwise provided in the “Sixty-Five

MPH Speed Limit Implementation Act,” pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1997, c.415 (C.39:4-98.3 et


Whenever it shall be determined upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation

that any speed hereinbefore set forth is greater or less than is reasonable or safe under the

conditions found to exist at any intersection or other place or upon any part of a highway, the

Commissioner of Transportation, with reference to State highways, may by regulation and

municipal or county authorities, with reference to highways under their jurisdiction, may by

ordinance, in the case of municipal authorities, or by ordinance or resolution, in the case of

county authorities, subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, except as

otherwise provided in R.S.39:4-8, designate a reasonable and safe speed limit thereat which,

subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-96 and R.S.39:4-97, shall be prima facie lawful at all times

or at such times as may be determined, when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected

at such intersection, or other place or part of the highway. Appropriate signs giving notice of the

speed limits authorized under the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection b. and subsection c.

of this section may be erected if the commissioner or the municipal or county authorities, as the

case may be, so determine they are necessary. Appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limits

authorized under the provisions of subsection a. and paragraph (2) of subsection b. of this

section shall be erected by the commissioner or the municipal or county authorities, as


When designating reasonable and safe speed limits for a street under its jurisdiction pursuant

to this subsection, as part of an engineering and traffic investigation, a municipality or county

shall consider, but not be limited to, the following criteria: residential density; the presence, or

lack, of sidewalks; the prevalence of entry and exit ways for business and commercial

establishments; whether school children walk adjacent to the street on their way to and from

school; and the proximity of recreational or park areas, schools, community residences, family

day care homes, child care centers, assisted living facilities or senior communities. Nothing in

this paragraph shall substitute for traffic count, accident, and speed sampling data as


The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of this section, 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 a hill crest, 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.

The Commissioner of Transportation shall cause the erection and maintenance of signs at

such points of entrance to the State as are deemed advisable, setting forth the lawful rates of

speed, the wording of which shall be within his discretion.

Amended 1939, c.211; 1942, c.325,(1942, c.325 repealed 1946, c.8); 1951, c.23, s.55; 1983,

c.227, s.2; 1993, c.315, s.2; 1997, c.415, s.1; 2009, c.258.