State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 346 > 346.57

346.57

SUBCHAPTER IX
SPEED RESTRICTIONS
346.57 Speed restrictions.

346.57(1)

(1) Definitions. In this section:

346.57(1)(ag)

(ag) "Expressway" means a state trunk highway that, as determined by the department, has 4 or more lanes of traffic physically separated by a median or barrier and that gives preference to through traffic by utilizing interchanges or limiting at-grade access to selected public roads and public driveways.

346.57(1)(am)

(am) "Freeway" means a state trunk highway that has 4 or more lanes of traffic physically separated by a median or barrier and that gives preference to through traffic by limiting access to interchanges only.

346.57(1)(ar)

(ar) "Outlying district" means the territory contiguous to and including any highway within the corporate limits of a city or village where on each side of the highway within any 1,000 feet along such highway the buildings in use for business, industrial or residential purposes fronting thereon average more than 200 feet apart.

346.57(1)(b)

(b) "Semiurban district" means the territory contiguous to and including any highway where on either side of the highway within any 1,000 feet along such highway the buildings in use for business, industrial or residential purposes fronting thereon average not more than 200 feet apart or where the buildings in use for such purposes fronting on both sides of the highway considered collectively average not more than 200 feet apart.

346.57(2)

(2) Reasonable and prudent limit. No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing. The speed of a vehicle shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any object, person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and using due care.

346.57(3)

(3) Conditions requiring reduced speed. The operator of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of sub. (2), 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 hillcrest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, when passing school children, highway construction or maintenance workers or other pedestrians, and when special hazard exists with regard to other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

346.57(4)

(4) Fixed limits. In addition to complying with the speed restrictions imposed by subs. (2) and (3), no person shall drive a vehicle at a speed in excess of the following limits unless different limits are indicated by official traffic signs:

346.57(4)(a)

(a) Fifteen miles per hour when passing a schoolhouse at those times when children are going to or from school or are playing within the sidewalk area at or about the school.

346.57(4)(b)

(b) Fifteen miles per hour when passing an intersection or other location properly marked with a "school crossing" sign of a type approved by the department when any of the following conditions exists:

346.57(4)(b)1.

1. Any child is present.

346.57(4)(b)2.

2. A school crossing guard is within a crosswalk at the intersection or the other location or, if no crosswalk exists, is in the roadway at the intersection or the other location.

346.57(4)(b)3.

3. A school crossing guard is placing in or removing from the roadway at or near the intersection or the other location a temporary sign or device that guides, warns, or regulates traffic.

346.57(4)(c)

(c) Fifteen miles per hour when passing a safety zone occupied by pedestrians and at which a public passenger vehicle has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers.

346.57(4)(d)

(d) Fifteen miles per hour in any alley.

346.57(4)(e)

(e) Twenty-five miles per hour on any highway within the corporate limits of a city or village, other than on highways in outlying districts in such city or village.

346.57(4)(em)

(em) Twenty-five miles per hour on any service road within the corporate limits of a city or village unless modified by the authority in charge of the highway.

346.57(4)(f)

(f) Thirty-five miles per hour in any outlying district within the corporate limits of a city or village.

346.57(4)(g)

(g) Thirty-five miles per hour on any highway in a semiurban district outside the corporate limits of a city or village.

346.57(4)(gm)

(gm) Sixty-five miles per hour on any freeway or expressway.

346.57(4)(h)

(h) In the absence of any other fixed limits or the posting of limits as required or authorized by law, 55 miles per hour.

346.57(4)(i)

(i) Fifteen miles per hour on any street or town road, except a state trunk highway or connecting highway, within, contiguous to or adjacent to a public park or recreation area when children are going to or from or are playing within such area, when the local authority has enacted an ordinance regulating such traffic and has properly marked such area with official traffic control devices erected at such points as said authority deems necessary and at those points on the streets or town roads concerned where persons traversing the same would enter such area from an area where a different speed limit is in effect.

346.57(4)(j)

(j) Thirty-five miles per hour on any town road where on either side of the highway within any 1,000 feet along such highway the buildings in use for business, industrial or residential purposes fronting thereon average less than 150 feet apart, provided the town board has adopted an ordinance determining such speed limit and has posted signs at such points as the town board deems necessary to give adequate warning to users of the town road.

346.57(4)(k)

(k) Forty-five miles per hour on any highway designated as a rustic road under s. 83.42.

346.57(5)

(5) Zoned and posted limits. In addition to complying with the speed restrictions imposed by subs. (2) and (3), no person shall drive a vehicle in excess of any speed limit established pursuant to law by state or local authorities and indicated by official signs.

346.57(6)

(6) Certain statutory limits to be posted.

346.57(6)(a)

(a) On state trunk highways and connecting highways and on county trunk highways or highways marked and signed as county trunks, the speed limits specified in sub. (4) (e) and (f) are not effective unless official signs giving notice thereof have been erected by the authority in charge of maintenance of the highway in question. The speed limit specified in sub. (4) (g) and (k) is not effective on any highway unless official signs giving notice thereof have been erected by the authority in charge of maintenance of the highway in question. The signs shall be erected at such points as the authority in charge of maintenance deems necessary to give adequate warning to users of the highway in question, but an alleged failure to post a highway as required by this paragraph is not a defense to a prosecution for violation of the speed limits specified in sub. (4) (e), (f), (g) or (k), or in an ordinance enacted in conformity therewith, if official signs giving notice of the speed limit have been erected at those points on the highway in question where a person traversing such highway would enter it from an area where a different speed limit is in effect.

346.57(6)(b)

(b) The limit specified under sub. (4) (gm) is not effective unless official signs giving notice of the limit have been erected by the department.

346.57 - ANNOT.

History: 1973 c. 157; 1975 c. 192, 210; 1977 c. 29 s. 1654 (3), (8) (a); 1977 c. 30, 67, 116, 203, 272; 1987 a. 17, 136; 1993 a. 246; 1995 a. 318; 1997 a. 35; 2001 a. 47.

346.57 - ANNOT.

While sub. (2) is related to sub. (3), it is not limited by sub. (3). Sub. (3) creates a greater duty in respect to speed than sub. (2) does. Thoreson v. Milwaukee & Suburban Transport Corp. 56 Wis. 2d 231, 201 N.W.2d 745 (1972).

346.57 - ANNOT.

Judicial notice may be taken of the reliability of the underlying principles of radar that employs the Doppler effect to determine speed. A prima facie presumption of accuracy of moving radar will be accorded upon competent testimony of the operating officer of required facts. State v. Hanson, 85 Wis. 2d 233, 270 N.W.2d 212 (1978).

346.57 - ANNOT.

A prima facie presumption of accuracy applies to stationary radar devices. City of Wauwatosa v. Collett, 99 Wis. 2d 522, 299 N.W.2d 620 (Ct. App. 1980).

346.57 - ANNOT.

The application of the Hanson requirements is discussed. State v. Kramer, 99 Wis. 2d 700, 299 N.W.2d 882 (1981).

346.57 - ANNOT.

An actor may claim the defense of legal justification if the conduct of a law enforcement officer causes the actor to reasonably believe that violating the law is the only means of preventing bodily harm to the actor or another and causes the actor to violate the law. State v. Brown, 107 Wis. 2d 44, 318 N.W.2d 370 (1982).

346.57 - ANNOT.

This section does not impose absolute liability upon drivers to avoid accidents. Millonig v. Bakken, 112 Wis. 2d 445, 334 N.W.2d 80 (1983).

346.57 - ANNOT.

The presumption of the accuracy of moving radar is discussed. The elements of the Hanson/Kramer criteria are explained. Washington County v. Luedtke, 135 Wis. 2d 131, 399 N.W.2d 906 (1987).