Each week I see stories about drivers around the United States getting tickets for driving well over the speed limit.  Billionaire Larry Ellison was pulled over last year in Hawaii for driving excessively on one of the islands that he owns 98% of.

Rob Sullivan/ Townsquare Media Hudson Valley
Rob Sullivan/ Townsquare Media Hudson Valley

Drive poorly and you get to donate to the local policeman's ball! 

Last week a driver in California was cited with reckless driving for going 152 mph in a 55 mph area. He was driving a Lamborghini, which isn’t an excuse, but I am sure he can afford the ticket.

When I read these stories I remember a time when you could legally drive those speeds in Montana, and most likely not get a ticket if you could prove two things.

Reasonable and Prudent

The definition of reasonable and prudent according to Law Insider is:

Reasonable and Prudent means, in relation to an undertaking, the exercise of that degree of skill, diligence, prudence and foresight which would reasonably and ordinarily be exercised by a skilled and experienced person complying with recognized standards and applicable laws in the same type of undertaking under the same circumstances and conditions; and 'reasonably and prudently' has a corresponding meaning.

Montana Reasonable and Prudent Speed Limits

In December of 1995 the National Maximum speed limit was repealed and therefore Montana converted back to reasonable and prudent.  That definition stayed in place until December of 1998 when the Montana Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that reasonable and prudent was too vague.  The Montana legislature put the limit of 75 mph on Montana Interstate Highways starting in May 1999.

The reason that the Supreme Court had to decide was because many people who received a speeding ticket were taking their case to court.  Their argument was, I have a well maintained vehicle, I am an excellent driver and therefore I was being reasonable and prudent while driving.  Law enforcement was in a no win battle trying to keep drivers in check with tickets.

iseecars.com website
iseecars.com website

Another Fast Car!

Most recently the 2015 Montana legislature increased the speed limit on MT Interstate Highways to 80 mph. I have traveled enough roads in MT to appreciate the higher limit, but I also know when to slow down.  Just because you are allowed to drive 80, doesn’t mean you should drive 80.  What are your thoughts? Should the state go back to reasonable and prudent or keep the current speed limit, or drop the number down?

If you have a story idea or something you want to learn more about, give Randy a call at 406-788-3003 or send me an email at randall.bogden@townsquaremedia.com

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