Updated: September, 2017Summary of common traffic laws in Rhode Island – Speed limits, License Renewals, Learners Permits, Drunk Driving Laws, and more. For more information, visit the Rhode Island Office of Highway Safety website.
In Rhode Island, the maximum speed limit for cars is 65 mph. The maximum highway speed for trucks is also 65 mph. These are maximum speeds. Speeds may be lower on highway passing through urban areas. Always observe posted traffic laws and drive safely for the weather and road conditions.
Rhode Island allows new drivers to get their learners permit at the age of 16. You must have your provisional license for a minimum of 6 months. Drivers can then get their intermediate license at 16 years and 6 months. An Intermediate License imposes restricts on when you are allowed to drive and how many passengers are allowed in the car, but allows you to drive yourself without an instructor in the car.
In Rhode Island, drivers can obtain their full drivers license at the age of 17 years and 6 months.
Rhode Island requires you to renew your license every 5 years. Older drivers face additional renewal requirements:
The state of Rhode Island enforces increased penalties for speeding violations within work zones. These increased penalties are known as Work Zone Enhancements. Work Zone Enhancements can be enforced even if workers are not present as long as road work signs are posted. In Rhode Island, Work Zone Enhacements are:
The legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08%. Driving while above the legal limit is called Driving Under the Influence. Driving while above certain BAC is called Driving while intoxicated and carries a heavier penalty. In Rhode Island, driving with a BAC above 0.10% will trigger automatic enhanced minimum penalties.
Texting while driving is illegal in most but not all states. In Rhode Island, hand-held devices such as phones and mp3 player are banned to novice drivers only. Hands-free interaction with cellphones is allowed.
Texting while driving is banned in Rhode Island. Texting while driving is concidered a primary offense. This means that you can be pulled over with texting as the only offense. In Rhode Island, distracted driving is listed as a category on police crash report forms.
Rhode Island requires seabelt use. Seatbelt enforcement is concidered primary, meaning you can be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. The fine for a seatbelt law violation in Rhode Island is $40.00. Seatbelt use laws depend on the driving experience of the driver and which seat of the car a passenger is sitting in.