Speeding Tickets in Delaware
Delaware Points – Fines – Reciprocity and Other Issues
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Delaware
There are two types of speed limits in Delaware: the absolute speed limit and the presumed speed limit.
Absolute Speed Limit in Delaware
The absolute speed limit is what is posted as the maximum on fixed or variable signs. If your speed is in excess of that limit, it is a strict liability crime. Unless there was a legitimate excuse, a strict liability crime is where you are in violation of a crime regardless of your intention. In Delaware, the absolute speed limit is 65 mph for all portions of Delaware State Route 1 located between the Red Lion Creek and the Appoquinimink River. Title 21, 4169(d). However, the State Department of Transportation and local Delaware authorities have the discretion to declare a lower or higher absolute speed limit if they have sufficient reason to. Title 21, 4169(b), Title 21, 4170(b).
Presumed Speed Limit in Delaware
Additionally, there is a presumed speed limit in Delaware that all motorists must follow. A presumed speed limit differs from the absolute speed limit because it is not determined by posted speeds but rather a “reasonable and prudent” speed based on the road and weather conditions. Delaware’s presumed speed limit law reads as follows: “No person shall drive a vehicle on the highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and without having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.” Title 21, 4168(a). Essentially, a person may be ticketed even if he/she were obeying the speed limit if the speed is excessive based on the conditions of the road due to weather or construction work, for example. However, the law also states that “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.” Title 21, 4168(a). This means that there could be legitimate excuses to speeding as stated earlier.
Minimum Speed Limit in Delaware
Minimum speed limits also exist. Motorists cannot operate a vehicle “at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic” according to law. Title 21, 4171(a). If motorists wish to drive at a speed that is less than the normal speed of traffic, they must drive in the right-hand lane that is available for traffic or as close as practicable towards that side. Title 21, 4114(b). Even if motorists are driving at such a speed, other motorists may not exceed the speed limit to pass the “slow” motorists.
There are different speed limits for other roads as opposed to the highway mentioned above. Barring special hazards, the specific absolute speed limits for Delaware are as follows:
(1) 25 miles per hour in any business district;
(2) 25 miles per hour in any residential district;
(3) 20 miles per hour at all school zones where such signs are posted;
(4) 50 miles per hour on 2-lane roadways;
(5) 55 miles per hour on 4-lane roadways and on divided roadways.
Title 21, 4169(a).
Furthermore, there is special rule for bridges and elevated structures: “no person shall exceed the maximum posted speed limit which has been established for any bridge or elevated structure.” Title 21, 4173(a).
Speed Limit for Commercial Vehicles in Delaware
In Delaware, these laws are the same for commercial vehicle operators. In other words, commercial vehicle operators must follow the same speed limits as other motorists.