Speeding Tickets in MaineFighting a Speeding Ticket in Maine
Legal Procedure for Speeding in Maine
Maine Points – Fines – Reciprocity and Other Issues
Absolute Speed Limits in Maine
In Maine the basic speeding law states that “An operator shall operate a vehicle at a careful and prudent speed not greater than is reasonable and proper having due regard to the traffic, surface and width of the way and of other conditions then existing.” In Maine the absolute or maximum speed limit is divided in specific categories based on the location. For a vehicle driving on the highway, Maine Turnpike or the interstate the absolute speed limit is 65 miles per hour (“mph”). In a residential or business area the absolute speed limit is 25mph; when traveling in a school zone or when approaching a school crossing the speed limit is 15 mph. In all other areas, where a sign is not posted the absolute speed limit is 45mph. The absolute speed limit is generally the speed limit that is posted on the signs on the road. Going over the speed limit is a strict liability crime, meaning that regardless of the intention a driver may have, whether he indented to speed or not, he is strictly liable for going over the posted speed limit; even if it just a few miles above the speed limit. Going over the absolute speed limit is generally punishable by a fine and if found guilty, can add points on your license. Points that are added to your license depend on the speed at which the driver was going over. For example, in the State of Maine, if a driver was going 1-15 miles over the speed limit, it is going to add 4 points to you license. If a driver is speeding 16-29 miles over the speed limit, it is going to add 6 points to your license.
Maine also has a distinct classification for excessive speeds within the specific areas mentioned that is considered to be a criminal offense. These excessive speed classification states that if a person cannot exceed over 30 mph the posted speed limit. These excessive speed limits are different from the absolute speed limits because the punishment is more severe. A person that is in violation of excessive speeds above is guilty of a Class E criminal offense and a minimum fine of at least $50, and possibly a term of imprisonment for not more than 6 months.
Presumed Speed Limits in Maine
In addition, the State of Maine also has the presumed speed limits. The presumed speed limits state that “A person shall not drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent speed under the conditions and actual and potential hazards then existing.” This means that a driver of a vehicle should drive at a reasonable speed according to the conditions and circumstances given at the time and should not exceed speeds that what is considered reasonable by a ordinary citizen of the state. These reasonable speeds are generally considered to be the speed limits posted on the signs and a reasonable person should drive within those speed limits. However, given the circumstances a driver may still be in violation of speeding if the circumstances or conditions of the road, weather may be hazardous or dangerous.
If a vehicle is going at a speed that is not reasonable and prudent, but rather too slow, the speeding law in Maine states that a person may not operate a car at such a slow speed that would “impede” normal and reasonable movement of traffic. If a driver is driving below the minimum speed limit, drivers have the right to bypass that vehicle if it is safe and reasonable to do so. A driver can pass another car and when passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction must pass to the left at a safe distance and may not return to the right until it is safe to do so. Also, a driver may not overtake another vehicle by driving off the pavement or main traveled portion of the way.
In all, the State of Maine has established a set amount of speed limitations for specific areas. Generally, the speed that is expected is speed that shall not exceed greater than what is reasonable and prudent. The state statute says that “An operator shall operate a vehicle at a careful and prudent speed not greater than is reasonable and proper having due regard to the traffic, surface and width of the way and of other conditions then existing.” The absolute speed limit in Maine for the interstate highway or the Main turnpike is 65 miles per hour, 15 miles per hour when you are within a school zone, 25 miles per hour in a business or residential district. And, if not posted anywhere on a sign, the speed limit is presumed to be 45mph or what is reasonable and prudent. However, the speed limit is simply understood to be what is reasonable and prudent at the time according to the circumstances. If a driver is going above the speed limit, regardless of his intent to do so, he can be issued a summons. If a driver is excessively speeding, he can be found guilty of a criminal offense. Also, there is no difference for speed limits between commercial vehicles and private vehicles.