Speeding Tickets in Maryland
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Maryland
Maryland Points – Fines – Reciprocity and Other Issues
Procedural Steps for Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Maryland
Speed limit laws can be defined under two categories: absolute speed limits and presumed speed limits. Absolute speed limits set a maximum speed at which a car can legally travel. These speed limits are termed “absolute” because they cannot be legally exceeded under any condition. For example, this would make it illegal to even drive 1 mile over the maximum limit. In Maryland, the absolute maximum speed limits are set by the state statute Md. Trans. Code. Ann. § 21-801.1. This statute states that, “a person may not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed that exceeds these [maximum speed] limits.” The maximum speed limits in Maryland are imposed by the General Assembly of the state and they read are as follows:
- 65 mph on interstate highways or expressways
- 15 mph in alleys in Baltimore County
- 30 mph on all highways in a business district [and] undivided highways in a residential district
- 35 mph on divided highways in a residential district
- 50 mph on undivided highways in other locations
- 55 mph on divided highways in other locations
While most states employ the maximum speed limit laws, some states have “presumed” speed limit laws. Presumed speed limits allow motorists to drive at a discretionarily safe speed under certain road conditions, such as road construction or weather conditions. It is not uncommon for states with absolute speed laws to also employ presumed speed laws under certain conditions. For example, Maryland requires motorists to drive at a “reasonable and prudent speed” under certain conditions, and motorists can be cited for driving under the maximum speed limit if police believe their speed to be unreasonable. Maryland law cites several examples of when a driver is expected to drive at a reasonable and reduced speed such as: approaching and crossing railroad grade crossings, approaching and going around curves, approaching crests of grades, traveling on narrow or winding roadways, or under bad weather and highway conditions.
Maryland also has a law that expressly prohibits driving below a posted minimum speed limit. Unless it is necessary to drive at a reduced speed, a person is prohibited from driving at a speed that is slow enough to impede traffic. Furthermore, a person is prohibited from driving a passenger or multipurpose vehicle on a highway if the vehicle does not have the capability of reaching a speed in excess of at least 5 mph over the posted maximum speed limit.
While the State of Maryland is responsible for imposing the speed limits on most roads, private community-owned roadways are not subject to such restrictions. Therefore, police officers have no jurisdiction to enforce state speed limits on these private roadways. However, the police are allowed to enforce speed laws on these private roadways when a vehicle is being operated negligently or recklessly.