• Washington D.C. Speeding Ticket Laws

    Speeding Tickets in Washington D.C.

    Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Washington D.C.
    Legal Process for Speeding in Washington D.C.
    Washington D.C. Points – Fines – Reciprocity and Other Issues

    District of Columbia traffic laws provide a general speed restriction and specific speed limits. Motorists are required to obey both. You should not drive on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable given the existing conditions, taking into account potential hazards and road conditions. Further, you should not drive so slowly as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when a reduced speed is necessary to the safe operation of your vehicle. You should never exceed the posted speed limit. The following are D.C’s speed limit laws, unless otherwise posted: City streets is 25 miles per hour, alleys is 15 miles per hour, school zones is 15 miles per hour, on ordinary highways 30-50 miles per hour, on divided highways 30-55 miles per hour and on interstate highways 55-75 miles per hour.

    In D.C there are two kinds of speed sighns: speed limit signs and advisory (recommended) speed signs. Speed limit signs have black letters and numbers on them and are rectangular and white: speed limit signs notify you of the legal allowable speed limit. Advisory speed signs are listed on orange or yellow signs and are posted along portions of highways to warn you that certain conditions may make it unsafe to drive at a faster speed than that listed. Advisory speed signs do not have the force of law, however, if you exceed it and are subsequently involved in an accident, it may be concluded that you violated the general speed restriction and you may be issued a speeding ticket.

    Absolute Speed Limits in Washington D.C.

    Most states, including D.C., follow the Uniform Vehicle Code, which sets absolute limits. When a driver is prosecuted for exceeding the absolute speed limit, it is per se illegal, regardless of whether you were driving safely or not. Driving even one mile per hour over the posted speed limit is illegal. D.C.’s absolute speed limit is 55 miles per hour on urban interstates and 25 miles per hour on all other roads unless otherwise designated. In alleys, the maximum speed limit is 15 miles per hour. On all streets adjacent to school buildings, the maximum speed limit is 15 miles per hour during the times indicated on the school zone traffic signs. When no times are indicated, the maximum lawful speed is 15 miles per hour during recess or when children are coming to or leaving school.

    Presumed Speed Limits in Washington D.C.

    If you are charged with violating a presumed speed limit, the burden falls upon you to prove that you were going at a safe speed given the traffic and road conditions. This is because in a presumed speed limit state, you are presumed to be breaking the law if you are driving at a speed above the posted speed limit. D.C law states “no person shall drive a vehicle on a street or highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.” Such laws are not deemed unconstitutional even though the burden of proof is shifted onto the motorist. The reason being that instead of conclusively presuming that you were driving at an unreasonable speed, presumed speed limits create a rebuttable presumption that you may challenge. Circumstances that can influence whether you were driving safely can include road and weather conditions.
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