Maryland Laws Against & Penalties for Speeding
Even though the State of Maryland has general and specific rules against speeding, it remains one of the most common traffic offenses. When a driver exceeds the maximum speed limit, they can face a hefty fine and demerit points on their driver’s license. When a person accumulates too many demerit points, they may experience driver’s license suspension or revocation. As a result, it is vital for all drivers to understand the speeding laws in Maryland.
General Speed Guidelines
The general speed guidelines appear under Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-801. This section requires drivers to operate their vehicles in a reasonable and prudent manner, in light of any existing or potential dangers on the roads. If bad weather or an accident contributes to dangerous conditions, then drivers must adjust their speed accordingly.
Maximum Speed Limits
The maximum speed limits appear under Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-801.1. From an overarching standpoint, Section 21-801.1 prohibits maximum speed limits above 55 miles per hour anywhere in the state. Though there are special considerations for specific highways and expressways.
More specifically, this section prohibits any driver from operating a motor vehicle at a speed exceeding:
- 15 miles per hour on certain alleys in Baltimore County;
- 30 miles per hour on highways in business districts;
- 30 miles per hour on undivided highways in residential districts;
- 35 miles per hour on divided highways in residential districts;
- 50 miles per hour on undivided highways in other districts;
- 55 miles per hour on divided highways in other districts; or
- 70 miles per hour on specific highways and expressways.
Furthermore, Section 21-801.1 incorporates the reasonable and prudent speed requirement as well. If it is unreasonable to drive at the maximum speed limit due to highway conditions or other dangers, then drivers are required to operate their vehicle at a lower speed in the interest of safety.
Demerit Points & Fines
If a person violates Section 21-801 by exceeding a reasonable and prudent speed, the penalties usually include one demerit point and $90 in fines. Though if the violation contributed to an accident, the driver incurs three demerit points and $130 in fines.
If a person violates Section 21-801.1 by exceeding a maximum speed limit, the penalties change based on how fast that person was driving. For example, any person who drives:
- 1 to 9 miles per hour over the speed limit can face one demerit point and $80 in fines;
- 10 to 19 miles per hour over the speed limit can face two demerit points and $90 in fines;
- 20 to 29 miles per hour over the speed limit can face two demerit points and $160 in fines (more if the speed limit is 65 miles per hour);
- 30 to 39 miles per hour over the speed limit can face five demerit points and $290 in fines; and
- 40 miles per hour or more over the speed limit can face five demerit points and $530 in fines.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have legal questions about speeding or other traffic offenses in Maryland, it can be absolutely crucial to consult with a talented criminal defense attorney. The Bel Air traffic offenses attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in criminal and family law, including speeding tickets and other traffic offenses. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.