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Following is an overview of the laws, limits, and fines as they relate to speeding traffic violations in the state of Alaska.
Speed limits in Alaska
65 mph: specified areas of the Alaska interstate and on some rural freeways. Areas with this speed limit are posted.
55 mph: any roadway other than those specified in these rules
25 mph: residential areas
20 mph: business districts
20 mph: marked school or playground areas
15 mph: alleys
In areas with speed limits that vary from these, the limit is posted. There are no roadways with a speed limit exceeding 65 mph.
While these are the specific speed limits for each area, a driver may still be ticketed for driving at a speed considered unsafe for conditions. For example, drivers may be ticketed for traveling 55 mph in a 55 mph zone in the case of heavy rain or a snowstorm.
Alaska code on reasonable and prudent speed
Maximum speed law:
According to Alaska code 13 AAC 02.275, “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent considering the traffic, roadway and weather conditions.”
Minimum speed law:
According to Alaska code 13 AAC 02.295, “No person may drive a motor vehicle so slowly as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with statutes, regulations, or ordinances.”
The speed limit law in the state of Alaska is technically “absolute,” meaning a driver may be ticketed for traveling even 1 mph over the speed limit. Many municipalities, however, begin traffic code violations at about 3 mph over the speed limit, to account for variations in speedometers and tire size. If ticketed, a driver may object to the charges in one of three ways:
The driver may oppose the determination of speed. In order to claim this defense a driver must know how his or her speed was determined and then learn how to disprove its accuracy.
A driver may claim that an emergency situation caused the driver to break the speed limit in order to prevent injury or damage to themselves or others.
The driver may claim a case of mistaken identity. If a police officer clocks a driver speeding and subsequently has to find them again in traffic, it’s possible that they could make a mistake and pull the wrong car over.
Penalty for exceeding the speed limit in Alaska
First-time violators may not be:
Fined more than $300
Have their license suspended for more than one month
Penalty for reckless driving in Alaska
First-time violators may not be:
Fined more than $1000
Sentenced to more than 90 days of jail time
Have their license suspended for more than six months
Fines vary among municipalities. Some areas, such as Juneau, have done away with sliding scale fees and now charge the same fine whether a driver’s caught going 5 mph over or 10 mph over the speed limit. The fine may be printed on the citation, or drivers may contact the local court to find out the exact costs.
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