Following is an overview of the laws, limits, and fines as they relate to speeding traffic violations in the state of Maine.
Speed limits in Maine
75 mph: I-95 between Old Town and Houlton
70 mph: most of the Maine Turnpike
60 mph: other highways
55 mph: some two-lane highways outside of urban areas
45 mph: most other roadways
25 mph: business and residential districts
15 mph: school zones during posted hours, and/or when yellow lights are flashing
Maine code on reasonable and prudent speed
Maximum speed law:
According to section 2074 of Maine vehicle code, “A person 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.”
Minimum speed law:
Section 2075(1) states, “A person may not operate a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”
Due to variations in speedometer calibration, tire size, and margins of error in speed-detecting technology, it’s uncommon for an officer to pull a driver over for going less than five miles above the speed limit. However, technically any amount over can be considered a speed violation so best practices are to stay within the limit.
While it may be difficult to fight a speeding ticket in Maine due to the absolute speed limit law, a driver may choose to go to court and claim their innocence based upon one of the following:
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 Maine
First-time violators may:
Be fined between $25 and $500 (plus 12% and two percent surcharges to fund jail/criminal operations)
Have their license suspended for up to 15 days
Penalty for reckless driving in Maine
In this state, reckless driving is called “driving to endanger.” There is also a lesser offense, which is exceeding the speed limit by 30 mph.
First-time violators of the driving to endanger law may:
Be fined up to $1000 (plus 12% and two percent surcharges to fund jail/criminal operations)
Be sentenced to up to six months of jail time
Have their license suspended for between 30 and 180 days (this offense carries a mandatory suspension of at least 30 days)
Violators may be required to attend traffic school, and/or may be able to have their speeding fine reduced by attending these classes.