Maryland Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines

Following is an overview of the laws, limits, and fines as they relate to speeding traffic violations in the state of Maryland.

Speed limits in Maryland

70 mph: I-68 and I-95, minus a seven-mile stretch around Cumberland

70 mph: I-70 from the Pennsylvania border to MD 180 in Frederick County, and MD 144 in Frederick County to US 29 in Howard County

55-65 mph: urban freeways

55 mph: four-lane non-interstates and non-freeways

50 mph: most two-lane roads

40 mph: I-83 and I-68 around downtown Baltimore and Cumberland

35 mph: divided highways in residential districts

30 mph: highways in business districts

30 mph: undivided highways in residential districts

Maryland code on reasonable and prudent speed

Maximum speed law:

According to section 21-801(a) of Maryland vehicle code, “A person may not operate a vehicle at a speed that, with regard to the actual and potential dangers existing, is more than that which is reasonable and prudent under the conditions.”

Minimum speed law:

Sections 21-804(a) and 21-301(b) state:

“A person shall not willfully operate a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

“A person who is driving a vehicle (1) at 10 mph or more below the posted speed limit or (2) at less than the normal speed of traffic shall drive in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.”

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 Maryland 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 Maryland

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $500

  • Have their license suspended for up to two years

Penalty for reckless driving in Maryland

There is no set speed in Maryland at which violating the speed limit is considered reckless driving. That determination depends upon the circumstances surrounding the violation.

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $1000

  • Have their license suspended for up to two years

Violators may be required to attend traffic school if too many points are accumulated.


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