Maine’s Speeding Laws

Read about Maine’s speeding laws and the consequences of getting a speeding ticket.

Like most other states, Maine has two types of speeding laws: “absolute speeding limits” and a “basic speeding law.” This article explains the differences between the two and the consequences of each type of violation.

Basic Speeding Law

Maine’s basic speeding law requires motorists to drive 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.” (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A, § 2074 (2017).)

Absolute Speed Limits

There is no trick to how Maine’s absolute speed limits work: If the sign says the speed limit is 40 miles per hour and you drive faster than 40 miles per hour, you’ve violated the law.

Unless otherwise posted, Maine’s absolute speed limits are:

  • 45 miles per hour on all public ways
  • 25 miles per hour in business or residential districts, and
  • 15 miles per hour when passing a school during recess or when students are going to or leaving the school.

(Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A, § 2074 (2017).)

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

For a violation of Maine’s basic speeding law, the fine is $119. Fines for exceeding an absolute speed limit depend on the driver’s speed. Generally, the following penalties apply:

  • 1 to 9 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $119.
  • 10 to 14 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $137.
  • 15 to 19 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $185.  
  • 20 to 24 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $215.  
  • 25 to 29 miles per hour over the limit. Fine of $263.
  • 30 miles per hour or more over the limit. Exceeding an absolute speed limit by 30 miles per hour or more is a class E crime. Violators face up to six months in jail, a maximum $1,000 in fines, and a license suspension of 30 to 180 days.

(Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, §§ 1252, 1301 (2017).)

Driving to Endanger (Reckless Driving)

Depending on the circumstances, speeding could lead to a “driving to endanger” (also called “reckless driving”) conviction.  Maine defines driving to endanger as operating a vehicle, with “criminally negligence,” in a way that endangered another person or property. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A, § 2413 (2017).)

(Learn more about Maine’s driving to endanger laws.)

Point System

Typically, a speeding violation will add at least four points to a motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension.

(Find out about Maine’s traffic violation points system, including the number of points corresponding to different citations.)

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