Maryland Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Law: A person shall 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.  MD § 21-801(a)

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $500, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than two years.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $1,000, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than two years.

(Read more about Maryland's reckless driving laws and penalties.) 

Speed Limit

  • 65 MPH is the maximum speed limit which can be established on any highway.
  • 55 MPH on (1) highways which are not interstate highways or expressways or (2) divided highways in other locations
  • 50 MPH on undivided highways except as noted below
  • 35 MPH on divided highways in residential districts
  • 30 MPH on highways in business districts or on undivided highways

Maryland Speeding Laws

Maryland has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In Maryland you may be able to make three possible defenses:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Note that in Maryland you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit -- for example, driving exactly at the maximum mph posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.

Point System

If a person accumulates 8 points (16 points if the offender is required to drive in the course of their employment) or 12 points (19 points if the offender is required to drive in the course of employment) within 2 years, they are subject respectively to either a license suspension or revocation. An initial suspension is from 2 to 30 days; a subsequent suspension is from 15 to 90 days.  A person, who has had their license revoked, is subject to the following revocation periods: 6 months if it is the offender's first revocation; 1 year if it is the offender's second revocation; 18 months if it is the offender's third revocation; and, 2 years of it is the offender's fourth or subsequent revocation. Note:  For persons less than 18 years old, suspension is for 6 months if they accumulate 6 points and is for 1 year if they accumulate 2 additional points. These suspensions may be modified (i.e., they are not mandatory. The following points are assessed for speeding offenses and speed related law violations: Speeding more than 10 MPH over the posted speed limit-2 points; reckless driving-6 points; speeding  more than 30 MPH over the posted speed limit-5 points; participating in a race or speed contest on a highway-5 points; exceeding the 65 MPH posted speed limit by more than 20 MPH-5 points; for any other traffic law (moving) violation not contributing to an accident-1 point; and, for any other traffic law (moving) violation contributing to an accident-3 points.  

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