Speeding Tickets and Penalties in the District of Columbia

Washington D.C. has several types of speeding laws: a “basic speeding rule” and maximum limits. This article explains the differences between the two limits and the consequences of a speeding violation.

Washington D.C. Speed Limits

The District of Columbia’s basic speeding rule prohibits motorists from driving faster than is “reasonable and prudent” based on current conditions. In other words, motorists must always drive a safe speed taking into consideration traffic, weather, visibility, and other potential hazards.

D.C.’s maximum speed limits are straightforward—if you exceed the maximum limit, you’ve violated the law and can be ticketed. Unless otherwise specified or covered by law, the speed limit in D.C. is 25 miles per hour. The speed limit in alleys and around schools and playgrounds (during certain hours) is usually 15 miles per hour.

Penalties for a Speeding Ticket

Generally, the fines for speeding violations are:

  • $50 for exceeding the speed limit by ten miles per hour or less
  • $100 for exceeding the speed limit by 11 to 15 miles per hour
  • $150 for exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 20 miles per hour
  • $200 for exceeding the speed limit by 21 to 25 miles per hour,
  • $400 or $500 for exceeding the speed limit by more than 25 miles per hour.

However, a driver who’s caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 miles per hour may face up to $500 in fines, a maximum of 90 days in jail, and possible license suspension. Depending on the situation, the driver could also face aggravated reckless driving charges and even more severe penalties.

A speed violation will also lead to three to five points being assessed to the motorist’s driving record.

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