A look at the different speeding laws in the District of Columbia and how to stay safe while driving with useful safety tips

Drivers must follow a wide range of speeding laws in D.C. If these laws aren’t followed, drivers can find themselves facing some serious traffic offenses. In D.C., the speed limits that are posted should be viewed as the maximum speed limits.

Speeding in Washington D.C

Drivers are expected to never drive faster than a speed that is prudent and reasonable. For example, if the posted speed limit is 55 MPH, drivers need to drive slower than 55 MPH unless it’s safe to do so. Drivers need to take into consideration current driving conditions and adjust their speed accordingly.

Speeding Situations

There are numerous unique speeding situations you may find yourself in when driving in the District of Columbia. Here are a list of common situations:

  • The law says drivers need to pay attention to potential hazards and adjust their driving to avoid all potential hazards.
  • At railroad crossings, operators need to drive at a reduced speed that is appropriate for the location.
  • Operators must also drive at a reduced speed around when pedestrians are near and when road conditions are not deemed to be safe at the posted speed limit.
  • The speed laws also say that operators need to reduce their speed on winding roads, narrow roads and when approaching a hill crest.
  • On any highway and street, the speed limit is no more than 25 MPH, unless there is a sign that designates a different speed. The maximum speed limit in alleys is 15 MPH.
  • On streets that are adjacent to school grounds and buildings, the maximum speed is 15 MPH during the times listed on official school signs.
  • If the signs do not show a specific speed, then the maximum speed should be 15 MPH. If children are arriving or leaving school or playing during recess, the maximum speed remains at 15 MPH.
  • The maximum speed limit on streets that are adjacent to playgrounds is 15 MPH, but this law only applies if the playground is currently in use

REMEMBER: DC Official Code shows that the District of Columbia is authorized to use automated traffic enforcement.

Additional DC Traffic Laws

The law says that all drivers and passengers must wear a seat belt, and the also applies to people in the backseat. D.C. law also states that drivers are required to keep a safe distance between vehicles in front of them.

If a vehicle’s windshield wipers are in operation, then the vehicle’s lights must be turned on. At any given time, operators must never drink alcoholic beverages and drive.

Operators must never drive faster than the maximum speed limit designated for the road they’re driving on. Drivers need to adjust their maximum speed according to prevailing traffic and weather conditions.

After a full stop, drivers can make a right turn on red, unless there is a sign that explicitly says not to turn on red. If a driver is caught and given a traffic citation in a school or work zone, the law says the driver must pay double the amount of the traffic citation he or she received.

Fines for Speeding

The traffic fines that drivers receive from automated photo enforcement are the same amount of the traffic fines issued by police officers. For a listing, operators can consult the DC Municipal Regulations.

Safety Tips

All drivers should make sure they’re giving themselves enough time to reach their desired destination. It’s important that drivers never speed in an attempt to make up for lost travel time. This is a common problem when traffic conditions are thick.

Operators should be extra cautious when driving in the twilight hours of the day. Drivers should never drive when they’re fatigued or tired. Drivers need to make sure they’re alert and competent at all times.

Reading, phone calls and a wide range of activities can distract from driving, and it’s very important that drivers avoid all potential distractions while driving.

These are the speeding laws in the District of Columbia, and if drivers follow these laws and simple safety tips, they can obey the law while protecting themselves.

How we can help you

Speeding can happen to anyone. Receiving a speeding or other traffic penalty can carry serious fines, stress and inconvenience. Hiring an experience Washington D.C. Traffic Lawyer can help ensure the best results for your case. 

Have You Been Charged With A Traffic Violation In Virginia, Maryland or Washington D.C.?

If you've been charged with a traffic violation you need to speak with an experienced traffic defense lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Vienna, Virgnia office directly at 703.991.7978 or our Rockville, Maryland office at 301.637.5392 to schedule your case consultation.

Yuvora Nong
Helping VA, MD & Washington D.C. clients with all of their immigration law legal needs since 1997.