Can You Ever Drive Above the Speed Limit in Maryland?


Speeding is the most common traffic violation committed even by the most experienced drivers. Most motorists who’ve been pulled over for speeding assume they’re at fault and pay the fine. But what if they had a valid reason for speeding? Perhaps they had to do so for safety reasons or there was a medical emergency. Or maybe they just assumed that driving a few miles over the speed limit on the highway wasn’t actually against the law.

It’s important to understand Maryland’s specific laws, as rules vary from state to state. Here’s everything you need to know.

Understanding Maryland’s Speeding Laws

Throughout the country, there are three different types of speed limits that can be enforced: absolute, presumed, and basic. Maryland enforces two of the three (basic and absolute). Here’s what you need to know:

  • Absolute speeding law: There’s no trick to how these limits work: If the sign says the maximum speed limit is 40 miles per hour and you drive 41 miles per hour or more, you’ve violated the law.
  • Basic speeding law: Basic speed laws state that no person can drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable, regardless of the posted speed limit. What a safe speed is will depend on the circumstances. For instance, 55 miles per hour might be safe on a bright, sunny day. But if it’s dark and the road is icy, going 55 miles per hour could be dangerous and a violation of the basic speeding law.

In other words, in the state of Maryland, even going one mile over the posted speed limit is against the law, no matter the circumstances. Likewise, amid dangerous conditions, you can also be charged for speeding if you’re going too fast, even if it’s slower than the posted speed limit.

How Can You Fight an “Absolute” Speeding Ticket in Maryland?

The absolute speeding law in Maryland is often difficult to contest. However, there are a few defenses that you and your attorney should consider. Here are a few:

  • Arguing the accuracy of the officer’s speed measurement: You can cast doubt on the police officer’s speed measurement or estimate if you can present enough evidence. For example, you can argue that the officer mistook your car for another car or their LIDAR reading wasn’t reliable because the device wasn’t properly calibrated.
  • Mistaken identity: If a police officer clocks a driver speeding and subsequently has to find them again in traffic, it’s possible they made a mistake and pulled the wrong car over.
  • Emergency situation: A driver may claim that an emergency caused them to break the speed limit in order to prevent injury or damage to themselves and others. This includes if the actions of the police forced you to speed, if you were being coerced, or if you were trapped.

Securing the help of an expert speeding ticket attorney in Maryland is the first step to a successful defense.

Contact an Experienced Traffic Attorney in Baltimore After a Traffic Offense

If you’ve been cited for speeding or another serious traffic violation in Maryland, discuss your case with The Law Office of Hillel Traub. Attorney Hillel has extensive experience working with people who are accused of traffic violations and has previously worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland MVA. With his unique insight into the agency’s operations, he can make a strong case for you that may help you avoid the worst penalties of a traffic conviction.

Hillel has a proven track record of eliminating or reducing fines and penalties associated with traffic tickets, citations, and other violations. Our legal team is here to fight for your rights. To discuss your traffic ticket for free, call (410) 580-1100 today or complete our contact form.