Following is an overview of the laws, limits, and fines as they relate to speeding traffic violations in the state of Delaware.

Speed limits in Delaware

65 mph: I-495, entire toll road stretch of Delaware Route 1, and I-95 from the Maryland border to the I-495 interchange

55 mph: divided highways and four-lane roads

50 mph: rural, state-owned two-lane roads

35 mph: urban four-lane roads

25 mph: urban two-lane roads

25 mph: business and residential districts

20 mph: school zones during times specified on signs

All 65 mph speed limit zones are maximum speed limit zones. This means that going any amount over the speed limit is absolute evidence that the speed is unlawful, and cannot be challenged in court.

Delaware code on reasonable and prudent speed

Maximum speed law:

According to section 4168 of Delaware vehicle code “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and without having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. Speed shall be so controlled as to avoid a collision.”

Minimum speed law:

According to section 4171 of Delaware vehicle code “A person shall not operate a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

A driver can also be ticketed for traveling too fast for conditions, even if they aren’t going above the speed limit, such as in a snowstorm or fog.

Due to variations in speedometer calibration, tire size, and margins of error in speed-detecting technology, it’s uncommon for an officer to pull a driver over for going less than five miles above the speed limit. However, technically any amount over can be considered a speed violation so best practices are to stay within the limit.

While it may be difficult to fight a speeding ticket in Delaware due to the absolute speed law, a driver may choose to go to court and claim one of the following:

  • The driver may oppose the determination of speed. In order to claim this defense a driver must know how his or her speed was determined and then learn how to disprove its accuracy.

  • A driver may claim that an emergency situation caused the driver to break the speed limit in order to prevent injury or damage to themselves or others.

  • The driver may claim a case of mistaken identity. If a police officer clocks a driver speeding and subsequently has to find them again in traffic, it’s possible that they could make a mistake and pull the wrong car over.

Penalty for exceeding the speed limit in Delaware

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $115 (plus $1 for each mph over the speed limit if between five and 16 mph over, and $2 per mph over if between 15 and 20 mph over the limit)

  • Have their license suspended for between two months and one year

Penalty for reckless driving in Delaware

In this state, there is no set speed that’s considered reckless driving. That determination rests upon the violation’s circumstances.

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined between $100 and $300

  • Be sentenced to between 10 and 30 days of jail time

  • Have their license suspended for between two months and one year

The fees per mile over the speed limit increase with subsequent violations. Fines may vary by city or county.

This article originally appeared on as Delaware Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines and was authored by Valerie Johnston.

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