Massachusetts law about speed limits

A compilation of laws, regulations, and web sources on the law surrounding speed limits in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.89 § 7C Slow down, move over law
Requires slower speed when approaching stopped emergency vehicle

MGL c.90, § 17 Speed limits when not otherwise posted. See also § 17C

MGL c.90, § 17A Speed limits on the Mass. Pike and certain other highways.

MGL c.90, § 17C Cities or towns may set a 25-mile per hour speed limit in thickly settled or business districts

MGL c.90, § 18 Establishing posted limit

MGL c.90 § 20 Penalties

MGL c.90C, § 1 Civil motor vehicle infraction defined

Massachusetts regulations

720 CMR 9.06(6)(a) Minimum speed
No person shall drive in such a manner as to obstruct unnecessarily the normal movement of traffic upon any highway

321 CMR 3.01(1)(g) Speeding in wildlife management areas

700 CMR 7.08(6) Speeding on roads under the jurisdiction of the Turnpike Authority

740 CMR 11.05(11) Speeding on the Tobin Bridge

740 CMR 21.51(6) Speeding at the airport

Speed measuring devices

LIDAR speed-measuring device performance specifications, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2013.
"By defining minimum performance requirements and verification procedures, this technical document establishes a baseline for acceptable traffic LIDAR speed-measuring device and LIDAR system performance."

Speed-measuring device specifications: down-the-road radar module, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016.
"By defining minimum performance requirements and verification procedures, this technical document establishes a baseline for acceptable traffic radar speed-measuring device performance."

Web sources

Beat Your Ticket: Go to Court & Win, Nolo, 2013
Includes discussion on speed detectors, presenting your case, traffic rules for all 50 states and more. Requires library card for access.

Traffic Tickets, Mass. District Court 
"Find information about motor vehicle violations, what to do if you get a traffic ticket, and how to appeal a motor vehicle citation and court decision."

How to Win Your Case in Traffic Court Without a Lawyer, Atlantic Publishing, 2009
While not specific to Massachusetts, provides helpful information on how to prepare to go to court to contest a ticket. Requires library card for access.

Massachusetts Driver's Manual, Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles
An online version of the booklet you get along with your Learner's Permit, this site includes all the key information needed to drive legally in Massachusetts. Chapters include: obtaining your license, keeping your license, rules of the road and more

Pay a Citation Online, Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles

Speed Zoning, Dept. of Transportation
Includes information on speed limits, speed limit signs, and speed zoning in Massachusetts.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: April 4, 2019
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