Massachusetts law about speed limits

A compilation of laws, regulations, web sources, and print 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, § 17D Active construction zone speed limit

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 7.09(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

Court rules

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

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
Scroll down to Make a Payment.

Rules of the road, Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles
Driver’s manual, chapter 4.
There is a minimum speed of 40 mph on the Massachusetts Turnpike and a maximum speed of 20 mph in a school zone.

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

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." For speeding violations — The magistrate has to order the scheduled civil assessment, which is: $50 + $10 for each mile over 10 mph over the speed limit + $50 surcharge.

Print sources

Beat your ticket : go to court & win by David Brown, Nolo, c2013.

Trying OUI and other motor vehicle offenses in Massachusetts, MCLE, 2020.  Chapter 14, Civil motor vehicle infractions.

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Last updated: September 23, 2022
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