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District of Columbia ShapeDistrict of Columbia

Below is a list of the key highway safety laws in the District of Columbia. For more information, contact the District Highway Safety Office.

No state law

Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and State Highway Safety Office.

Hand-held Ban All Cell Phone Ban Text Messaging Ban Crash
Data
School Bus Drivers Novice Drivers All Drivers School Bus Drivers Novice Drivers
Yes
(Primary)
Yes
(Primary)
Learners Permit
(Primary)
Yes
(Primary)
Covered under all driver ban Yes

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Child Restraint Required
unless indicated, # refers to Yrs.(Lbs.)
Adult Safety Belt Permissible
unless indicated, # refers to Yrs.(Lbs.)
Maximum Fine
1st Offense
<7 8 - 15 $75 + points

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Per Se Laws for Drugs (Forbidding Prohibited Substances in Driver's Body) DEC/DRE Programs
(Providing Law Enforcement Training)
  Yes

Source: State Highway Safety Office.

Inc. Penalty for High BAC Admin. License Susp. on 1st Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Susp. Ignition Interlocks Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions Alcohol Exclusion Laws Limiting Treatment
*Meeting Federal Requirements
.20 and .25 2-90 days or until disposition Yes Discretionary     Yes  

Sources: Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and State Highway Safety Office.

Learner Stage Intermediate Stage Full Privilege
Min. Age
(Years/ Months)
Min. Age
(Years/ Months)
Min.
Duration
(Months)
Required
Supervised
Driving Hours
(Night Hours)
Min. Age
(Years/ Months)
Nighttime Driving Restriction Passenger
Restriction
(except family, unless noted)
16 6 40 (10 in intermediate stage) 16 / 6 Sept. to June
11 p.m. - 6 a.m. (Su-Th);
midnight - 6 a.m. (Fr-Sa)

July-Aug
midnight - 6 a.m.
First 6 mos.–no pass.; thereafter–no more than 2 18

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Motorcyclists Bicyclists
Universal Helmet Law (Year Enacted) Partial Law Universal Helmet Law Repealed
1970     <16

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Length of Regular Renewal Cycle (Yrs.) Provisions for Mature Drivers
5 >70: vision test, possible reaction test, and physician's letter

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Type of Law Who is Covered (Yrs.) In What Seat Maximum Fine 1st Offense
Primary >16 All $50

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway and State Highway Safety Office.

Permitted on Sidewalks/Bicycle Paths Permitted on Roads Helmets Required Minimum Age Pedestrian Laws Apply
Sidewalks (except in central business district)     16  

Sources: Segway LLC and State Highway Safety Office.

Checkpoints Conducted? Frequency Legality
Yes Once or twice a month Upheld under federal Constitution

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Rural Interstates Urban Interstates Other Limited Access Roads
Cars
(mph)
Trucks
(mph)
Cars
(mph)
Trucks
(mph)
Cars
(mph)
Trucks
(mph)
N/A N/A 55 55 N/A N/A

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Violation / State Law Permitted Locations/Criteria Citation Issued To / Liability Image Taken Penalties (Traditional Penalties)
Speed: Permitted Districtwide Registered owner/
Owner
Not addressed $50-$300 based on the MPH over posted limit; no points
($50-$300; 3, 4 or 5 points based on the MPH over posted limit)
Red light: Permitted Districtwide $150; no points
($150; 2 points)

Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Violations Affected Enhanced Penalties Workers Must Be Present Signs Must Be Present
All moving violations Double original fine Yes Yes

Sources: National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse and State Highway Safety Office.