Ask a Dispatcher
Q. I'm new to Juneau and had a friend tell me that 40 mph is the minimum speed on Egan Drive. Is that true? I haven't seen any signs saying that's the minimum speed, and I'm concerned about the winter driving conditions that I'm afraid we're going to have soon.
Dear Juneau Resident,
I am so glad you wrote since bad roads are upon us with multiple collisions already. There is no minimum speed for Egan Drive or any other road in the CBJ. You aren't allowed to drive in a manner that impedes other drivers who are being safe and reasonable but that is the standard, not a particular number. Alaska roads are often impacted by weather conditions that cause reasonable and prudent drivers, those who don't want to end up in the ditch or upside down, to drive well below the speed limit. If you go too fast for conditions, which can be very slow depending on the road conditions, you are eligible for a number of citations. The lowest level would be ticket for basic speed, which carries a $55 dollar fine and 2 points on your license. That ordinance is;
72.02.275 Basic rule and maximum limits.
(a)No person may drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent considering the traffic, roadway and weather conditions.
You might also get cited for Careless Driving;
72.10.025 Careless driving.
(a)A person who drives a motor vehicle in a careless manner is guilty of an infraction. As used in this section, the term "careless" means driving a motor vehicle without due regard for the width, grade, curb, corner, traffic, road conditions, state of repair, use or other attendant circumstances of the highway upon which the vehicle is being driven.
(b)Careless driving is a lesser offense than, and included in, the offense of negligent driving, and a person charged with negligent driving may be convicted of the lesser offense of careless driving.
If you actually hit something or cause evasive actions for any driver, including yourself, while driving under the speed limit but inappropriately for conditions you may be charged with Negligent Driving. Those consequences will really sting since it is 6 points on your license and a mandatory meeting with the judge to explain your actions and hear the fine. That ordinance is;
72.10.020 Negligent driving.
(a)A person who drives a motor vehicle in the state in a manner that creates an unjustifiable risk of harm to a person or to property and who, as a result of the creation of the risk, actually endangers a person or property is guilty of negligent driving. An unjustifiable risk is a risk of such a nature and degree that a failure to avoid it constitutes a deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. Proof that a defendant actually endangered a person or property is established by showing that, as a result of the defendant's driving:
(1)An accident occurred;
(2)A person, including the defendant, took evasive action to avoid an accident;
(3)A person, including the defendant, stopped or slowed down suddenly to avoid an accident; or
(4)A person or property, including the defendant or the defendant's property, was otherwise endangered.
(b)The offense of negligent driving is a lesser offense than, and included in, the offense of reckless driving, and a person charged with reckless driving may be convicted of the lesser offense of negligent driving.
(c)A person convicted of negligent driving is guilty of an infraction as provided under subsection 01.40.010(b)(3).
(d)Lawfully conducted automobile, snowmobile, motorcycle or other motor vehicle racing or exhibition events are not subject to the provisions of this section.
State law referenceó Similar provisions, AS 28.35.045.