Alaska Motorist Info

The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Points of Interest

  • Alaska has a ticket surcharge over and above the fine schedule.
  • A driver’s license can be suspended for failure to pay a traffic ticket.
  • Alaska law requires a motorhome or travel trailer/truck with more than 5 vehicles behind it to turn off the main roadway and let the traffic by.
  • Motorists should always be looking for large animals (such as caribou, bear, and moose) in the roadway.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 55, Trucks 55
Urban Interstates: Cars 55, Trucks 55
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars 55, Trucks 55
(http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/speedlimit_laws.html)

These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted. Speed limits are absolute–exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se (regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions).

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: No
Automated Speed Enforcement: No
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: Yes

DUI / DWI Regulations
Click here for detailed information

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed
No

Discovery
Allowed
Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure – Rule 16

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: If conviction is certain to result in loss of “valuable license,” or if the fine is large enough to “connote criminal conduct,” then yes.  See Baker v. City of Fairbanks, 471 P.2d 386.
Parking: No
Equipment: No
DWI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact
No

Member of Driver License Compact
Yes

When and Where to File Accident Reports
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury to or death of a person or total property damage to an apparent extent of $2,000 or more shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the accident to the local police department if the accident occurs within a municipality, otherwise to the Department of Public Safety.

(b) The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury to or death of a person or total property damage to an apparent extent of $2,000 or more shall, within 10 days after the accident, forward a written report of the accident to the Department of Administration and to the local police department if the accident occurs within a municipality. A report is not required under this subsection if the accident is investigated by a peace officer.

(c) The form of accident report required under (b) of this section can be obtained from any local police department or the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Administration may require the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident of which a report must be made to file supplemental reports whenever the original report is insufficient in the opinion of that department.

An accident report is not required under this section from a person who is physically incapable of making the report during the period of incapacity.
(Alaska Statute 28.35.080, http://touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/Statutes/Title28/Chapter35/Section080.htm)

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $50,000
All injuries: $100,000
Property Damage: $25,000

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: No
All Cell Phone Ban: No
Texting Ban: All drivers
Enforcement: Primary: texting by all drivers
http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants are prohibited in the vehicle.
  • A loaded handgun may be carried in the passenger compartment if it is in plain view or secured in a glove compartment; unloaded rifles and shotguns may be carried in plain view or secured in commerical gun cases.
  • Studded tires are permitted from September 16 to April 28 north of the 60th parallel and from October 1 to April 15 south of the 60th parallel.
  • Tire chains are not required.
  • Alaska has a seat belt law with secondary enforcement for all passengers.
  • Alaska has a mandatory child restraint law for passengers under 16 years of age. Children under age 4 must use approved car safety seats.
  • Alaska has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law for all persons under 17 years of age and all drivers with instructional permits.
  • Registration must be carried in the vehicle. Insurance card is not required to be carried in the vehicle.

General Information
http://www.dps.state.ak.us/
(Dept. of Public Safety)
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: 911 or *273