Arkansas Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Rule: No person shall drive a vehicle at speed that is greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards than existing.  ARK § 27-51-201(a)(1)

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 10 days
  • fined not more than $100, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $500,
  • sentenced to jail time of between 5-90 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

(Read more about Arkansas's reckless driving laws.)

Speeding Limits

  • 30 MPH in urban districts
  • 50 MPH for trucks with a capacity over 12 tons in other locations (except controlled access highways
  • 60 MPH for other vehicles in other locations (except controlled access highways)
  • Controlled-Access Highways – the maximum speed is determined via engineering and traffic studies. Some rural freeways are 70 MPH for cars and 65 MPH for trucks. Most suburban freeways are 60 MPH.

Arkansas Speeding Law

Arkansas has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In Arkansas you may be able to make three possible defenses:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Note that in Arkansas you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit -- for example, driving exactly at the maximum mph posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.

Point System

If an offender accumulates between 14 and 17 points, their license is suspended from 3 to 6 months. If they accumulate between 18 and 23 points, their license is suspended from 6 months to 1 year. And, if they accumulate more than 24 points, their license is either suspended for not less than 1 year or revoked for no more than 1 year.

The following points are assigned for speeding and speed related offenses: Racing on the highway-8 points; reckless driving-8 points; careless (or negligent) driving-3 points; hazardous driving-3 points; driving less than the minimum speed limit-3 points; impeding traffic-3 points; driving too fast for conditions-3 points; speeding 0 to 10 MPH over the limit-3 points; speeding 11 to 14 MPH over the limit-4 points; speeding 15 to 20 MPH over the limit-4 points; speeding 21 to 30 MPH over the limit-5 points; speeding more than 30 MPH over the limit-8 points; speeding 0 to 14 MPH over the limit in a commercial motor vehicle-3 points; speeding more than 15  MPH over the limit in a commercial motor vehicle-6 points; unsafe driving-3 points; and, other violations-3 points. Learn more about the point system in Arkansas.

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