Indiana Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Law: A person may not drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions, having regard to the actual and potential hazards than existing.  This includes special hazards such as  going around a curve, approaching a hill, traveling upon a narrow or winding roadway.  IN § 9-21-5-1 & 9-21-5-4

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $500, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended between one to five years.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $1000,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 180 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Speed Limits

Indiana law is not clear as to speed limits but the following may be prima facie speed limits.

  • 65-70 MPH, (except for certain vehicles) on an interstate or defense highway located outside an urban area with a population more than 50,000
  • 55 MPH on other highways
  • 30 MPH in an urban district
  • 15 MPH in an alley 

Indiana Speeding Laws

Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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

The system does not establish a threshold point accumulation level that would automatically result in either license suspension or revocation. A person is placed on probation if they accumulate 12 points within 24 months (10 points within 24 months if under 18 years old) or 8 points within 1 year. A person is required to appear for an administrative hearing if they either (1) have accumulated 8 or more points prior to the start of the probationary period but where such points where not used to determine probationary status or (2) have accumulated 17 points. The following points have been assigned to speeding or speed related violations:  1 to 15 MPH over the speed limit-2 points; 16 to 25 MPH over the speed limit-4 points; over 25 MPH over the speed limit-6 points; speeding in a school bus, where the speed is not indicated or where the speed is 1 to 15 MPH in excess of limit-6 points; speeding in a school bus, where the speed is more than 15 MPH in excess of the limit-8 points; minimum speed law violation (including not driving in the right-hand lane when proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic)-2 points; unsafe speed on bridge or elevated structure-4 points; speed contest-8 points; reckless driving-6 points; reckless driving resulting in either personal injury or property damage-8 points; and, criminal reckless driving-8 points. Learn more about the point system in Indiana.

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