Kentucky Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Law: A person shall not operate a vehicle at a greater speed than is reasonable and prudent, having regard for the traffic and for the condition and use of the highway.  KY § 189.390(2)

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $100, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended between 90 days to two years.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be fined between $20 and $100.

(Read about Kentucky's reckless driving laws and the consequences of a conviction.)

Speed Limits

  • 65 MPH on interstate highways and divided highways with 4 or more lanes
  • 55 MPH outside business or residential districts
  • 35 MPH in business or residential districts 
  • 15 MPH on off-street parking facilities

Kentucky Speeding Laws

Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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

Under the point system, an offender's license is suspended for 6 months if they accumulate 12 points within a 2 year period.  The suspension is 1 year of a second accumulation of 12 points and 2 years for a third or subsequent accumulation of 12 points within a two-year period. The following points are assigned for speeding and speed related offenses:  (1) Speeding less than 15 MPH over the speed limit-3 points; speeding more than 16 MPH but less than 26 MPH over the speed limit-6 points; reckless driving-4 points; driving too fast or too slow for conditions-3 points; careless driving-3 points. Statutory law prohibits the assessment of points for speeding 10 MPH or less over the limit on limited access highways or limited access highways of 4 or more lanes on which the speed limit is 65 MPH or more.  Learn more about the point system in Kentucky.

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