Missouri Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Law: A person shall operate a motor vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person and shall exercise the highest degree of care.  MISSOURI. § 304.012.1

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $500,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than six months, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended between 30 days to one year.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $500,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than six months, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended between 30 days to one year. 

Missouri Speed Limits

  • 70 MPH on rural interstate and freeways
  • 65 MPH on rural expressways
  • 60 MPH on urban interstate highways, expressways, and freeways
  • 60 MPH on other roads, except State 2 lane "lettered" roads, not located in an urban area.
  • 55 MPH on State 2 lane "lettered" roads

Missouri Speeding Laws

Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri 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

An offender's license is subject to suspension if they accumulate 8 points in 18 months. If this is the offender's 1st suspension, the suspension period is 30 days. If this is the offender's 2nd suspension, the suspension period is 60 days.  And, if this is the offender's 3rd or subsequent suspension, the suspension period is 90 days. An offender's license is subject to revocation if they accumulate either 12 points within 12 months, 18 points within 24 months or 24 points within 36 months.  The period of revocation is 1 year. The following points are assigned to speeding and speed related violations:  Speeding in violation of State law-3 points; speeding in violation of local government law-2 points; and, other violations-2 points. For careless and imprudent driving, 4 points are assessed. Also, an additional 2 points are assessed if a violation resulted in either a personal injury or property damage. However, no points are assessed for driving less than 5 MPH over the speed limit. 

 

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