Kentucky’s Speeding Laws and Penalties

Read about Kentucky’s speeding laws and the consequences of getting a speeding ticket.

Kentucky has two types of speeding laws: “absolute limits” and a “basic speeding law.” This article explains the differences between the two and the consequences of a speeding violation.

(Also, check out our articles that discuss the different types of speeding laws and ways of fighting a speeding ticket.)

Absolute Speed Limits

There's no trick to how Kentucky’s absolute speed limits work: If the absolute speed limit is 50 miles per hour and you drive faster than that, you’ve violated the law. Kentucky’s absolute speed limits include (unless otherwise posted):

  • 35 miles per hour in business and residential districts
  • 65 miles per hour on most interstate highways and parkways, and
  • 55 miles per hour on other state highways.

(Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 189.390 (2017).)

Basic Speeding Law

Notwithstanding the absolute limits, Kentucky’s basic speeding law prohibits driving at a speed greater than is “reasonable and prudent, having regard for the traffic and for the condition and use of the highway.” In other words, motorists must always drive at a safe speed. What a safe speed is will depend on the circumstances. For instance, 55 miles per hour might be safe on a bright, sunny day. But if it’s dark and the road is icy, going 55 miles per hour could be dangerous and a violation of the basic speeding law.

(Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 189.390 (2017).)

Penalties for a Speeding Ticket

Depending on the amount by which the driver exceeds the speed limit, fines typically range from $1 to $55. But if the motorist is caught going more than 25 miles per hour over the limit, the fine is $60 to $100 and license suspension is possible.

Fines are, however, doubled for speeding violations in construction or school zones.

(Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 189.394 (2017); 601 Ky. Admin. Regs. 13:025 (2017).)

Reckless Driving and Vehicular Homicide

Depending on the circumstances, a speeding violation can lead to a “reckless driving” conviction. Generally, convicted motorists face $20 to $100 in fines.

And if a speeding violation results in the death of another person, it’s possible to be convicted of vehicular homicide.

(Read more about Kentucky’s reckless driving and vehicular homicide laws.)

Traffic Violation Points

A speeding ticket will typically add at least three points to a motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension.

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