Mississippi’s Speeding Laws and Penalties

Learn about speeding laws and the consequences of getting a speeding ticket in Mississippi.

If you plan on driving in Mississippi, you should know the state's speed limit laws and the consequences for violating them. Failing to obey the speed limit might lead to a ticket—or worse, a reckless driving charge.

What Are Mississippi's Speed Limit Laws?

Mississippi has two types of speeding laws: "absolute limits" and a "basic speeding law."

Absolute Speed Limits

Mississippi's absolute speed limits are straightforward: If you drive faster than the absolute speed, you've violated the law. For instance, if the posted speed limit is 50 miles per hour and you drive faster than that, you can get a ticket.

The speed limit in Mississippi is usually posted, and when it is, that's the speed limit that controls. When the limit isn't posted, the absolute speed limit that's set by law applies.

Common posted absolute speed limits include:

  • 15 miles per hour in school zones
  • 55 miles per hour on two-lane highways, and
  • 70 miles per hour on interstate highways.

The default absolute speed limit (when a specific speed limit isn't posted) on Mississippi highways is 65 miles per hour. (Miss. Code § 63-3-501 (2023).) Keep in mind that the basic speeding law (discussed below) requires motorists to drive at a speed that's safe for road or traffic conditions.

The above speed limits aren't the only absolute speed limits in Mississippi. The state government and local governments can establish lower absolute speed limits—such as 25 miles per hour in a residential area—for safety reasons. (Miss. Code §§ 63-3-503, 63-3-511 (2023).)

Basic Speeding Law

Even though Mississippi has absolute speed limits, it also has a basic speeding law that takes priority. The basic speeding law requires drivers to reduce their speed as appropriate when approaching crossings, curves, or hill crests, or when it's unsafe to drive at the absolute speed limit because of road or weather conditions. (Miss. Code § 63-3-505 (2023).)

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 foggy, going 55 miles per hour could be dangerous and a violation of the basic speeding law.

What Are the Consequences of a Speeding Ticket in Mississippi?

A speeding ticket in Mississippi will generally result in a fine, administrative fees, court costs, and increased insurance rates. Multiple serious traffic violations—like reckless driving—could lead to a suspended license.

How Much Is a Speeding Ticket in Mississippi?

The cost of a speeding ticket in Mississippi depends on where the violation occurred and by how much the driver exceeded the speed limit. But a speeding violation will generally run the driver anywhere from $150 to $300 (assuming the driver doesn't successfully fight the ticket). And the cost of speeding violations in certain areas like construction zones—especially for a second or subsequent offense—can be significantly higher. (Miss. Code § 63-3-516 (2023).)

What Are the License Points for Speeding in Mississippi?

Unlike most states, Mississippi doesn't use a points system for traffic violations. But the lack of a point system doesn't mean there won't be consequences for speeding beyond a fine.

A speeding ticket in Mississippi will appear on your driving record, which your insurance company can access. A ticket will likely increase your auto insurance rates—which can cost you a lot of money in the long run.

When Does Speeding Count as Reckless Driving in Mississippi?

Depending on the circumstances, a speeding violation can lead to a "reckless driving" conviction. (And, as covered below, if a speeding violation results in the death of another person, it's possible that the driver will be convicted of manslaughter.)

Some states consider a specific speed—like 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit—to be reckless driving. Mississippi has no set speed that is automatically considered reckless. But speed can play a part in determining whether someone was driving recklessly.

Mississippi defines "reckless driving" as operating a vehicle in "willful or a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." "Willful" means conduct that is intentional or purposeful. And "wanton" generally means understanding but disregarding the consequences of the conduct. (Miss. Code § 63-3-1201 (2023).)

Driving at a speed significantly above the speed limit most likely will be reckless driving under Mississippi law if:

  • pedestrians are around
  • there's heavy traffic
  • the driving is otherwise dangerous, (for instance, following too closely)
  • the road conditions are unsafe, or
  • the weather is poor.

Those circumstances aren't the complete list. Long story short, significantly speeding in dangerous circumstances can lead to a reckless driving conviction.

A person convicted of a first reckless driving offense can be punished by a fine of $5 to $100. Second or subsequent reckless driving convictions can result in up to 10 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. (Miss. Code § 63-3-1201 (2023).)

Additionally, the license of a driver who has three reckless driving convictions within a year will be revoked for one year. (Miss. Code § 63-1-51 (2023).)

Can Speeding Lead to Vehicular Homicide in Mississippi?

Unlike many other states, Mississippi doesn't have a specific "vehicular homicide" statute for driving-related killings. However, a motorist who causes the death of another person while driving can be prosecuted under Mississippi's general homicide laws or DUI laws (if the driver was drunk).

If you are charged with a serious crime like aggravated DUI, manslaughter, or second-degree murder, you should consult with an attorney. These are serious charges that can carry lengthy prison terms.

Mississippi Homicide Laws

Depending on the circumstances, a fatal accident could result in a manslaughter or second-degree murder conviction. These charges can apply when a motorist kills someone while driving at a dangerous speed (likely more than a few miles per hour above the speed limit).

For speeding to result in a manslaughter conviction, a motorist must have been driving at a speed that created a substantial risk to the lives of others. A manslaughter conviction carries a potential penalty of 1 year in jail or 2 to 20 years in prison. (Miss. Code §§ 97-3-25, 97-3-47 (2023).)

Second-degree murder is more serious than manslaughter. For speeding to result in a second-degree murder conviction, the driving must have been "eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved heart." Second-degree murder carries 20 years to life in prison. (Miss. Code §§ 97-3-19, 97-3-21 (2023).)

It isn't always clear what the difference between manslaughter and second-degree murder is. In general, the more dangerous the driving, the more likely the driver will be convicted of second-degree murder.

Aggravated DUI

A person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and kills someone while driving—regardless of how fast the vehicle is going—could be convicted of aggravated DUI. An aggravated DUI carries a potential prison term of 5 to 25 years. (Miss. Code § 63-11-30 (2023).)

Get Professional Help

Talk to a Traffic Ticket attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you