Missouri's Speeding Laws and Penalties

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

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

Basic Speeding Law—Driving a Safe Speed

Missouri's basic speeding law requires all motorists to drive "at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person."

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.

Unsafe driving could also lead to a careless and imprudent driving conviction.

Absolute (Maximum) Speed Limits

There is no trick to how Missouri's absolute speed limits (also called "maximum speed limits") work: If the absolute speed limit is 50 miles per hour and you drive faster than that, you've violated the law. Missouri's absolute speed limits include:

  • 70 miles per hour on rural interstates and freeways
  • 65 miles per hour on rural expressways, and
  • 60 miles per hour on interstate highways, freeways, and express in urban areas

Absolute speed limits will generally be posted.

Penalties for a Speeding Ticket in Missouri

In Missouri, a speeding ticket generally carries fines, demerit points, and possible jail time. However, jail time is rare for a speeding violation.

Maximum Penalties for Speeding Violations in Missouri

Speed violations are typically misdemeanors in Missouri. So it's theoretically possible for a speeding ticket to result in fairly serious penalties.

A violation of Missouri's basic speeding law is a class B misdemeanor. Convicted motorists face up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 in fines.

Violating an absolute speed limit is generally a class C misdemeanor and carries up to 15 days in jail and a maximum $750 in fines.

However, in most cases, a driver who gets a speeding ticket will just have to pay a fine that's far less than the maximum.

How Much a Speeding Ticket Likely Cost in Missouri

Missouri has a traffic ticket fine schedule that applies to most speeding violations. If you decide you want to plead guilty and admit the violation, you'll need to pay the schedule fine amount of:

  • $50.50 for exceeding the limit by 1 to 5 miles per hour
  • $60.50 for exceeding the limit by 6 to 10 miles per hour
  • $70.50 for exceeding the limit by 11 to 15 miles per hour
  • $100.50 for exceeding the limit by 16 to 19 miles per hour, and
  • $155.50 for exceeding the limit by 20 to 25 miles per hour.

Fees will increase the amount the driver has to pay by about $20 to $70. Also, the fines are increased for violations that occur in construction or roadwork zones.

Points for Speeding Tickets

A speeding violation will generally add three points to the motorist's driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension or revocation.

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