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.
(Also, check out our article that discusses the different types of speeding laws.)
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. (Mo. Ann. Stat. § 304.012 (2017).)
(For more on the statute that contains Missouri’s basic speeding law, see our article on careless and imprudent driving.)
There is no trick to how Missouri’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. Missouri’s absolute speed limits include:
(Mo. Ann. Stat. § 304.010 (2017).)
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, where a driver exceeds an absolute speed limit by five miles per hour or less, the offense is an infraction.
(Mo. Ann. Stat. § § 304.010, 304.012 (2017).)
Depending on how fast the motorist was going, a speeding violation can add points to the motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension or revocation. (Mo. Ann. Stat. § 302.302 (2017).)
(Find out about Missouri’s traffic violation points system, including the number of points corresponding to different citations.)