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

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 Speed Limits

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:

  • 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

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.

Point System

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.

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