Oklahoma 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.
Oklahoma’s basic speeding law requires all motorists to drive “at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface and width of the highway and any other conditions then existing.” The law also prohibits driving “at a speed greater than will permit the driver to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.”
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.
There is no trick to how Oklahoma’s absolute speed limits work: If the fixed speed limit is 50 miles per hour and you drive faster than that, you’ve violated the law. Oklahoma’s absolute speed limits include:
Absolute speed limits are typically posted.
Speeding violations are punishable by a fine, jail time, or both. The maximum possible jail time is generally ten days for a first offense, 20 days for a second offense within a year, and six months for a third or subsequent offense within a year. The fines—which typically depend on the amount by which the driver exceeded the speed limit—are as follows:
In most instances, a speeding violation will also result in demerit points being assessed to the driver's record.
Drivers who speed and drive in a “careless or wanton manner” can be convicted of “reckless driving.” A standard first offense carries five to 90 days in jail and/or $100 to $500 in fines.