Tennessee has two types of speeding laws: “absolute limits” and a “basic speeding law.” This article explains the differences between the two and the consequences of a speeding violation.
There is no trick to how Tennessee’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. Unless otherwise posted, the absolute speed limits are:
(Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-152 (2017).)
Notwithstanding the absolute limits, Tennessee’s basic speeding law requires motorists to 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.
(Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-136 (2017).)
The cost of a speeding ticket in Tennessee depends on where the violation occurred and by how much the driver exceeded the speed limit. But generally, a speeding violation will run the driver anywhere from $40 to $150.
Typically, a speeding violation will also add points to a motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension.
Depending on the circumstances, a speeding violation can lead to a “reckless driving” conviction. And if a speeding violation results in the death of another person, it’s possible to be convicted of “vehicular homicide.”