West Virginia 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's no trick to how West Virginia’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. West Virginia’s absolute speed limits include (unless otherwise posted):
Normally, signs indicate what the absolute speed limit if for that portion of the roadway.
In addition to the absolute limits, West Virginia’s basic speeding law prohibits driving at a speed that is greater than “reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions and the actual and potential hazards.” The basic speeding law also requires drivers to reduce their speed appropriately when approaching railroad crossings, curves, a hillcrest, or other hazards.
In other words, motorists must always drive at a safe speed. What a safe speed is will depend on the circumstances. In other words, what might be a safe speed in perfect conditions could be unsafe if the road is slippery or visibility is limited.
The fines for a speeding violation depend on the circumstances. But generally, speeding is a misdemeanor and the possible penalties are:
These penalties, of course, assume that you're ultimately convicted of speeding. You might, however, have options for fighting your speeding ticket.
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 "negligent homicide."