Following is an overview of the laws, limits, and fines as they relate to speeding traffic violations in the state of Kentucky.

Speed limits in Kentucky

70 mph: rural freeways and interstates

65 mph: urban interstates

55 mph: all other highways, including two-lane and four-lane divided roads

35 mph: residential and business districts

25 mph: some areas inside city limits, as posted

25 mph: school zones when yellow lights are flashing, or as posted

15 mph: off-street parking facilities

State law requires that only parkways and interstates may have speed limits over 55 mph.

Kentucky code on reasonable and prudent speed

Maximum speed law:

According to section 189.390(2) of Kentucky vehicle code, “A person shall not operate a vehicle at a greater speed than is reasonable and prudent, having regard for the traffic and for the condition and use of the highway.”

Minimum speed law:

Kentucky requires that drivers avoid driving at a slow enough speed to impede traffic, and that slower moving traffic keep in the far right lane if possible.

Due to variations in speedometer calibration, tire size, and margins of error in speed-detecting technology, it’s uncommon for an officer to pull a driver over for going less than five miles above the speed limit. However, technically any amount over can be considered a speed violation so best practices are to stay within the limit.

While it may be difficult to fight a speeding ticket in Kentucky due to the absolute speed limit law, a driver may choose to go to court and claim their innocence based upon one of the following:

  • The driver may oppose the determination of speed. In order to claim this defense a driver must know how his or her speed was determined and then learn how to disprove its accuracy.

  • A driver may claim that an emergency situation caused the driver to break the speed limit in order to prevent injury or damage to themselves or others.

  • The driver may claim a case of mistaken identity. If a police officer clocks a driver speeding and subsequently has to find them again in traffic, it’s possible that they could make a mistake and pull the wrong car over.

Penalty for exceeding the speed limit in Kentucky

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $100

  • Have their license suspended for up to 90 days

  • Be placed on probation for two years in lieu of license suspension

Penalty for reckless driving in Kentucky

There is no set speed in Kentucky at which violating the speed limit is considered reckless driving. That determination depends upon the circumstances surrounding the violation.

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $100

  • Have their license suspended for up to between 90 days and two years

Violators may be required to attend traffic school, and/or may be able to have their speeding fine reduced by attending these classes.

This article originally appeared on as Kentucky Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines and was authored by Valerie Johnston.

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