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Kansas Traffic Laws

Following all Kansas traffic regulations allows you to drive wherever you want whenever you want. But state and local laws can be complex, and breaking them can swiftly end your time on the road.

In this article, you'll learn more about driving and traffic violations. You can also read the Kansas Driving Handbook for more information.

Find Kansas Driving Laws

The state driving and motor vehicle laws mainly appear in Chapter 8 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated (K.S.A.). The law organizes these rules into categories, such as overtaking vehicles or unique motorcycle rules.

Some of these laws are frequently at the center of traffic cases. See popular Kansas statutes in the chart below.

Drinking & Driving Violations Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (K.S.A. Ch. 8, Article 10)
Driving Without a License / With a Suspended License Licenses required (K.S.A. 8-235)
Driving Without Insurance / With Insufficient Insurance Motor vehicle liability insurance coverage required (K.S.A. 40-3104)
Driving Without Registration / With Expired Registration Registration of vehicles operated in this state (K.S.A. 8-127)
Illegal U-Turns Limitations on "U" turns (K.S.A. 8-1546)
Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit & Run Accidents and Accident Reports (K.S.A. Ch. 8, Article 16)
Mechanical Violations Equipment of Vehicles (K.S.A. Ch. 8, Article 17)
Reckless Driving Reckless driving; penalties (K.S.A. 8-1566)
Running a Red Light / Stop Sign Official traffic control devices; required obedience (K.S.A. 8-1507)
School Bus Passing Overtaking and passing school bus (K.S.A. 8-1556)
Seat Belt / Child Restraint Violations Safety Belt Use Act (K.S.A. Ch. 8, Article 25)Child passenger safety (K.S.A. 8-1344)
Speeding Maximum speed limits (K.S.A. 8-1558)
Traffic Violation Fines Uniform fine schedule for traffic infraction violations (K.S.A. 8-2118)
Unlawful Vehicle Modifications Equipment of Vehicles (K.S.A. Ch. 8, Article 17)

Quick Tips for Navigating Kansas Roads

Whether you're a new driver or simply new to driving in the state of Kansas, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind, such as:

  • You must generally drive on the right side of the road, leaving traffic lanes on the left side for passing.
  • Even in the right lane, drive faster than the minimum speed to avoid impeding traffic.
  • Safely move over to another lane to make space for certain parked vehicles with flashing lights. The Kansas “move over" law generally applies to utility vehicles, road construction machinery, and emergency vehicles.
  • Only pass a vehicle in a lane for cars in the opposite direction if you can see no vehicular traffic ahead and are not in a no-passing zone. Return to your original lane before you are within 200 feet of oncoming traffic.
  • Don't use your cell phone to send text messages or browse on the road. The law offers a few exceptions for phone use, such as using hands-free voice commands.
  • You can turn right on a red light after yielding to traffic and pedestrians in the crosswalk. First, check that no signs at the intersection prohibit a turn on red.
  • Yield to school crossing guards, including if they stop you in the middle of a road without a crosswalk or stop sign.

Following basic laws and considering the safety of others will likely prevent traffic stops, but if a law enforcement officer decides to pull you over, knowing your rights and responsibilities can prevent extra trouble.

Traffic Violations and Accidents in Kansas

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, some of the state's top violations that cause car accidents include:

  • Inattentive driving, such as daydreaming
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Following another car too closely
  • Driving too fast for the road conditions, such as bad weather
  • Ignoring traffic control signals and signs
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)

Crashes don't only happen where roads are more complex, like in Wichita or other big cities. About 59% of accidents occurred on rural roads in 2021, compared to 41% in urban areas.

Wherever you drive, obey the traffic laws to prevent serious accidents and traffic tickets. Though Kansas is a no-fault accident state, personal injuries can increase the penalties you face for a driving offense.

Ticket Fines and Charges

Violations can lead to a minor traffic citation or criminal charges, even up to a felony. Some circumstances increase the basic penalties. Speeding tickets in a school zone and moving violations in a construction zone incur double the typical fine.

For example, reckless driving is a misdemeanor traffic offense with potential jail time and a fine between $50 and $500. A lesser traffic infraction might only involve paying a fine, such as $45 for speeding up to 10 miles over the speed limit.

Kansas Driver's License Penalties

A traffic ticket can also risk your driver's license, though Kansas doesn't use a point system to track them like other states. Once you reach enough offenses within five years, the state may declare you a habitual violator, which leads to losing your license.

Some violations prompt a police officer to issue an automatic license suspension or revocation, even if it was your first offense. Refusing a DUI test is a common example of an automatic suspension that lasts one year in Kansas.

Get Legal Help To Protect Your License

Many tickets are simple to resolve without a lawyer. Yet, some cases can risk your license and ease of daily life.

Weigh your legal options carefully when your driving privileges are on the line. Whether you're dealing with a citation for not wearing safety belts or exceeding maximum speed limits, contact a Kansas traffic attorney to review your case today.

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