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Kentucky Traffic Laws

Driving requires you to be alert to everything on the road nonstop. One mistake can cause a severe car accident or cause you to see the flashing lights of a Kentucky state police officer in your rearview mirror.

Following the law to prevent a traffic stop is usually easier than fighting a ticket. Learn more about the state's driving rules in this article.

Motor Vehicle Laws in Kentucky

You can find the statewide driving laws in Title XVI of the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS). The chart below highlights a few basic traffic laws all Kentucky drivers should know.

Drinking & Driving Violations Driving Under the Influence (KRS Chapter 189A)
Driving Without a License / With a Suspended License Operators' licenses (KRS 186.410)Unlawful to drive or permit another to drive without license (KRS 186.620)
Driving Without Insurance / With Insufficient Insurance Financial Responsibility Law (KRS Chapter 187)
Driving Without Registration / With Expired Registration Registration requirement (KRS 186.020)
Illegal U-Turn Turning around on curve or grade (KRS 189.400)
Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit & Run Duty in case of accident (KRS 189.580)
Mechanical Violations and Unlawful Vehicle Modifications Vehicle Equipment (KRS Chapter 189 sections .020 to .205)
Reckless Driving Operator of vehicle to drive carefully (KRS 189.290)
Running a Red Light / Stop Sign Traffic control signals (KRS 189.338)
Seat Belt / Child Restraint Violations Requirements of use of seat belts and child restraint systems (KRS 189.125)
Speeding Speed (KRS 189.390)Fines for speeding (KRS 189.394)

Kentucky Driver Services Online

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's online services give you a convenient way to follow a few license and registration laws, such as:

  • Renewing your driver's license
  • Renewing your vehicle registration
  • Enrolling in driver's education classes
  • Scheduling a driver's exam

Kentucky courts often allow drivers to pay traffic citation fines online, too. You may still need to attend a scheduled court date if you pay online.

Common Kentucky Traffic Violations

Law enforcement officers often issue traffic tickets for law-breaking behavior like:

  • Failing to obey the speed limit, including speeding while overtaking vehicles
  • Failing to slow down for certain road conditions, such as in a work zone
  • Ignoring a traffic control device like running a red light
  • Passing a stopped school bus or church bus
  • Failing to yield the right of way, such as stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk
  • Changing drivers, following too closely to another car, and other forms of reckless driving

The penalties for a violation can vary. For example, driving too slow in the left lane may lead to a minor fine, but driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to hundreds of dollars in fines, jail time, and up to 30 days in jail, even if it's your first offense.

Kentucky's License Points System

Like many other states, Kentucky tracks traffic violations with points on your driver's license. These point values range from zero to six, depending on the severity of the violation.

You could face license suspension if you get 12 points within two years. Drivers under 18 face a stricter limit of seven points within two years. However, you can contest the ticket to defend your driving privileges at your court hearing.

Legal Advice for Traffic Tickets

If the police cited you for a traffic violation or criminal offense, you have options. You can accept the fines and other penalties, or you can fight the ticket. A skilled traffic law attorney can help you review your case and advocate for your rights. If you ran a stop sign or violated Kentucky traffic laws in some other way, an attorney can be a powerful advocate in your corner.

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