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Speeding: State Laws

Speeding tickets are easily the most common ticket issued in the United States. In every state, a traffic ticket can be issued to drivers who violate laws restricting the speed at which a vehicle may travel.

Generally, states have two types of laws related to speed restrictions:

  • Laws that set specific maximum speed limits in certain settings. For example, a state may declare different maximum speeds at which a vehicle may be operated on a state highway (65 mph) and in a school zone (25 mph).
  • Laws that require drivers to operate their vehicles at a speed that is reasonable under the circumstances. For example, even if the posted maximum speed limit on a rural highway is 65 mph, driving on that highway at 65 mph in a torrential rainstorm at night could result in a speeding ticket.

Absolute, Presumed, and Basic Speed Limits

There are essentially three types of speed limits being enforced around the country: "absolute," "presumed," and "basic" speed limits. As you might imagine, the defenses differ for each one.

  1. Absolute speed limits are the most common type of speed law. The sign will clearly state 55 mph, so if you go 56 mph or faster, you have violated the law.
  2. Presumed speed-limit violations are more nuanced. In states that use this system (Texas, for example), it's legal to drive over the posted limit as long as you are driving safely. Say, for instance, you are driving 40 mph in a 35-mph zone, you are "presumed" to be speeding. But if it is 7 a.m. on a clear, dry morning with no other cars on a wide, straight road, and you can convince the judge that you were driving safely given those conditions, you could well be acquitted.
  3. The basic speed law theory states that you can be charged with speeding by violating the “basic" speed law, even if you were driving below the posted speed limit. An officer must simply decide that you were going faster than you should have been, considering the driving conditions at the time.

See Fight a Speeding Ticket: Is Speeding Always Speeding? to learn more.

State Speeding Laws

Click on the link(s) below to read the statute that corresponds with your state's speeding laws and penalties.

STATE STATUTE FINES AND/OR JAIL TIME LICENSE ACTIONS
Alabama Misdemeanor (AL Code Section 32-5A-8)
  • First offense: $100/10 days
  • Second offense: $200/30 days
  • Third offense: $500/three months
Suspension or revocation by point system (AL Code Section 32-5A-195(k))
Alaska Speed restrictions (13 AK Admin Code 02.275 to 02.330) including: Non-criminal infraction subject to a maximum $300 fine (AK Statutes Section 28.90.10) Suspension or revocation by point system (AK Statutes Section 28.15.251)
Arizona Speed Restrictions (ARS Sections 28-701 to 28-710) including: Civil traffic violation (ARS 28-121) Suspension or revocation by point system (ARS 28-3306 and AZ Admin Code R17-4-404)
Arkansas Speed Limits (AR Code Title 27, Ch. 51, Subchapter 2) including: Misdemeanor (driving more than 15 mph above limit) Suspension by court order or point system
California Speed Laws, Generally (California Vehicle Code Sections 22348 - 22366) including:
  • Reasonable prudent speed
  • Maximum limits
Other Speed Laws (California Vehicle Code Sections 22400 - 22413)
Infraction (California Vehicle Code Sections 22351 and 42001)
  • First offense: $100
  • Second offense: $200
  • Third offense: $250
Suspension (California Vehicle Code Section 13200)
Colorado Speed limits (CRS Section 42-4-1101) including:
  • Reasonable prudent speed
  • Maximum limits
Class A traffic infraction with fines from $15 to $100 (CRS Sections 42-4-1101 and 42-4-1701) Suspension through a point system (CRS Section 42-2-127)
Connecticut Speeding (GSC Sections 14-218a and 14-219) including:
  • A reasonable rate of speed standard
  • Speed limits
Infraction with fines from  $35 to $90 Suspension or revocation (GCS Section 14-111)
Delaware Speed Restrictions (DE Code Title 21, Ch. 41, Subchapter VIII) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Maximum limits
Misdemeanor (DE Code Title 21 Sections 4102 and 4205)
  • First offense: $25 to $75
  • Subsequent offense: $57.50 to $95
Suspension (DE Code Title 21 Section 2733)
District of Columbia Speeding and reckless driving (DC Code Title 50, Ch. 22, Subchapter I; scroll to section 50-2201.04)Reasonable and prudent speed standard and speed limits (18 DC Mun. Regs. Sections 2200.1 to 2200.12) Speeding offenses subject to a civil fine:
  • Unreasonable speed: $100  
  • Speed limit violations: $75 to $300
(18 DC Mun. Regs. Section 2600.1)
Suspension or revocation by point system (DC Code Title 50, Ch. 14 Section 50-1403.1)
Florida Unlawful speed (FS Sections 316.183, 316.187, and 316.189) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Non-criminal traffic infraction (FS Section 318.18) with fines from $25 to $250 Suspension through a point system or court-ordered suspension/revocation (FS Sections 316.655 and 322.27)
Georgia Speed limits (Georgia Code Sections 40-6-180 and 40-6-181) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Misdemeanor with fines up to $500 (Georgia Code Section 40-6-1) Suspension through a point system (Georgia Code Section 40-5-57)
Hawaii Speed restrictions; basic rule (HRS Section 291C-101) Noncompliance with speed limit prohibited (HRS Section 291C-102) Traffic infraction/violation (HRS Section 291C-161)
  1. First offense: $200
  2. Second offense: $300
  3. Third offense: $500
Court-ordered suspension/revocation (HRS Section 291C-170)
Idaho Basic rule and maximum speed limits (ID Statutes Section 49-654) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Infraction of not more than $300 (ID Statutes Section 49-110) Suspension through a point system (ID Statutes Section 49-326)
Illinois Speed Restrictions (625 ILCS 5/11-601 to 5/11-611) including:
  • Reasonable and proper speed
  • Speed limits
(625 ILCS 5/11-601)
First or second offense: Petty offense with fine of not more than $1,000Third or subsequent offense: Class C misdemeanor not more than $1,500/30days(730 ILCS 5.5-4.5-65 and 730 ILCS 5.5-4.5-7) Suspension or revocation based on 3 traffic offenses within 12 months (625 ILCS 5/6-206)
Indiana Speed Limits (Indiana Code Sections 9-21-5-1) and 9-21-5-2) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Class C infraction with fine not more than $1,000 (Indiana Code Section 34-28-5-4) Suspension (Indiana Code Sections 9-30-4-6.1)
Iowa Speed Restrictions (IA Code Title VIII, Subtitle 2, Ch. 321; Sections 321.285 to 321.295):
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Simple misdemeanor (IA Code Section 321.482)$65 - $625/30 days (IA Code Section 903.1) Suspension (IA Code Section 321.210)
Kansas Maximum speed limits (KS Statutes Sections 8-1557 and 8-1558) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Traffic Infraction (KS Statutes Sections 8-2116 and 8-2118)Not more than $500 (KS Statutes Section 21-6611) Revocation, suspension, or restriction (KS Statutes Section 8-255)
Kentucky Speed -- Secretary authorized to increase speed limit in certain areas by official order -- Parking [PDF] (KRS Section 189.390) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Violation (KRS Section 532.020 [PDF])Fines for speeding -- Doubling of fines in school areas with flashing lights [PDF] (KRS Section 189.394)$60 to $100 Suspension or revocation KRS (Sections 186.560 and 186.570 [PDFs])
Louisiana Maximum speed limit (LRS Section 32:61)
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
General speed law (LRS Section 32:64)
  • Speed limits
Misdemeanor (LRS Section 32:57)
  • First offense: $175/30 days
  • Second and additional offenses: $500/90 days
Suspension, revocation, or cancellation (LRS Section 32:414)
Maine Rates of speed (MRS Title 29-A Section 2074) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Non- criminal traffic infractions (MRS Title 29-A Sections 101103, and 104)
  • Fines from $25 to $500
Suspension or revocation (MRS Title 29-A Sections 101 and 2458)
Maryland Speed Restrictions [PDF] (MD Transp. Code Title 21; scroll to Sections 21-801 et seq.)
  • Reasonable and Prudent speed (Section 21-801)
  • Speed limits (Section 21-801.1)
Misdemeanor with fines to $500 (MD Transp. Code Title 21 Section 27-101) Suspension (MD Transp. Code Title 21 Section 16-208)
Massachusetts Speed limits with reasonable and prudent speed standard (90 MGL Section 17) Speed limit: Massachusetts Turnpike (90 MGL Section 17A) Civil motor vehicle infractions (90C MGL Section 1)
  • Not less than $50 (exceeding speed limit by 10 mph add $10 per mph above limit)
(90 MGL Section 20)
Suspension or revocation (90 MGL Sections 20 and 27)
Michigan Speed restrictions (MI Vehicle Code Sections 257.627 to 257.633) including
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
(MI Vehicle Code Section 257.627)
Civil infraction (MI Vehicle Code Sections 257.627257.628, and 257.629c )
  • The number of miles per hour over the speed limit determines the fine amount
Suspension through a point system (MI Vehicle Code Section 257.3200)
Minnesota Speed limits, zones; radar (MN Statutes Ann. Section 169.14) including
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Petty misdemeanor; misdemeanor if three or more violations within 12 months (MN Statutes Ann. Section 169.89) Suspension or revocation (MN Statutes Ann. Sections 171.16 and 171.17)
Mississippi Restrictions on Speed (MS Code Title 63, Ch. 3, Article 11) including Speed limits (MS Code Section 63-3-501) Misdemeanor:
  • First offense: $100/10 days
  • Second offense: $200/20 days
  • Third offense: $500/6 months
(MS Code Section 63-9-11)
Suspension (MS Code Section 63-1-53)
Missouri Definitions, maximum speed limits, violations, penalty including: Infraction (5 mph above the speed limit) (MRS Section 304.009): $400Class B Misdemeanor (20 mph or more above speed limit) (MRS Section 304.010) or a violation of careful and prudent standard (MRS 304.012)): $1,000/6 months)(MRS Sections 558.002 and 558.011) Suspension or revocation through a point system (MRS Sections 302.302 and 302.304)
Montana Speed restrictions (MCA Section 61-8-303) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent manner/speed
  • Speed limits
 Misdemeanor (MCA Section 61-8-711) speed limit violations fines determined speed above limit:
  • up to 10 mph above: $40
  • 11-20 mph above: $70
  • 21-30 mph above: $120
  • 31 mph and over: $200
(MCA Section 61-8-725)
Suspension or revocation through a point system (MCA Title 61, Ch. 11)
Nebraska Reasonable and prudent manner (R.R.S. Nebr. section 60-6,185)Speed limits (R.R.S. Nebr. Section 60-6,186) Speed limit violations; fines (R.R.S. Nebr. Section 60-682.01) traffic infractions (handled the same way as misdemeanors) Exceeding the speed limit by:
  • 1-5 mph: $10
  • 6-10 mph: $25
  • 11-15 mph: $75
  • 16-20 mph: $125
  • 21-35 mph: $200
  • 36 mph or more: $30
Revocation through a point system (R.R.S. Nebr. Section 60-499)
Nevada Restrictions on speed (NRS Sections 484B.600 to 484B.633) including:
  • Reasonable and proper speed
  • Speed limits
Misdemeanor (NRS Section 484A.900) $1,000/ 6 months (NRS Section 193.150) Suspension through a point system (NRS Section 483.473)
New Hampshire Speed limitations: basic rule and maximum limits (NH Statutes Section 265:60) including
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
Violation (NH Statutes Section 265:2) fines determined by miles per hour above limit, for example:
  • 1-10 mph: $50
  • 11-15 mph: $75
  • 16-20 mph: $100
  • 21-25 mph: $200
  • 26 mph or more: $350
(NH Statutes Section 265:60)
Suspension by court order or point system or revocation for three traffic offenses in one year (NH Statutes Sections 236:55 to 236:57)
New Jersey Rates of speed (NJ Statutes Sections 39:4-98 to 39:4-98.9)
  • Appropriate reduced speed for conditions
  • Speed limits
Motor vehicle offense
  • $50-$200/ 15days
(NJ Statutes Sections 39:4-104 and 39:4-203)
Suspension through a point system (NJ Statutes Sections 39:5-30.5 to 39:5-30.9)
New Mexico Speed regulation (NMS Section 66-7-301)
  • Controlled speed
  • Speed limits
Penalty assessment misdemeanors
  • $15-$200
(NMS Sections 66-8-7 and 66-8-116)
Suspension through point system (NMS Section 66-5-30)
New York Speed restrictions (NY Vehicle & Traffic Code Article 30; click VAT and scroll to Article 30) including
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
(NY Vehicle & Traffic Code Sections 1180 and 1180-A)
Traffic infraction - fines determined by miles per hour above limit, for example:
  • 1-10 mph: $45-$150
  • 10-30 mph: $90-$300/15 days
  • Over 30 mph: $180-$600/30 days
(NY Vehicle & Traffic Code Section 1180)
Suspension or revocation (NY Vehicle & Traffic Code Section 510)
North Carolina Speed restrictions (NCGS Section 20-141) inlcuding: Infraction $100 (NCGS Section 20-176) Suspension (NCGS Section 20-16)
North Dakota Speed restrictions [PDF] (ND Code Chapter 39-09) includingReasonable and prudent speed (ND Code Section 39-09-01)
  • Speed limits (ND Code Section 39-09-02)
  • Speed Limits
Non-criminal offense/infraction (ND Code Section 39-07-06) with penalties based on miles per hour above the applicable speed limit (ND Code Section 39-06.1-06) Suspension through a point system (ND Code Section 39-06.1-10)
Ohio Speed limits (ORC Section 4511.21) including
  • Reasonable and proper speed standard
  • Speed limits
Misdemeanor (ORC Sections 4511.21 and 4511.99)
  • First and second offense: $150
  • Third offense: $250/30 days
  • Fourth offense or more: $500/60 days
(ORC Sections 2929.24 and 2929.28)
Suspension through a point system (ORC Sections 4510.36 and 4510.37)
Oklahoma Speed limits (OS Title 47; scroll to section 47-11-801) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
(47 OS Section 47-11-801)
Misdemeanor with fines determined by miles per hour above limit, for example:
  • 1-10 mph: $5
  • 11-15 mph: $20
  • 16-20 mph: $35
  • 21-25 mph: $75
  • 26-30 mph: $135
  • 31-35 mph: $155
  • 36 mph and over: $205
and/or
  • First offense: 10 days
  • Second offense: 20 days
  • Third offense: 6 months
(47 OS Sections 47-11-801 and 47-801e)
Suspension (47 OS Section 47-6-206)
Oregon Rules of the Road: Speed (OR Vehicle Code; scroll to sections 811.100 to 811.127) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed (OR Statute Section 811.100)
  • Speed limits (OR Statute Section 811.105)
Class A - D traffic violations with fines from $250 to $2,000 (OR Statute Sections 811.109 and 153.018) Suspension (OR Statute Sections 811.109 and 809.280)
Pennsylvania Rules of the Road: Speed Restrictions (PA Vehicle Code Chapter 33; scroll to Subchapter F) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed (75 Pa C.S.A. Section 3361)
  • Speed limits (75 Pa C.S.A. Section 3362)
Summary offense
  • $42.50 for exceeding 65 mph limit
  • $35 for other speeding violations
  • Plus $2 for every mph over 5 mph above limit
(75 Pa C.S.A. Section 3362)
Suspension through a point system (75 Pa C.S.A. Section 1539)
Rhode Island Speed Restrictions (RI Code Chapter 31-14) including:
  • Reasonable and prudent speed (RI Stat. Section 31-14-1)
  • Speed limits (RI Stat. Section 31-14-2)
Civil violations per the fee schedule (RI Stat. Section 31-41-1.4) including:1-10 mph above speed limit: $9511 mph or more above the speed limit: Starting at $250 Suspension or revocation (RI Stat. Section 31-11-7)
South Carolina Restrictions on Speed (SC Code Title 56, Ch. 5; scroll to Article 11) including
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
(SC Statute Section 56-5-1520)
Misdemeanor determined by miles per hour above limit, for example:
  • 1-10 mph: $15-$25
  • 11-14 mph: $25-$50
  • 15-24 mph: $50-75
  • 25 mph and over: $75-$200
(SC Statute Section 56-5-1520)
Suspension through a point system (SC Statute Section 56-1-740)
South Dakota Speed Regulation (SD Codified Laws Chapter 32-25) including:Reasonable and prudent speed (SD Statute Section 32-25-3)Speed limits (SD Statute Sections 32-25-1.1, 32-25-4, 32-25-7.1, 32-25-9.2, 32-25-12, and 32-25-14) Class 2 misdemeanor (SD Statute Sections 32-25-1.1 et seq.)$500/30 days (SD Statute Section 22-6-2) Suspension, revocation, or cancellation through a point system (SD Statute Section 32-12-49)
Tennessee Speed limits including:Exercising due care speed standard (TN Code Section 55-8-136)Speed limits (TN Code Section 55-8-152)  Class C misdemeanor (TN Code Section 55-8-152)$50/30 days (TN Code Section 40-35-111) Suspension through a point system (TN Code Section 55-50-505)
Texas Speed restrictions (TX Transportation Code Sections 545.351 to 545.365) including: Reasonable and prudent speed mits (TX Transportation Code Sections 545.351 and 545.352) Misdemeanor (TX Transportation Code Section 542.301) Suspension or revocation by licensing agency (TX Transportation Code Section 521.292)
Utah Speed Restrictions (UT Code Sections 41-6a-601 to 41-6a-609) including
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed limits
(UT Code Section 41-6a-601)
Infraction (UT Code Section 41-6a-601) determined by miles per hour above limit, for example:
  • 1-10 mph: $170
  • 11-15 mph: $220
  • 16-20 mph: $320
  • 21-25 mph: $470
  • 26-30 mph: $670
  • 31 mph and over: $870
(Utah Uniform Fine Schedule p. 105)
Suspension through a point system (UT Code Section 53-3-220)
Vermont Local speed limits (23 VSA Section 1007) Basic rule and maximum limits (23 VSA Section 1081) Reasonable and prudent speed Traffic violations with fines up to $1,000 (23 VSA Section 2302) Suspension or revocation through a point system (23 VSA Sections 2500 to 2507)
Virginia Maximum speed limits generally (VA Code Section 46.2-870) Traffic infraction determined by miles per hour above limit, for example:
  • $6 for each mile above the speed limit; $7 in a work zone
(Virginia Uniform Fee Schedule)
N/A for just speeding
Washington Speed restrictions: basic rules and maximum limits (RCW Section 46.61.400) including
  • Reasonable and prudent speed
  • Speed Limits
Traffic infraction of not more than $250 (RCW Section 46.63.110) Suspension based on frequent violations (RCW Section 46.20.291)
West Virginia Speed limitations generally; penalty (WV Code Section 17C-6-1)
  • Including reasonable and prudent speed
  • speed limits
Misdemeanor
  • First offense: $100
  • Second offense: $200
  • Third or more: $500
Suspension based on frequency of violations (WV Code Section 17B-3-6)
Wisconsin Speed restrictions (WI Code Chapter 346; scroll to Section 346.57) including:
  • reasonable and prudent speed
  • speed limits
Civil forfeiture ranging from $30 to $300 (WI ST Section 346.60) Suspension by courts (WI ST Section 343.40)
Wyoming Speed Regulations (WY Statutes Title 31, Ch. 5, Article 3) including:
  • reasonable and prudent speed
  • speed limits
(WY ST Section 31-5-301)
Misdemeanor determined by miles per hour above limit, for example:
  • 1-5 mph: $5 for each mile above limit with $25 max
  • 6-10 mph: $5 for each mile above limit with $25 max
  • 11-20 mph: $45 plus $5 for each mile in excess of 10 mph above limit
  • Over 20 mph: $95 plus $5 for each mile in excess of 20 mph above limit
(WY ST Section 31-5-1201)
Suspension (WY ST Section 31-7-129)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Get Legal Help With a Speeding Ticket

Speeding is the most common traffic ticket in most U.S. jurisdictions, and they typically are paid without incident. However, motorists sometimes face license suspension or other serious sanctions from a speeding ticket, including insurance rate hikes, particularly if the offense is considered "excessive" or the motorist has had prior traffic offenses. If you would like to get the best outcome possible for your speeding ticket, consider speaking with a traffic attorney in your area.

Next Steps

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