Arkansas Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines

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

Speed limits in Arkansas

70 mph: rural freeways and interstate highways, as posted

65 mph: trucks on rural freeways

65 mph: urban freeways and interstate highways, as posted

65 mph: divided roads (those with a concrete median or buffer zone separating lanes traveling in opposite directions)

60 mph: undivided roads (except as they pass through populated areas, limit may drop to 20 mph or less)

20 mph: residential and urban districts

25 mph: school zones (or as posted), when children are present

Arkansas code on reasonable and prudent speed

Maximum speed law:

According to section 27-51-201 of Arkansas code, “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed that is greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.”

Minimum speed law:

According to section 27-51-208 of Arkansas code, “No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with the law.”

While Arkansas has an “absolute” speed limit law – meaning going just one mph over the limit is technically considered speeding, there is typically a margin of error up to about 2 mph due to variations in speedometer calibration as well as other contributing factors. There is no leeway, however, in school zones, construction zones, and other enforced areas, and steep fines may be imposed. The best practice is not to speed at all.

As in most states, drivers may fight a citation on one of the following bases:

  • 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 Arkansas

First-time violators may not be:

  • Fined more than $100

  • Sentenced to more than 10 days of jail time

  • Have their license suspended for more than one year

Penalty for reckless driving in Arkansas

Speeding in Arkansas is automatically considered reckless driving at 15 mph over the posted limit.

First-time violators may be:

  • Fined up to $500

  • Sentenced to between five and 90 days of jail time

  • Subject to license suspension of up to one year

There may be court or other costs on top of the actual fine. Speeding fines vary among locations. The fine is typically listed on the citation, or drivers can check with the local court to determine the cost of their citation.


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