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Missouri Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines

Missouri Speed Limits, Laws, and Fines

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

Speed limits in Missouri

70 mph: rural freeways and interstates

65 mph: rural expressways

60 mph: urban interstate highways, freeways, and expressways

60 mph: other numbered, state-maintained rural highways

55 mph: state lettered highways

25 mph: cities, towns, and villages, or as posted

20-25 mph: school zones, as posted

Missouri code on reasonable and prudent speed

Maximum speed law:

According to section 304.012.1 of Missouri vehicle code, “Every person operating a motor vehicle on the roads and highways of this state shall drive the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person and shall exercise the highest degree of care.”

Minimum speed law:

Section 304.011.1 states, “No person shall operate a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

The minimum speed limit on interstate highways in Missouri is 40 mph.

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 the best practices are to stay within the limit.

While it may be difficult to fight a speeding ticket in Missouri 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 Missouri

Missouri classifies different levels of speed violations as either an infraction, or a Class A, B, or C misdemeanor. Potential penalties are based upon the severity of the violation (in other words, the amount over the speed limit a driver is traveling, and whether the violation causes an accident).

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $1000

  • Be sentenced to up to one year of jail time

  • Have their license suspended for up to one year

Penalty for reckless driving in Missouri

Breaking the speed limit by 20 mph is automatically considered reckless driving in this state.

First-time violators may:

  • Be fined up to $1,000

  • Be sentenced to up to one year of jail time

  • Have their license suspended for up to one year

Violators may be required to attend traffic school, and/or may be able to avoid or reduce points on their license by doing so.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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