Anyone that lives in, is looking to visit Kentucky, or who plans to journey through the state by car must understand what the Kentucky speed limits are, and the potential repercussions if you exceed these limits.

Laws surrounding speed limits are quite stringent in Kentucky, pretty much the same as anywhere else in the U.S. However, it is better to be safe by abiding by the Kentucky speed limits as it will not only cost you less in fines and potential points on your license, but it can help save yourself and others from unnecessary accidents.

Kentucky speed limits

Kentucky speed limits are established by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in order to advise the safest speed to travel when driving on specific roads and certain areas of the state. The different speed limits highlight the fastest speeds you are legally allowed to drive when conditions are good and the visibility is clear.




Similar to many other states around the US, Kentucky’s speed limits are split into two categories, basic and absolute. The basic speed limits in Kentucky mean driving “reasonable and prudent, having regard for the traffic and for the condition and use of the highway.”

In other words, you must always drive at a safe and sensible speed after analyzing the current driving conditions. An example of this would be if it was raining heavily, with high winds, and you were driving 55 mph in a 55 mph speed limit zone. You could very well be violating the basic speeding law, as the weather and road conditions would require you to go at a sensible Kentucky speed limit, typically slower than the prescribed limit.

Absolute Kentucky speed limits, however, aren’t as tricky to follow, what you see is what you get, literally. So, if a sign shows a required speed limit of 70 mph, you must drive at 70 mph or less, and if you violate the absolute speed limit, you will be slapped with a fine, and potentially further penalities.

Here are the absolute Kentucky speed limits

  • 25 mph is the speed limit for school zones.
  • 25 – 35 mph depending on location is the speed limit for inner-cities.
  • 45 mph is the speed limit in residential areas.
  • 55 mph is the speed limit on undivided roads.
  • 65 mph is the speed limit on divided roads.
  • 70 mph is the speed limit on urban highways.
  • 70 mph is the speed limit on rural highways, trucks also have a maximum speed limit of 70 mph on rural highways.

With regards to driving on highways, the law suggests that the right-hand lane is reserved for vehicles that go at or below the minimum Kentucky speed limit. If this is not practical, the car should be as close to the right-hand side of the highway as possible.

What Fines & Points Apply When Going Over the Kentucky Speed Limit?

The ticket and point system for surpassing the Kentucky speed limit is pretty straightforward when compared with most other states. If a driver exceeds the speed limit, the fines will typically range anywhere from $1 to $55, making the Kentucky speeding tickets comparatively lower than other places.

However, if a Kentucky motorist is surpassing the speed limit by 25 mph or more the fine is increased to anywhere between $60 to $100 and can result in a license suspension.

You have to bear in mind that, although the fines for speeding in Kentucky don’t tend to be too steep, you will almost definitely have points added to your license and record in addition to the fine as a result of speeding. The more points that you receive over a certain period of time, the more likely you are to be handed more serious penalties, for example, license suspension!

Here is the Kentucky speeding ticket and motor offense points system

Kentucky Speeding Ticket PointsTotal Points
Speeding 15 mph or less above limit3 points
Speeding 16 mph or more over the limit6 points
Reckless driving4 points
Following too closely4 points
Failing to stop for a school bus6 points

When relocating to Kentucky, or just simply visiting on vacation, there is a multitude of fun things to do and places to see. However, knowing and adhering to the Kentucky speed limits is essential in order for you to avoid penalties and potential accidents.