Skip to Content

What do you need to know about New York’s speeding laws?


According to New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death of individuals between the ages of three and 33. In nearly 30% of fatal crashes in New York, speed was a major contributing factor, and that percentage has only been increasing in recent years. To combat the worrying trend, the state has increased its focus on speed enforcement. Here is what you need to know.

The fastest you can legally drive on New York roads is 65 miles per hour, and even then, the state permits such speeds only on controlled-access highways. It is important to note that these highways do not maintain a 65-mph speed limit over their entire lengths. Many contain speed zones in which the limit drops in more densely populated locations.

The penalties for speeding in New York depend on how fast you were driving. For instance, if the officer caught you going no more than 10 mph over the posted speed limit, you may receive a ticket of between $90 and $150. Jail time is possible but not probable. The DMV will also add three points to your driving record. However, if the officer stopped you because you were driving more than 30 mph over the posted limit, you face a fine of between $360 and $600. There is also a good probability that the judge will sentence you to up to 30 days in jail. Speeding in excess of 30 mph will result in eight points to your record, while speeding in excess of 40 mph will result in 11 points.

It is important to note that you can get a ticket for speeding even when you do not exceed the posted speed limit. New York’s Vehicle and Traffic code require that all drivers must maintain a speed that is reasonable and prudent given the road and weather conditions. Typically, this code comes into play during the winter months, when the roads are icy and slick. You must also reduce your speed when any special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians when approaching or going around a curve, when traveling on a winding or narrow roadway or when approaching a railroad crossing or intersection.

You must also obey the posted speed limits in work zones, whether or not work activities are actually going on when you pass through. Fines for speeding in a work zone are double the standard fine.

This article is for educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.