Kentucky Reckless Driving

Reckless driving in Kentucky carries a penalty of $20 to $100 in fines and four points are added to your driving record.
Written by Melanie Johnson
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
A reckless driving charge in Kentucky is a traffic violation that carries a penalty of $20 to $100 in fines and four points added to your driving record. Your license may also be suspended for up to 90 days. 
You probably already know that speeding will earn you a ticket—but if you’re cruising more than a few miles above the speed limit or driving unsafely, you might be charged with reckless driving. 
Although Kentucky’s reckless driving laws aren’t as harsh as the laws in some other states, a single charge can still come with lasting consequences to your driving record and will likely affect your insurance premium. 
Staying up to date on your state’s motor laws is an important part of being an informed driver. That’s why
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and comparison shopping app
is breaking down everything you need to know about Kentucky’s reckless driving laws and how to avoid serious penalties like increased
Kentucky insurance costs
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How does Kentucky define reckless driving?

The state of Kentucky defines reckless driving as a violation of Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 189.290, which requires a driver of any vehicle on a highway to operate the vehicle in a careful manner, with regard for the safety and convenience of pedestrians and other vehicles upon the highway.”
The law also prohibits driving "in such a manner as to injure the highway."
What does that mean? Below are examples of situations that Kentucky law considers reckless driving:
  • Driving 15 miles per hour or more above the speed limit
  • Unsafe lane changing and passing
  • Following too closely behind another vehicle
  • Drag racing
Ultimately, it’s at the law enforcement officer’s discretion to decide whether a driver’s behavior constitutes a reckless driving charge.

What are the penalties for reckless driving in Kentucky? 

Reckless driving is a traffic violation in Kentucky. While not as serious as a misdemeanor, there are still considerable consequences. If you are charged with reckless driving, you can expect the following penalties:
  • Fines: $20 to $100
  • Driving record penalty points: 4 
  • License suspension: Up to 90 days (extreme cases only)

Kentucky’s point system

Like most states, Kentucky uses a point system to log negligent driving behavior. All drivers start with a clean slate but can accrue points on their
driving records
for committing various traffic offenses. 
If you accumulate 12 or more points over a two-year period, you could lose your driving privileges for up to six months.
Furthermore, if you accumulate another 12 points in the same two-year period after your license has been reinstated, your license could be revoked for up to a year. Additional offenses could result in your
license being suspended for up to two years
If your reckless driving offense involved speeding more than 26 miles per hour over the speed limit, you could also lose your license for up to two years.
Key Takeaway The more points you have on your driving record, the more likely you are to lose your driving privileges. If you reach 12 points within a two-year period, you’ll likely face a suspension of your license.

How can I remove a reckless driving charge from my record? 

You can prevent a reckless driving charge from being added to your record by successfully completing a Kentucky defensive driving course. Passing this course will stop the four points from being added to your record.
You can attend traffic school in Kentucky once every 12 months to remove points from your record. Otherwise, these points will count against your insurance premium for two years and remain on your driving record for five.

Will reckless driving make my insurance go up? 

Yes. On average, insurance companies in Kentucky increase rates by about $1,070 per year after a reckless driving violation—that’s 52% higher than the typical car insurance rate in the Bluegrass State.
While this may seem like a substantial rate increase for a traffic violation, keep in mind that in other states, insurance premiums go up even more with a reckless driving charge. Kentucky’s average insurance increase is 27% less than the U.S. average penalty for reckless driving. Because the consequences of a reckless driving citation are so impactful on your insurance premium, it’s best to avoid this citation altogether by maintaining
safe driving habits

How to find affordable car insurance in Kentucky

You might be able to keep your original insurance rate for a few months following a reckless driving citation, but when it’s time to renew your policy, you’ll likely benefit from shopping for a new low rate.
If you’d rather leave the hard work of gathering quotes to someone else, use
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Unless you killed someone as a result of reckless driving or if your license was suspended at the time of the incident, it’s unlikely that you will go to jail for a first-time reckless driving offense in Kentucky. 
The state is relatively lenient when it comes to reckless driving citations—they are classified as traffic violations, not as felonies or misdemeanors. You will likely have to pay a fine and receive penalty points on your driving record, but you will not be given a prison sentence.
The minimum penalty for reckless driving in Kentucky is a $20 fine and four points added to your driving record.
Reckless driving in Kentucky requires that the motorist was driving in an unsafe manner, while aggressive driving stipulates driving in an unsafe manner with the intent to intimidate or scare other drivers.
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