Kentucky

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban no
Young drivers all cellphone ban drivers younger than 18
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 65; 70 on specified segments of road1
Urban interstates (mph) 65
Other limited access roads (mph) 65
Other roads (mph) 55
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 162
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 6 months2
Have a minimum supervised driving time of 60 hours, 10 of which must be at night2
Have a minimum age of 16, 6 months3
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions midnight-6 a.m.
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
no more than 1 passenger younger than 20 unless supervised by a driving instructor secondary enforcement
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 6 months or age 18, whichever occurs first (min. age: 17)
Passenger restrictions 6 months or age 18, whichever occurs first (min. age: 17)
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 4 years
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions none
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint 40 inches or less in a child restraint; 6 and younger who are between 40 and 50 inches tall in a booster seat
Adult safety belt permissible 6 and younger who are taller than 50 inches
Maximum fine 1st offense $50 child restraint; $30 booster seat
Seating preference law states no preference for rear seat
Children not covered all children covered
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 07/15/94
Standard enforcement? yes; effective 07/20/06
Who is covered? In what seats? 6 and younger and more than 50 inches in all seats; 7+ in all seats
Maximum fine 1st offense $25
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? no
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered 20 and younger4
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law no law
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas no state law
Gaps in coverage no state law
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? 25 mph
MEDIUM-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are medium-speed vehicles permitted? roads with a posted limit of 45 mph or less
What is the top speed permissible for medium-speed vehicles? 45 mph
MINITRUCKS
Initial effective date 6/24/13
Where permitted local option
Speed restrictions no
Vehicle classification under state law mini-truck

1In Kentucky, the speed limit may be increased to 70 mph on specific segments of highway on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation.

2Kentucky law prohibits learner's permit holders from driving between midnight and 6 a.m. or from carrying more than one passenger younger than 20 unless supervised by a driving instructor.

3In Kentucky, license holders younger than 18 must complete a driver education course or a state-sponsored traffic school.

4In Kentucky, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy. Motorcycle helmet laws in Kentucky also cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.