Fact Finders: Will an emergency get you out of a speeding ticket?

Our viewer wants to know; Is it legal to exceed the speed limit for any reason?
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 9:15 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The federal government launched a program this summer to tackle the increase in deaths caused by speeding. And speeding is the subject of this week’s Fact Finders. Our viewer wants to know; Is it legal to exceed the speed limit for any reason, i.e., passing, rushing to the hospital, etc.?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more than 11,000 people died in 2020 from speeding.

Missouri law does allow an exception for emergency vehicles. Those vehicles must be running with emergency lights and sirens. Many people do wonder if there are any other exceptions. For example, a woman is in labor, and you feel you need to rush to the emergency room as fast as possible.

“If a cool head is present, call an ambulance and possibly meet the ambulance. By informing 911 of your predicament that you’re in, we can get help to you,” explained Sgt. Michael McClure of The Missouri State Highway Patrol. “And I promise you, we can get there faster than you can make it safely to an urgent care facility or hospital, in that type of situation, than just going at it on your own.”

“If you have a really legitimate reason, we bring in a note,” added criminal defense lawyer Ryan Cole of Cole & Martin. ”You know, something from the doctor saying, yes, they are, yeah, their mom was in cardiac arrest, they were rushed in there, or someone in the car was there, and then the prosecutor usually will work with us. (Paul) If you speed, you’re taking your chances that you’re going to get the ticket, and then you have to fall on the mercy of the court in terms of punishment. (Ryan) Yes.”

Cole advises you to be extra careful about speeding in school and work zones.

The highway patrol wants to tackle one more myth. They will not escort you with lights and sirens flashing. They will get you to a hospital safely with an ambulance, provide help on the scene or tell you to drive on at the speed limit.

Coming back to the viewer’s question, is it legal to exceed the speed limit for any reason in Missouri? The answer is NO.

If you have something you want us to investigate, email us at factfinders@ky3.com.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com