Vermont Traffic Laws (10 Laws Every Driver Should Know)

Vermont Traffic Laws (10 Laws Every Driver Should Know)

There are LOTS of traffic laws in Vermont. 

And if you want to stay on the safe side (or avoid those annoying tickets), then you must obey these laws. 

But how can you obey them when you don’t know about them?

This is what we’re here for. 

Today, we’re going to tell you about 10 Vermont traffic laws that every driver should know. We’ll also include the penalties for each law. 

Here are the 10 laws that we’ll be looking at: 

  1. Speed limits
  2. Parking 
  3. Move Over
  4. Railroad crossing
  5. School bus
  6. DUI
  7. Cell phone
  8. Car crash
  9. Seat belt
  10. Car seat

Let’s get to it!

Vermont Speed Limits

All roads in Vermont have a maximum speed limit of 50 mph unless otherwise posted.

If you’re on the interstate, you can go slightly faster — the speed limit there is 65 mph.

But remember, both these regulations assume you’re driving under ideal conditions. 

If it isn’t ideal, you must reduce your speed. Sometimes, traveling at 10 mph may be too fast, especially in inclement weather. 

Excellent judgment is a necessity in Vermont. 

Now, exceeding the allowable speed limit results in fines (which can be hefty) and 2 points to your license. 

Here is how to calculate your speeding ticket fine:

  • $5 to $8 for each mile over the speed limit. So if the limit is 50 mph and you’re caught driving 60 mph, it will be $50 or $80.
  • 15% of the total.
  • Plus a $47 surcharge.

If you’re in a work zone, the penalty for each excess mile per hour doubles.

If you are going over 60 mph or exceeding the posted speed limit by 30 mph, you face the following consequences:

  • First offense: 3 months jail time OR up to $300 in fines
  • Second offense: 6 months in jail OR up to $500 in fines

Vermont Parking Laws

In Vermont, you can’t just park wherever you want.

Fortunately, the state outlines its no-parking areas very specifically.

These include:

  • Anywhere that blocks traffic
  • On the highway where traffic flows
  • Beside a stopped or parked vehicle at the side of a street (double parking)
  • On a sidewalk, crosswalk, or within an intersection 
  • On a bridge, railroad track, or tunnel 
  • Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing 
  • In front of any driveway, whether or not there are signs
  • Within 6 feet of a fire hydrant 
  • Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection 
  • Within 30 feet of a flashing red or yellow light, stop sign, or traffic light 
  • Within 20 feet of the driveway of a fire station (or 75 feet if you’re across the street)
  • Any location marked with a No Parking sign
  • On a marked bicycle lane
  • On parking spots designated for the disabled (unless you have disabled plates & placards) 

Parking in prohibited areas leads to the following fines:

  • First offense: up to $5
  • Second and subsequent offenses: up to $15
  • Inappropriately using a disabled parking spot: up to $25 

Vermont Move-Over Law

The Vermont Move-Over law states that…

“Regardless of direction, drivers must pull over and stop on the right side of the road if there is an emergency vehicle with activated lights and sirens. The driver can only proceed once the vehicle passes”

If the emergency vehicle is stopped by the road, switch to a lane further from them. If you can’t, slow down and proceed cautiously.

Besides emergency vehicles, the Move-Over law also requires you to yield the right of way to maintenance vehicles doing roadway work. 

Violating Vermont’s Move Over Law means you face the following consequences:

  • A fine of at least $300
  • 5 points on your driver’s license

Vermont Railroad Crossing Laws

You MUST NOT cross closed railroad gates. You also cannot pass another vehicle that stops at railroad crossings.

Moreover, you must stop at least 15 feet from the nearest rail IF:

  • You see flashing lights and lowered gates
  • There’s a flagman signaling an approaching train
  • You see a train (or hear its whistle)
  • A STOP sign is at the crossing

Vermont School Bus Law

If you see a stopped school bus with red warning lights, you have to STOP. This applies to all vehicles, regardless of direction. 

Don’t worry — before a school bus stops, the driver will already give you a “slow down” warning by using yellow flashing lights. 

You can proceed once the red flashing lights are turned off. 

The only exceptions to this law are IF: 

  • You’re traveling in the opposite direction as the school bus and there is a divided highway
  • You’re traveling in the opposite direction as the school bus and a physical barrier separates your lane from the school bus

Since a child’s endangerment is on the line here, you can expect the penalties to be harsh. 

If you pass a stopped school bus, prepare to face the following consequences:

  • A hefty fine (it can go up to $1,000)
  • 5 points on your driver’s license

Vermont DUI Laws

Drinking and driving is a deadly combination.

It’s no wonder Vermont has strict DUI laws.

To determine DUI, Vermont checks your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level through a breath, blood, or urine test. 

Here are the illegal BAC levels in the state:

  • 0.08% for drivers above 21 years old
  • 0.04% for drivers that hold a commercial license
  • 0.02% for drivers under 21 years old 

The consequences of a DUI conviction are extensive. These include the following:

Offense:Fine:Jail Time:License Suspension: Program:
1stUp to $750Up to 2 years90 daysTake alcohol and driving education program
2ndUp to $1,500Up to 2 years18 monthsTake alcohol and driving education program
3rdUp to $2,500Up to 5 yearsRevoked for lifeTake alcohol and driving education program
If DUI caused injury or death$5,000 to  $10,000Max of 15 years

You can read more about the Vermont DUI laws here.  

Vermont Cell Phone Law

Besides drunk driving, distracted driving is also very accident-prone. 

And what is the number one thing that distracts you?

That’s right — your cell phone. 

Your cell phone can take your attention away from the task, your eyes away from the road, and your hands away from the steering wheel. 

That’s why Vermont doesn’t allow drivers to use it when they’re behind the wheel.

Now, with the Vermont cell phone law, there are 2 crucial points to remember. These are: 

  • You cannot read or send messages through your cell phone.
  • You cannot use a portable electronic device while driving on Vermont’s public highway (including when your vehicle is stationary)

If you’re caught driving with your phone, you’ll have to pay high fines. 

  • First offense: Between $100 and $200
  • Second and subsequent offenses: $250 to $500

The penalties are higher if you are caught breaking this law in a work zone. These involve additional points on your driver’s license:

  • First offense: 2 points
  • Second and subsequent offenses: 5 points

Vermont Car Crash Laws

Getting into an accident is never an easy experience. It’s crucial to keep your wits about you if it happens.

Remember to assist as much as possible (within reason). That involves:

  • Moving the vehicles involved to the road’s shoulder, if possible.
  • Call 911 if someone is injured.
  • Provide law enforcement (and anyone you hit) your license and proof of insurance and registration.
  • Leave your information if you hit a parked car.

You must also submit a crash report to the DMV within 72 hours if the accident resulted in an injury or property damage costing more than $3,000.

Vermont Seat Belt Law

Vermont’s seat belt law is simple enough. 

“All drivers and passengers must buckle up in a moving vehicle, regardless if they sit in the front or back”.

However, if you’re above 18 years old, this law is only secondary. You can only be given a ticket if you violated another law. 

But for those below 18 years old, it is primary enforcement. A law enforcer can stop and ticket you if caught without a seat belt. 

If you get a ticket, then you’ll have to pay these fines:

  • First offense: $25
  • Second offense: $50
  • Third and subsequent offenses: $100

Vermont Car Seat Laws

Even if seat belts keep adults safe — it is rather dangerous for children. 

This is why, instead, the State of Vermont implements car seat laws for those 8 years old or younger. 

The law has a four-stage car seat process for ultimate safety: 

  • Rear-facing car seat: For infants up to a year old and weighing at least 20 pounds
  • Forward-facing car seat: For toddlers from one year (weighing 20 pounds) to four years (weighing 40 pounds)
  • Booster Seats: For children between four and eight years old and under 4ft, 9in
  • Seat Belts: For tweens eight years old and onwards and over 4ft, 9in

Violating this law requires you to pay the following fines:

  • First offense: $25
  • Second offense: $50
  • Third and subsequent offenses: $100

The Wrap Up


That was a lot!

But at least now you know the 10 Vermont traffic laws every driver should know (and obey).

Are these the only traffic laws in the state? 

Of course not! 

But these are the essential ones. 

Knowing about these will help you become the safest driver…

As well as help you from paying high fines and getting points. 

So, remember what we’ve covered here. 

And if you forget, you can always come back. 

Drive safely!

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