Each state has a different set of traffic laws.
And if you live in or are passing through Virginia, it’s important to know what laws you need to follow.
This way, you avoid getting into trouble and unnecessary hassle.
In this post, we’ll talk about 6 important laws every driver should know about. This includes:
- Speed limits
- Stopping laws
- Yielding laws
- Passing laws
- Parking laws
- Cell phone law
So if you’re ready to learn about Virginia traffic laws, let’s get started!
Virginia Speed Limits
It’s crucial to obey the Virginia speed limits.
If you don’t, then you’ll receive harsh penalties.
Now, before we get into the gist of things, know this.
One, these speed limits are for ideal conditions. If the weather is bad, then you must always drive below the limit.
Second, you don’t always have to reach the speed limit, even if the weather is good. You can drive slower but make sure that you aren’t moving any slower than the movement of traffic.
That said, here are the speed limits depending on the type of road you’re on (if there is no posted sign).
|Road and Vehicle Types||Max speed limit|
|Interstate highways, other limited access highways with divided roadways, non-limited access highways with four or more lanes, and state primary highways||55 mph|
|All other highways (for passenger motor vehicles, buses, pickup or panel trucks, and motorcycles)||55 mph|
|All other highways (for truck, tractor truck, or combination of vehicles)||45 mph|
|School buses (on highways with 55 mph as speed limit)||45 mph or the minimum speed allowable, whichever is greater|
|For vehicles operating under special permits||55 mph|
|On school crossings or school zones||25 mph|
|Unpaved roads (e.g. dirt, gravel)||35 mph|
|Rural rustic roads||35 mph|
|Business and residential districts||25 mph|
The penalties will depend on how many mph you go over the limit.
If you are driving 20 or more miles per hour above any speed limit or you are at 85 mph on any road, you may be penalized for reckless driving. Reckless driving includes penalties such as a hefty fine, driver’s license suspension, and jail sentence.
For vehicles going over the speed limit in school zones, the penalty is a fine of not more than $250.
A $100 fine is given to those going over the speed limit in residential districts.
Virginia Stopping Laws
In Virginia, you are required to stop in these areas:
- At all stop signs, red traffic lights, and flashing red signals.
- At railroad crossings with a gate down, flashing signals, or approaching trains you hear/see.
- When entering a street or crossing over a sidewalk from a driveway, alley, building, or parking lot.
- When flaggers and police officers tell you to stop.
- When a pedestrian is crossing.
- At the scene of a crash where you were involved in.
- When a school bus stops.
For school buses, everyone needs to stop (regardless of which direction you’re traveling) IF:
- The school bus has stopped and has red flashing lights turned on and an extended stop sign is shown
- The school bus is stopped and there is no median or barrier dividing the two opposite directions of traffic
Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction of a school bus do NOT have to stop if there is a median or barrier separating the lanes.
If stopped for a school bus, you can only continue if the school bus moves or the driver tells you to pass, the flashing lights turn off, and the stop sign is withdrawn.
If you pass a school bus when you are required to stop, you will be fined $250.
If you don’t follow a police officer asking you to stop, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days to a year.
If you cause injury, property damage, or death due to not following the stopping laws, then you will have to appear before the court and hear out your penalties.
Virginia Yielding Laws
Here is what the State of Virginia has to say about yielding the right of the way.
- You arrive at an intersection –- the vehicle that arrives at the intersection first gets the right-of-way.
- You are entering an interstate from an entrance ramp — yield to those already on the highway.
- Yield when you are entering a roadway from a private road or driveway.
- Always give the right of way to pedestrians or bicyclists crossing the street.
- Yield when funeral processions are passing. Never try to zoom ahead to avoid them. You also cannot cut through the procession.
- Yield the right of way when there are military convoys. You are not allowed to cut through the convoy.
- Always yield to emergency vehicles approaching you in the opposite lane on an undivided highway, when their flashing lights and sirens are turned on.
- When police, fire, ambulances, and rescue vehicles approach you from behind with flashing lights or sirens turned on – pull over to the right edge of the road and stop until they pass.
If you cause an accident by not following these yielding laws, then you will receive a traffic ticket and fines. The more severe the accident, the more penalties you will face.
Virginia Passing Laws
When and where can you pass another vehicle?
Here are things to remember:
- You are NOT allowed to go over the speed limit when passing.
- You have to complete passing before you enter a ‘No Passing’ zone.
- You may pass on the right if the vehicle you are following is making a left turn. However, you are NOT allowed to do this if you have to drive off the main portion of the roadway.
- You should pass at least three feet to the left when passing bicycles, mopeds, and other power-assisted bicycles.
That out of the way, here are the areas in Virginia where you are NOT allowed to pass:
- On hills, curves, intersections, or railroad crossings unless two or more lanes are moving in the same direction.
- When you have to go off the pavement or on the shoulder of the road to make the move.
- When a solid line (pavement marking) is on the left side of the lane.
- When a school bus is stopped and its red flashing lights are on and the stop sign is extended.
- When approaching a crosswalk and the vehicle in front of you is stopped. Chances are, the vehicle is stopped for pedestrians crossing.
Again, if you cause an accident or break any other law when passing, you will face a penalty — most likely a fine.
Virginia Parking Laws
You are not allowed to park in these areas:
- Beside another parked vehicle (double parking).
- On crosswalks, sidewalks, and bike lanes.
- In front of driveways.
- Within areas where there are ‘No Parking’ signs.
- In a parking space reserved for disabled persons, unless you are a disabled person.
- On the hard surface of a road when there is no curb.
- Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
- Within 15 feet from the entrance of a fire, ambulance, or rescue squad station.
- Within 500 feet of a stopped fire truck or equipment answering an alarm.
- Within 20 feet of an intersection.
- Within 50 feet of a railroad crossing.
- Wherever you become a hazard to other vehicles.
Penalties will depend on the county, city, or town that regulates the parking spaces.
Virginia Cell Phone Law
Like DUI, distracted driving is another form of dangerous driving.
It’s no wonder then that Virginia implements the cell phone law. This states that…
“Drivers are not allowed to hold cell phones or any other electronic wireless communication device when they are behind the wheel and not lawfully parked”.
And yes, being stopped before a traffic light is not lawful parking. So that means, you still can’t use your phone when waiting on a red light.
Texting while driving follows primary enforcement. This means that a police officer can ask you to pull over if you are spotted using your phone.
The penalty is a $125 fine for the first offense and $250 for the subsequent offenses.
Those were the 6 Virginia traffic laws that every driver should know.
Of course, these aren’t the only laws.
But these are very important to follow so as not to be penalized.
You should also obey these laws to avoid accidents, injuries, and the like.
Remember, these laws help make our roads safe and avoid any accidents.