Traffic Rules You Need to Learn By Heart Before Your Virginia Trip

posted by Chris Valentine

Virginia, also known as “The Old Dominion”, is one of the most diverse holiday locations in the USA. Virginia is home to breathtaking mountains and jaw-dropping natural landscapes, has a rich history and culture, and lies along a pristine coastline. This is in addition to its very good food. If you find yourself lucky to call Virginia your home, then you are probably aware of the city’s rules and regulations when it comes to traffic. However, if you are going to Virginia on a holiday, there are some traffic rules you should be aware of before your next visit.

In order to be completely safe, here are the traffic rules you need to learn by heart before you pack your bag on your next road trip to Virginia:

  1. Driver’s License

If you are non-resident traveling to Virginia or are not planning to live there for the long term, you may go with your car using your country or home state license for 6 months at the most. However, if you find a job in Virginia, you will be required to issue a driver’s license for Virginia . In Virginia, driving without a valid license is considered a class 2 misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $1,000 and sometimes a jail sentence, which could be up to six months.

  1. Speeding

According to Virginia’s law, Unless there is a speed limit sign stating otherwise, the maximum speed limit is 25 Miles Per Hour for passenger vehicles and motorcycles for business, school, and residential areas; for unpaved roads it is 35 MPH , and for all other roads it is 55 MPH . If you are going above the speed limit by above 20 miles an hour, you risk being charged with reckless driving. And if you are at 81 then you will be charged as such, regardless of the speed limit. It will be considered to be a misdemeanor criminal offense. You will first be expected to pay a fine and you will also have your license revoked, which in turn bans you from driving. You may also be sentenced to jail time.

However, you must also be aware of the fine for speeding in Virginia, as speeding is sometimes considered a quite serious offense and accumulates points against your driving record. Speeding penalties could get quite expensive in this state as a Virginia speeding ticket costs $350 to $400 on average. You’ll find that a fine of 6 dollars is put on for every MPH that has gone over the limit. It goes up to 7 dollars if speeding in a work or construction zone. If you do so in a residential area then it becomes 8 dollars, with 200 dollars. If you’re going over the limit on a highway the you will be fined anywhere between 200 to 500 dollars.

  1. Driving Under Influence

A DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated is the term used for people who drive under the influence in Virginia. In general, In Virginia, it is against the law to drive under the influence according to these statistics:

  • Alcohol in the blood amounting to .08% or higher

  • Cocaine in the blood amounting to .02 milligrams per liter or higher

  • Methamphetamine in the blood amounting to .1 milligrams per liter or higher

  • Phencyclidine in the blood amounting to .02 milligrams per liter or higher

As for teenagers, the state has a zero-tolerance law for teenagers who are drunk or drugged while driving. If you are below the age of 21, it is considered illegal to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .02% or higher.

  1. Distracted Driving

In Virginia, drivers are not supposed to use their cell phones, laptops, or other distracting devices while driving. As a general rule, it is illegal to read or write messages on your phone, except if there is an emergency or the vehicle is stopped or parked.

  1. Seat Belts

Under Virginia’s law, It is required by the law in Virginia that person in the passenger seat as well as the driver wear their seat belts, unless they have proof of a medical condition that doesn’t allow them to wear their seat belts. Moreover, any passenger younger than 18 years old must properly wear the seat belt no matter where he/she is seated in the vehicle.

  1. Other Safety Rules

  • Regardless of weight and height the law states that all children that are below 8 years of age, are seated in a secure manner. This could either be done using a booster or child seat.

  • If a school bus is displaying red flashing lights then the driver is expected to wait until these lights are turned off and the vehicle begins to move.

  • Blocking emergency vehicles can sometimes be considered reckless driving in Virginia. If you find an emergency vehicle approaching with its lights on, you should move over to the right or pull off of the road in order to let it pass. It is advised to stay a minimum of 500 feet away.

  • Not all U-turns at intersections are legal in Virginia. That’s why you should always be careful and look out for “No U-Turn” signs before making a U-turn.

So if you are heading to this beautiful city full of beautiful coastal views and breath-taking mountains, make sure you are well-aware of its traffic rules and regulations. As you don’t want to end up with a traffic fine or violation that ruins your vacation, make sure you go over the general safety rules first. And always remember to be careful and be safe while driving in this great city.

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