Virginia Traffic Violations Lawyer
The law code of Virginia lists a number of situations that occur when one drives and moves within and around motor traffic, and details how drivers, passengers and pedestrians are to operate and behave in such situations. Title 42.6 – Motor Vehicles – discusses the regulation of traffic in Chapter 8, and includes everything from speed limits to toll roads to riding animals on the highway after dark.
While violating many of the traffic laws does not necessarily make one a criminal, it can seriously impede the safety of everyone on and around the road. For this reason, sizable monetary fines and more may be handed out in the event of a serious traffic violation. As an example, § 46.2-869 notes that even a charge of “improper” driving – a lesser offense than reckless driving – can still lead to a fine of up to $500. Additionally, § 46.2-900 states that if certain violations result in the death of another person, the guilty party may be found guilty of a Class 6 felony. In such cases, the assistance of a Virginia traffic violations lawyer is essential to your defense.
For many, speed is the first thing that comes to mind, and it is indeed a common traffic violation. Although it does not always come along with accidents, speed, according to some statistics, is a suggested factor in 31 percent of U.S. fatal crashes, and contributes to the deaths of 1,000 every month. When something like a DUI charge is involved, costs escalate to well over $1,000, and carry the potential burden of harming yourself or another individual. Our traffic violations defense lawyers in Virginia are always prepared to help you understand your situation, as well as your options.
- Reckless Driving
- Traffic Lights
- Aggressive Driving
- Speed Limits
- Railroad Grade Crossings
In § 46.2-852, the code defines reckless driving. A person may be charged with reckless driving if they are operating their vehicle in such a way that may endanger the life, limb or property of another. Reckless driving can occur even when a person is driving under the lawful speed limit. This is a general rule. § 46.2-864 adds that reckless driving is not allowed in parking lots, driveways and construction areas.
Perhaps among the most familiar and used signals on the public roadways are traffic lights. It is important to understand that while solid red, green or amber means stop, drive forward and slow to a stop respectively, things become more complicated when the lights are flashing. While flashing red indicates a full stop required before proceeding into an intersection, flashing amber calls for a yield before safely continuing. Typically, if traffic lights are not working, traffic is to approach all intersections as if all entering traffic has a stop sign. Violating any part of § 46.2-833 may result in up to $350 in fines.
Enacted with perhaps more intent that reckless driving, aggressive driving is outlined in § 46.2-868.1. Driving in the wrong lane, ignoring marked lanes, following too closely, evading traffic control devices, improper passing, stopping on highways and not yielding to right-of-way traffic can all be considered aggressive driving. Such actions may be punished as a Class 2 misdemeanor. If you had the intent to injure another with your aggressive driving, you may end up with a Class 1 misdemeanor. Some guilty parties may be required to participate in an aggressive driving program.
In Virginia, according to § 46.2-870, the usual maximum speed on interstate highways, state primary highways and certain other roads is 55 miles per hour. Larger vehicles like trucks and trailers must often observe a 45 mile per hour speed limit. In some cases, such as an engineering study, signs will be lawfully posted that allow drivers to go 60 or 70 miles per hour.
Towns with populations between 14,000 and 15,000 have the right to reduce speed limits to 20 miles per hour in residence districts, as stated in § 46.2-874.1. Fines for violating these ordinances can add up to more than $100.
Inappropriately slow speeds are mentioned in § 46.2-877. While slow speeds may be less dangerous seeming than high speeds, they can interfere with the efficient flow of traffic, and lead to dangers when those driving more quickly aren’t prepared. If you believe that you have been improperly charged with driving too slowly, talk to one of our Virginia traffic violations attorneys.
Railroad Grade Crossings
The following circumstances indicate that drivers must stop and wait no more than 50 feet, and no less than 15 feet, from the nearest rails of a railroad track:
- Warning of an approaching train is indicated by a clear and visible electric or mechanical device
- A flagperson or lowered crossing gate signals the approach of a train
- The train itself is sending a signal
- A train or other machinery is easy to see, and it is obvious that crossing the tracks would be dangerous
Traffic violations attorneys in Virginia are prepared to assist you if you’ve been charged with violating railroad grade laws. Give us a call for a free initial consultation.
Motorcyclists are held to the same laws as other vehicle drivers on the Virginia roadways. In § 46.2-909, it is specified that motorcycles shall only carry one rider, unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person. Every rider must have a footrest. § 46.2-910 clearly states that all riders on a motorcycle must wear protective helmets. Drivers must wear a face shield or protective eye wear, or have approved safety glass installed on the motorcycle itself.
The Virginia code has a wealth of information on the laws, details and penalties involved with using the public roadways. Should you have any questions, or need assistance with a traffic violations charge, talk to a Virginia traffic violations lawyer from our firm.