Three Things You Should Know About Virginia Driving Laws

Come down to Virginia, but don’t come crashing down. 847 people died in a Virginia traffic accident in 2020.

That’s an increase of 2.4% over 2019’s fatality rate. The rise in deaths makes it necessary to learn about Virginia driving laws, even if you are not a Virginia resident.

What are the speed limits in the state? How does the license points system work? What exactly is reckless driving under Virginia laws? 

Answer these questions and you can stay safe and penalty-free on Virginia’s beautiful roads. Here are three things to know about Virginia driving laws.

1. Speed Limits Vary From Location to Location 

Virginia laws distinguish between rural and urban areas. On rural freeways, you can drive up to 70 miles per hour (mph). When you are on urban freeways or interstates, you must cap your speed at 65 mph. 

The more people that are around you, the slower you have to drive. When you are driving on a highway within a city limit, you must stay below 35 mph. Whenever you are driving in a business or residential district, you have to remain below 25 mph. 

Speeding tickets can be costly. Police target drivers that are going very fast, but they can pull over anybody. If you speed inside a residential zone, you may need to pay more than $200.

2. Traffic Points Are Easy to Incur

Virginia driving regulations often center around DMV traffic points. If you commit any traffic violation, you will receive points on your license. 

Three-point violations include minor speeding offenses and failing to signal. If you fail to stop for a pedestrian or if you tailgate, you will receive four points. Drinking while driving or driving on a revoked license will put six points on your license. 

Someone who receives 12 points in 12 months can have their license suspended. Anyone who receives 18 points in 12 months will receive a suspension. A frequent offender or someone who commits vehicular manslaughter may receive a permanent suspension.

You should not confuse DMV traffic points with safe driving points. These are points you earn for years of safe driving or for taking classroom instruction. If you acquire DMV points, you should try to earn safe driving points.

3. Reckless Driving Carries Strong Penalties

New driving laws in Virginia provide an intentionally broad definition for reckless driving. The laws say that reckless driving occurs when a driver disregards safety while they are driving. This can refer to speeding, making a sudden turn, or not turning lights on.

Virginia drinking and driving laws are independent of reckless driving regulations. Yet a DUI often entails reckless driving. You can get charged with both offenses, and you may face significant fines or incarceration if you are convicted.

The Basics of Virginia Driving Laws

Virginia driving laws cover all aspects of road safety. Speed limits are based on proximity to other people. The more people around you, the slower you must be. 

The worse you drive, the more points will go on your license. Yet you can acquire safe driving points if you drive safely and take classes. 

You can receive a reckless driving charge for any mistake that endangers safety. You can get charged for multiple violations at once, which means you face severe penalties. 

You should know the laws of all states. Read more driving law guides by following our coverage.