Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety

§ 46.2-1112. Length of vehicles, generally; special permits; vehicle combinations, etc., operating on certain highways; penalty.

No motor vehicle longer than 40 feet shall be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth except for buses and motor homes. The actual length of any combination of vehicles, including motor homes and buses, coupled together including any load thereon shall not exceed a total of 65 feet. However, the length of a tractor truck semitrailer combination may exceed 65 feet in length, provided the semitrailer does not exceed 53 feet in length and the distance between the kingpin of the semitrailer and the rearmost axle or a point midway between the rear tandem axles does not exceed 41 feet. The Commissioner of Highways may impose restrictions on the operation of vehicles exceeding 65 feet in length on certain roads, based on a safety and engineering analysis. No bus or motor home longer than 45 feet shall be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth. No tolerance shall be allowed that exceeds 12 inches.

The Commissioner, however, when good cause is shown, may issue a special permit for combinations either in excess of 65 feet, including any load thereon, or where the object or objects to be carried cannot be moved otherwise. Such permits may also be issued by the Department when the total number of otherwise overdimensional loads of modular housing of no more than two units may be reduced by permitting the use of an overlength trailer not exceeding 54 feet. No permit shall be issued by the Commissioner until an engineering analysis of a proposed routing has been conducted by the Commissioner of Highways to assess the ability of the roadway to be traversed to sustain the vehicle's size.

No overall length restrictions, however, shall be imposed on any tractor truck semitrailer combinations drawing one trailer or any tractor truck semitrailer combinations when operated on any interstate highway or on any highway as designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. No such designation shall be made, however, until notice of any proposed designation has been provided by the Commissioner of Highways to the governing body of every locality wherein any highway affected by the proposed designation is located.

No individual semitrailer or trailer being drawn in a tractor truck semitrailer trailer combination, however, shall exceed 28 1/2 feet in length, and no semitrailer being operated in a tractor truck semitrailer combination shall exceed 48 feet in length, except when semitrailers have a distance of not more than 41 feet between the kingpin of the semitrailer and the rearmost axle or a point midway between the rear tandem axles, such semitrailer shall be allowed not more than 53 feet in length.

The length limitations on semitrailers and trailers in the foregoing provisions of this section shall be exclusive of safety and energy conservation devices, steps and handholds for entry and egress, rubber dock guards, flexible fender extensions, mudflaps, refrigeration units, and air compressors. The Commissioner of Highways shall designate reasonable access to terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs and rest. Household goods carriers and any tractor truck semitrailer combination in which the semitrailer has a length of no more than 28 1/2 feet shall not be denied reasonable access to points of loading and unloading, except as designated, based on safety considerations, by the Commissioner of Highways.

Any person operating a vehicle whose length is not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter on a two-lane highway where passing is permitted shall be guilty of a traffic infraction and fined $250.

Code 1950, § 46-328; 1950, p. 665; 1952, c. 342; 1956, cc. 476, 483; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-330; 1962, c. 113; 1966, c. 59; 1972, c. 446; 1974, c. 664; 1975, c. 104; 1978, c. 254; 1983, c. 515; 1985, c. 426; 1986, c. 417; 1989, cc. 644, 645, 727; 1993, c. 984; 1994, c. 456; 1995, c. 71; 1997, c. 773; 2001, c. 151; 2003, c. 314; 2005, c. 262; 2006, cc. 210, 232; 2013, cc. 585, 646; 2016, c. 122.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.