Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety
6/18/2024

Article 19. Towing and Towed Vehicles.

§ 46.2-1150. Towing certain unlicensed or uninspected vehicles.

Nothing in this title shall prohibit towing an unlicensed motor vehicle or motor vehicle which has not been inspected pursuant to Article 21 (§ 46.2-1157 et seq.) or 22 (§ 46.2-1176 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title.

Nothing in this title shall prohibit the towing of an unlicensed trailer or semitrailer used on a construction site as an office or for storage or a trailer or semitrailer which has been used on a construction site as an office or for storage, but which has not been inspected pursuant to Article 21 of Chapter 10 of this title, provided that any such unlicensed or uninspected trailer or semitrailer (i) is towed by a tow truck or other vehicle designed and equipped for the towing of inoperable or disabled vehicles; (ii) is operated only in intrastate commerce; (iii) has an actual gross weight, including contents, of no more than 15,000 pounds; (iv) is secured to the towing vehicle by means of safety chains; and (v) is equipped with rear-mounted bar lights which function as tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals as provided in Article 3 (§ 46.2-1010 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title. However, nothing in this section shall authorize the towing or drawing of an unlicensed or uninspected trailer or semitrailer by means of a tractor truck except for the purpose of having such trailer or semitrailer inspected as provided in § 46.2-1157.

Code 1950, § 46-333.1; 1956, c. 47; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-338; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 106; 2006, cc. 874, 891.

§ 46.2-1151. Weight limit exception as to vehicles designed for towing disabled vehicles.

The provisions of §§ 46.2-1122 through 46.2-1127 shall not apply to a vehicle designed for towing disabled vehicles, when towing such vehicle in an emergency in such manner that a part of the combined weight of the two vehicles rests upon an axle or axles of the towing vehicle, provided the towed and towing vehicles each are within the weight limits prescribed in §§ 46.2-1122 through 46.2-1127. This section shall not permit the violation of any lawfully established load limit on any bridge. For the purpose of this section, "emergency" includes towing disabled inoperative vehicles to places designated by owners.

1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339.1; 1977, c. 472; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1151.1. Weight limit exception for covered heavy duty tow and recovery vehicles.

The provisions of §§ 46.2-1126 and 46.2-1127 shall not apply to a covered heavy duty tow and recovery vehicle when operating on an interstate highway.

This section shall not permit the violation of any lawfully established load limit on any bridge. Covered heavy duty tow and recovery vehicles shall have reasonable access to terminals and facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest as designated by the Commissioner of Highways.

For purposes of this section, "covered heavy duty tow and recovery vehicle" means a vehicle that is transporting a disabled vehicle from the place where the vehicle became disabled to the nearest appropriate repair facility and has a gross vehicle weight that is equal to or exceeds the gross vehicle weight of the disabled vehicle being transported.

2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1152. Certain tow trucks need not be weighed.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no truck designed and equipped for the towing of inoperative or disabled motor vehicles shall be required to be weighed at state-operated permanent weighing stations when not actually engaged in towing another vehicle.

1984, c. 98, § 46.1-339.2; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1153. Permissible lengths of combination vehicles being towed in emergencies.

In an emergency as provided in § 46.2-1149, the towing of disabled vehicles which cannot be separated for safety, physical, or mechanical reasons and which exceed length limits established in Article 16 (§ 46.2-1112 et seq.) of this chapter, shall be permissible for the purpose of towing any such vehicle to the nearest facility which can make the necessary repairs but not more than fifty miles from the point such vehicle was disabled.

Code 1950, §§ 46-328, 46-331; 1950, p. 665; 1952, c. 342; 1956, cc. 476, 483; 1958, c. 541, §§ 46.1-330, 46.1-335; 1962, cc. 113, 575; 1964, c. 286; 1966, cc. 59, 373; 1972, c. 446; 1974, cc. 580, 664; 1975, c. 104; 1978, c. 254; 1983, c. 515; 1985, c. 426; 1986, cc. 72, 417; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1154. Length of vehicles; exceptions in case of breakdown.

The provisions of § 46.2-1118 shall not apply to vehicles which, because of a mechanical breakdown or an accident, are towed to the nearest repair facility which can furnish the required service. In any such case such connection may consist solely of a chain, rope, or cable of no more than fifteen feet long. A licensed driver shall be at the controls of the towed vehicle to brake, steer and control its lights.

Code 1950, § 46-333; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-337; 1989, c. 727.