Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
12/11/2018

Article 4. Passing.

§ 46.2-837. Passing vehicles proceeding in opposite directions.

Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions on highways not marked to indicate traffic lanes shall pass each other to the right, each giving to the other, as nearly as possible, one-half of the main traveled portion of the roadway.

Code 1950, § 46-223; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-207; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-838. Passing when overtaking a vehicle.

A. The driver of any vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass at least two feet to the left of the overtaken vehicle and shall not again drive to the right side of the highway until safely clear of such overtaken vehicle, except as otherwise provided in this article.

B. The driver of any motor vehicle, upon overtaking a stationary vehicle that is displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating amber light as provided in § 46.2-892 or subdivision A 10 of § 46.2-1025, shall proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.

C. The driver of any motor vehicle, upon overtaking a stationary vehicle in the process of refuse collection operations, shall (i) on a highway having at least four lanes, at least two of which are intended for traffic proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle, proceed with caution and, if reasonable, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle or (ii) if changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe or on highways having fewer than four lanes, proceed with due caution and decrease speed to 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit and pass at least two feet to the left of the vehicle.

Code 1950, § 46-224; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-208; 1989, c. 727; 1999, c. 999; 2004, cc. 947, 973; 2015, cc. 189, 197.

§ 46.2-839. Passing bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle.

Any driver of any vehicle overtaking a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a reasonable speed at least three feet to the left of the overtaken bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle and shall not again proceed to the right side of the highway until safely clear of such overtaken bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle.

1981, c. 585, § 46.1-208.1; 1989, c. 727; 1999, c. 999; 2001, c. 834; 2002, c. 254; 2004, cc. 947, 973; 2014, c. 358.

§ 46.2-840. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, c. 147.

§ 46.2-841. When overtaking vehicle may pass on right.

A. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass to the right of another vehicle only:

1. When the overtaken vehicle is making or about to make a left turn, and its driver has given the required signal;

2. On a highway with unobstructed pavement, not occupied by parked vehicles, of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles in each direction;

3. On a one-way street or on any one-way roadway when the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles.

B. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle on the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. Except where driving on paved shoulders is permitted by lawfully placed signs, no such movement shall be made by driving on the shoulder of the highway or off the pavement or main traveled portion of the roadway.

Code 1950, § 46-226; 1952, c. 666; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-210; 1985, c. 481; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-842. Driver to give way to overtaking vehicle.

Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle. Any over-width, or slow-moving vehicle as defined by § 46.2-1081 shall be removed from the roadway at the nearest suitable location when necessary to allow traffic to pass.

Code 1950, § 46-227; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-211; 1979, c. 361; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-842.1. Drivers to give way to certain overtaking vehicles on divided highways.

It shall be unlawful to fail to give way to overtaking traffic when driving a motor vehicle to the left and abreast of another motor vehicle on a divided highway. On audible or light signal, the driver of the overtaken vehicle shall move to the right to allow the overtaking vehicle to pass as soon as the overtaken vehicle can safely do so. A violation of this section shall not be construed as negligence per se in any civil action.

1989, c. 708, § 46.1-211.1.

§ 46.2-843. Limitations on overtaking and passing.

The driver of a vehicle shall not drive to the left side of the center line of a highway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be made safely.

No person operating a truck or combination of vehicles shall pass or attempt to pass any truck or combination of vehicles going in the same direction on an upgrade if such passing will impede the passage of following traffic.

Code 1950, § 46-228; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-212; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-844. Passing stopped school buses; penalty; prima facie evidence.

A. The driver of a motor vehicle approaching from any direction a clearly marked school bus that is stopped on any highway, private road, or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons, who, in violation of § 46.2-859, fails to stop and remain stopped until all such persons are clear of the highway, private road, or school driveway is subject to a civil penalty of $250, and any prosecution shall be instituted and conducted in the same manner as prosecutions for traffic infractions.

A prosecution or proceeding under § 46.2-859 is a bar to a prosecution or proceeding under this section for the same act, and a prosecution or proceeding under this section is a bar to a prosecution or proceeding under § 46.2-859 for the same act.

In any prosecution for which a summons charging a violation of this section was issued within 10 days of the alleged violation, proof that the motor vehicle described in the summons was operated in violation of this section, together with proof that the defendant was at the time of such violation the registered owner of the vehicle, as required by Chapter 6 (§ 46.2-600 et seq.) shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person who operated the vehicle at the place where, and for the time during which, the violation occurred. Such presumption shall be rebutted if (i) the owner of the vehicle files an affidavit by regular mail with the clerk of the general district court that he was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation, (ii) the owner testifies in open court under oath that he was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation, or (iii) a certified copy of a police report showing that the vehicle had been reported to the police as stolen prior to the time of the alleged violation of this section is presented prior to the return date established on the summons issued pursuant to this section to the court adjudicating the alleged violation. Nothing herein shall limit the admission of otherwise admissible evidence.

The testimony of the school bus driver, the supervisor of school buses, or a law-enforcement officer that the vehicle was yellow, conspicuously marked as a school bus, and equipped with warning devices as prescribed in § 46.2-1090 is prima facie evidence that the vehicle is a school bus.

B. A locality may, by ordinance, authorize the school division of the locality to install and operate a video-monitoring system in or on the school buses operated by the division or to contract with a private vendor to do so on behalf of the school division for the purpose of recording violations of subsection A. Such ordinance may direct that any civil penalty levied for a violation of subsection A shall be payable to the local school division. In any locality that has adopted such an ordinance, a summons for a violation of subsection A may be executed as provided in § 19.2-76.2 and, notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-76, the summons may be executed by mailing by first-class mail a copy thereof to the address of the owner of the vehicle contained in the records of the Department. Every such mailing shall include, in addition to the summons, a notice of (i) the summoned person's ability to rebut the presumption that he was the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation through the filing of an affidavit as provided in subsection A and (ii) instructions for filing such an affidavit, including the address to which the affidavit is to be sent. If the summoned person fails to appear on the date of return set out in the summons mailed pursuant to this section, the summons shall be executed in the manner set out in § 19.2-76.3. No proceedings for contempt or arrest of a person summoned by mailing shall be instituted for failure to appear on the return date of the summons. Any summons executed for violation of this section shall provide to the person summoned at least 30 business days from the mailing of the summons to inspect information collected by a video-monitoring system in connection with the violation.

For purposes of this subsection, "video-monitoring system" means a system with one or more camera sensors and computers installed and operated on a school bus that produces live digital and recorded video of motor vehicles being operated in violation of § 46.2-859. All such systems installed shall, at a minimum, produce a recorded image of the license plate and shall record the activation status of at least one warning device as prescribed in § 46.2-1090 and the time, date, and location of the vehicle when the image is recorded.

1985, c. 511, § 46.1-212.1; 1987, c. 106; 1989, c. 727; 1997, cc. 622, 800, 908; 2001, c. 126; 2002, c. 541; 2011, cc. 787, 838; 2016, cc. 637, 700.

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

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