Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
10/25/2020

Article 8. Speed.

§ 46.2-870. Maximum speed limits generally.

Except as otherwise provided in this article, the maximum speed limit shall be 55 miles per hour on interstate highways or other limited access highways with divided roadways, nonlimited access highways having four or more lanes, and all state primary highways.

The maximum speed limit on all other highways shall be 55 miles per hour if the vehicle is a passenger motor vehicle, bus, pickup or panel truck, or a motorcycle, but 45 miles per hour on such highways if the vehicle is a truck, tractor truck, or combination of vehicles designed to transport property, or is a motor vehicle being used to tow a vehicle designed for self-propulsion, or a house trailer.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the maximum speed limit shall be 70 miles per hour where indicated by lawfully placed signs, erected subsequent to a traffic engineering study and analysis of available and appropriate accident and law-enforcement data, on (i) interstate highways; (ii) multilane, divided, limited access highways; and (iii) high-occupancy vehicle lanes if such lanes are physically separated from regular travel lanes. The maximum speed limit shall be 60 miles per hour where indicated by lawfully placed signs, erected subsequent to a traffic engineering study and analysis of available and appropriate accident and law-enforcement data, on U.S. Route 17, U.S. Route 23, U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 58, U.S. Alternate Route 58, U.S. Route 301, U.S. Route 360, U.S. Route 460, U.S. Route 501 between the Town of South Boston and the North Carolina state line, State Route 3, and State Route 207 where such routes are nonlimited access, multilane, divided highways.

Code 1950, § 46-212; 1950, p. 881; 1952, c. 666; 1954, c. 244; 1956, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, §§ 46.1-193, 46.1-401; 1960, c. 153; 1962, c. 307; 1964, cc. 118, 408; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 641; 1972, cc. 89, 546, 553, 608; 1974, c. 528; 1975, c. 533; 1977, c. 577; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 347; 1986, c. 639; 1988, cc. 662, 897; 1989, cc. 276, 526, 727; 1992, c. 598; 1994, c. 423; 1996, c. 1; 1998, cc. 546, 560; 1999, c. 142; 2001, c. 298; 2002, c. 872; 2003, c. 838; 2004, c. 696; 2005, cc. 266, 267, 268; 2006, c. 213; 2007, cc. 222, 544; 2010, cc. 26, 56; 2014, c. 91; 2018, cc. 160, 339, 340, 345.

§ 46.2-871. Maximum speed limit for school buses.

The maximum speed limit for school buses shall be 45 miles per hour or the minimum speed allowable, whichever is greater, on any highway where the maximum speed limit is 55 miles per hour or less, and 60 miles per hour on all interstate highways and on other highways where the maximum speed limit is more than 55 miles per hour.

Code 1950, § 46-212; 1950, p. 881; 1952, c. 666; 1954, c. 244; 1956, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-193; 1960, c. 153; 1962, c. 307; 1964, cc. 118, 408; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 641; 1972, cc. 89, 546, 553, 608; 1974, c. 528; 1977, c. 577; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 347; 1989, c. 727; 1993, c. 278; 1994, c. 676; 1999, c. 166; 2006, c. 416; 2007, c. 98.

§ 46.2-872. Maximum speed limits for vehicles operating under special permits.

The maximum speed limit shall be fifty-five miles per hour on any highway having a posted speed limit of fifty-five miles or more per hour if the vehicle or combination of vehicles is operating under a special permit issued by the Commissioner in accordance with § 46.2-1139 or § 46.2-1149.2. The Commissioner may, however, further reduce the speed limit on any permit issued in accordance with § 46.2-1139.

Code 1950, § 46-212; 1950, p. 881; 1952, c. 666; 1954, c. 244; 1956, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-193; 1960, c. 153; 1962, c. 307; 1964, cc. 118, 408; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 641; 1972, cc. 89, 546, 553, 608; 1974, c. 528; 1977, c. 577; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 347; 1989, c. 727; 1995, c. 113; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 1998, c. 439.

§ 46.2-873. Maximum speed limits at school crossings; penalty.

A. For the purposes of this section, "school crossing zone" means an area located within the vicinity of a school at or near a highway where the presence of children on such school property or going to and from school reasonably requires a special warning to motorists. Such zones are marked and operated in accordance with the requirements of this section with appropriate warning signs or other traffic control devices indicating that a school crossing is in progress.

B. The maximum speed limit shall be twenty-five miles per hour between portable signs, tilt-over signs, or fixed blinking signs placed in or along any highway and bearing the word "school" or "school crossing." Any signs erected under this section shall be placed not more than 600 feet from the limits of the school property or crossing in the vicinity of the school. However, "school crossing" signs may be placed in any location if the Department of Transportation or the council of the city or town or the board of supervisors of a county maintaining its own system of secondary roads approves the crossing for such signs. If the portion of the highway to be posted is within the limits of a city or town, such portable signs shall be furnished and delivered by such city or town. If the portion of highway to be posted is outside the limits of a city or town, such portable signs shall be furnished and delivered by the Department of Transportation. The principal or chief administrative officer of each school or a school board designee, preferably not a classroom teacher, shall place such portable signs in the highway at a point not more than 600 feet from the limits of the school property and remove such signs when their presence is no longer required by this section. Such portable signs, tilt-over signs, or fixed blinking signs shall be placed in a position plainly visible to vehicular traffic approaching from either direction, but shall not be placed so as to obstruct the roadway.

C. Such portable signs, tilt-over signs, or blinking signs shall be in a position, or be turned on, for thirty minutes preceding regular school hours, for thirty minutes thereafter, and during such other times as the presence of children on such school property or going to and from school reasonably requires a special warning to motorists. The governing body of any county, city, or town may, however, decrease the period of time preceding and following regular school hours during which such portable signs, tilt-over signs, or blinking signs shall be in position or lit if it determines that no children will be going to or from school during the period of time that it subtracts from the thirty-minute period.

D. The governing body of any city or town may, if the portion of the highway to be posted is within the limits of such city or town, increase or decrease the speed limit provided in this section only after justification for such increase or decrease has been shown by an engineering and traffic investigation, and no such increase or decrease in speed limit shall be effective unless such increased or decreased speed limit is conspicuously posted on the portable signs, tilt-over signs, or fixed blinking signs required by this section.

E. The governing body of a county within Planning District 8 may, if the portion of the highway to be posted is within the limits of such county, increase or decrease the speed limit provided in this section only after justification for such increase or decrease has been shown by an engineering and traffic investigation, and no such increase or decrease in speed limit shall be effective unless such increased or decreased speed limit is conspicuously posted on the portable signs, tilt-over signs, or fixed blinking signs required by this section.

F. The City of Virginia Beach may establish school zones as provided in this section and mark such zones with flashing warning lights as provided in this section on and along all highways adjacent to Route 58.

G. Any person operating any motor vehicle in excess of a maximum speed limit established specifically for a school crossing zone, when such school crossing zone is (i) indicated by appropriately placed signs displaying the maximum speed limit and (ii) in operation pursuant to subsection B of this section shall be guilty of a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $250, in addition to other penalties provided by law.

H. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the maximum speed limit in school zones in residential areas may be decreased to fifteen miles per hour if (i) the school board having jurisdiction over the school nearest to the affected school zone passes a resolution requesting the reduction of the maximum speed limit for such school zone from twenty-five miles per hour to fifteen miles per hour and (ii) the local governing body of the jurisdiction in which such school is located enacts an ordinance establishing the speed-limit reduction requested by the school board.

Code 1950, § 46-212; 1950, p. 881; 1952, c. 666; 1954, c. 244; 1956, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-193; 1960, c. 153; 1962, c. 307; 1964, cc. 118, 408; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 641; 1972, cc. 89, 546, 553, 608; 1974, c. 528; 1977, c. 577; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 347; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 928; 1994, c. 157; 1997, cc. 629, 781; 2007, c. 813; 2015, cc. 459, 460.

§ 46.2-873.1. Maximum speed limit on nonsurface-treated highways.

The maximum speed limit on nonsurface-treated highways, which are roads that are comprised of an earth-aggregate or aggregate surface (i.e., dirt and gravel) that have not been stabilized with a bituminous or cementitious material, shall be 35 miles per hour. The maximum speed limit upon such highways may be increased or decreased by the Commissioner of Highways or other authority having jurisdiction over highways. However, such increased or decreased maximum speed limit shall be effective only when indicated by sign on the highway. For such highways upon which maximum speed limit is not indicated by sign, the maximum speed limit shall be 35 miles per hour.

2000, c. 262; 2004, c. 719; 2005, cc. 239, 804; 2009, c. 74; 2010, cc. 19, 48; 2011, c. 29; 2012, c. 207; 2014, cc. 80, 261.

§ 46.2-873.2. Maximum speed limit on rural rustic roads.

The maximum speed limit on any highway designated a rural rustic road pursuant to § 33.2-332 shall be 35 miles per hour; however, all speed limits on rural rustic roads in effect on July 1, 2008, shall remain in effect unless and until changed subsequent to a traffic engineering study.

2008, c. 165.

§ 46.2-874. Maximum speed limit in business and residence districts.

The maximum speed shall be 25 miles per hour on highways in business or residence districts, except on interstate or other limited access highways with divided roadways or nonlimited access highways having four or more lanes and all state primary highways. The speed limit on all nonlimited access highways having four or more lanes and all state primary highways shall remain as indicated by signs posted prior to July 1, 2005, unless changed as provided by law.

Code 1950, § 46-212; 1950, p. 881; 1952, c. 666; 1954, c. 244; 1956, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-193; 1960, c. 153; 1962, c. 307; 1964, cc. 118, 408; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 641; 1972, cc. 89, 546, 553, 608; 1974, c. 528; 1977, c. 577; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 347; 1989, c. 727; 2005, c. 310.

§ 46.2-874.1. Exceptions to maximum speed limits in residence districts; penalty.

A. The governing body of any town with a population between 14,000 and 15,000 may by ordinance (i) prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit in a residence district and (ii) provide that any person who violates the prohibition shall be subject to a mandatory civil penalty of $100, not subject to suspension.

B. The governing body of the City of Falls Church, or the City of Manassas may by ordinance (i) prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle at a speed of fifteen miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit in a residence district, as defined in § 46.2-100 of the Code of Virginia, when indicated by appropriately placed signs displaying the maximum speed limit and the penalty for violations, and (ii) provide that any person who violates the prohibition shall be subject to a civil penalty of $100, in addition to other penalty provided by law.

1999, c. 865; 2000, c. 957; 2007, c. 813.

§ 46.2-875. Maximum speed limit on certain other highways in cities and towns.

The maximum speed limit shall be 35 miles per hour on highways in any city or town, except on interstate or other limited access highways with divided roadways and in business or residence districts. However, municipalities that maintain their own roads may increase or decrease speed limits on highways over which they have jurisdiction following appropriate traffic engineering investigation.

Code 1950, § 46-212; 1950, p. 881; 1952, c. 666; 1954, c. 244; 1956, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-193; 1960, c. 153; 1962, c. 307; 1964, cc. 118, 408; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 641; 1972, cc. 89, 546, 553, 608; 1974, c. 528; 1977, c. 577; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 347; 1989, c. 727; 2011, c. 182.

§ 46.2-876. Maximum speed limit for passenger vehicles towing certain trailers.

The maximum speed limit for passenger motor vehicles while towing utility, camping, or boat trailers not exceeding an actual gross weight of 2,500 pounds shall be the same as that for passenger motor vehicles.

Code 1950, § 46-212; 1950, p. 881; 1952, c. 666; 1954, c. 244; 1956, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-193; 1960, c. 153; 1962, c. 307; 1964, cc. 118, 408; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 641; 1972, cc. 89, 546, 553, 608; 1974, c. 528; 1977, c. 577; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 347; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-877. Minimum speed limits.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

Whenever the Commissioner of Highways or local authorities within their respective jurisdictions determine on the basis of a traffic engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the Commissioner or such local authority may determine and declare a minimum speed limit to be set forth on signs posted on such highway below which no person shall drive a vehicle except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

Code 1950, § 46-212; 1950, p. 881; 1952, c. 666; 1954, c. 244; 1956, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-193; 1960, c. 153; 1962, c. 307; 1964, cc. 118, 408; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 641; 1972, cc. 89, 546, 553, 608; 1974, c. 528; 1977, c. 577; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 347; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-878. Authority to change speed limits.

A. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this article, the Commissioner of Highways or other authority having jurisdiction over highways may decrease the speed limits set forth in § 46.2-870 and may increase or decrease the speed limits set forth in §§ 46.2-873 through 46.2-875 on any highway under its jurisdiction; and may establish differentiated speed limits for daytime and nighttime by decreasing for nighttime driving the speed limits set forth in § 46.2-870 and by increasing for daytime or decreasing for nighttime the speed limits set forth in §§ 46.2-873 through 46.2-875 on any highway under his jurisdiction. Such increased or decreased speed limits and such differentiated speed limits for daytime and nighttime driving shall be effective only when prescribed after a traffic engineering investigation and when indicated on the highway by signs. It shall be unlawful to operate any motor vehicle in excess of speed limits established and posted as provided in this section. The increased or decreased speed limits over highways under the control of the Commissioner of Highways shall be effective only when prescribed in writing by the Commissioner of Highways and kept on file in the Central Office of the Department of Transportation. Whenever the speed limit on any highway has been increased or decreased or a differential speed limit has been established and such speed limit is properly posted, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the change in speed was properly established in accordance with the provisions of this section.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, including the provisions of subsection A, the governing body of any town located entirely within the confines of a United States military base may by ordinance reduce the speed limit to less than 25 miles per hour on any highway within its boundaries, provided such reduced speed limit is indicated by lawfully placed signs.

Code 1950, § 46-212; 1950, p. 881; 1952, c. 666; 1954, c. 244; 1956, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-193; 1960, c. 153; 1962, c. 307; 1964, cc. 118, 408; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 641; 1972, cc. 89, 546, 553, 608; 1974, c. 528; 1977, c. 577; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 347; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 779; 1993, c. 98; 2013, c. 303.

§ 46.2-878.1. Maximum speed limits in highway work zones; penalty.

Operation of any motor vehicle in excess of a maximum speed limit established specifically for a highway work zone, when workers are present and when such highway work zone is indicated by appropriately placed signs displaying the maximum speed limit and the penalty for violations, shall be unlawful and constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $500.

For the purposes of this section, "highway work zone" means a construction or maintenance area that is located on or beside a highway and marked by appropriate warning signs and, for projects covered by contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2012, with attached flashing lights or other traffic control devices indicating that work is in progress.

Nothing in this section shall preclude the prosecution or conviction for reckless driving of any motor vehicle operator whose operation of any motor vehicle in a highway work zone, apart from speed, demonstrates a reckless disregard for life, limb, or property.

1992, c. 462; 1995, c. 54; 2003, c. 839; 2012, c. 397.

§ 46.2-878.2. Maximum speed limits in certain residence districts of counties, cities, and towns; penalty.

Operation of any motor vehicle in excess of a maximum speed limit established for a highway in a residence district of a county, city, or town, when indicated by appropriately placed signs displaying the maximum speed limit and the penalty for violations, shall be unlawful and constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of $200, in addition to other penalties provided by law. No portion of the fine shall be suspended unless the court orders 20 hours of community service. The Commissioner of Highways or any local governing body having jurisdiction over highways shall develop criteria for the overall applicability for the installation of signs. Such criteria shall not exclude highways, functionally classified as minor arterials, serving areas that either (i) were built as residential developments or (ii) have grown to resemble residential developments, provided, in either case, (a) such highways are experiencing documented speeding problems and (b) the local governing body requests the application of this section to such highway. Such signs may be installed in any town and shall not require the approval of the county within which such town is located. Any such signs installed in any town shall be paid for by the town requesting the installation of the signs, or out of the county's secondary system construction allocation.

1996, c. 172; 1999, c. 87; 2002, c. 882; 2004, c. 350; 2006, c. 547; 2013, cc. 585, 646.

§ 46.2-878.2:1. Maximum speed limits on certain roads.

Operation of any motor vehicle in excess of the maximum speed limit established for U.S. Route 15 and U.S. Route 17 in Fauquier County, when indicated by appropriately placed signs displaying the maximum speed limit and the penalty for violations, shall be unlawful and shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of $15, in addition to other penalties provided by law. Subject to the issuance of a permit by the Commissioner of Highways, the county may, at its own expense, install and maintain such signs.

2020, c. 892.

§ 46.2-878.3. Prepayment of fines for violations of speed limits.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Traffic Infractions and Uniform Fine Schedule adopted by the Supreme Court for prepayment of fines shall, in all instances where prepayment of a fine is permitted, include a fine of $6 per mile-per-hour in excess of posted speed limits provided for in this article. However, such Traffic Infractions and Uniform Fine Schedule shall include a fine of $7 per mile-per-hour in excess of posted speed limits for a violation of §§ 46.2-873 and 46.2-878.1 and $8 per mile-per-hour in excess of posted speed limits for a violation of § 46.2-878.2. Any person who drives a motor vehicle at a speed in excess of 80 miles per hour but below 86 miles per hour on any highway in the Commonwealth having a maximum speed limit of 65 miles per hour shall be subject to an additional fine of $100.

2003, c. 838; 2010, c. 874; 2011, c. 890; 2020, cc. 444, 445.

§ 46.2-879. No conviction for speeding in certain areas unless markers installed.

No person shall be convicted of a violation of a statute or an ordinance enacted by local authorities pursuant to the provisions of § 46.2-1300 decreasing the speed limit established in this article when such person has exceeded the speed limit in an area where the speed limit has been decreased unless such area is clearly indicated by a conspicuous marker at the termini of such area.

Code 1950, § 46-212.1; 1954, c. 643; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-194; 1962, c. 307; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-880. Tables of speed and stopping distances.

All courts shall take notice of the following tables of speed and stopping distances of motor vehicles, which shall not raise a presumption, in actions in which inquiry thereon is pertinent to the issues:

aSPEED INAVERAGE STOPPING DISTANCESTOTAL STOPPING
b

 

 

 

 

Avg DriverDISTANCES:
c

 

 

 

Truck BrakesPerception-DRIVER AND
dMilesFeetAutomobileBrakes onReaction Time

 

 

ePerPerBrakesAll Wheels(1.5 Seconds)AutomobilesTrucks
fHourSecond(In Feet)(In Feet)(In Feet)(In Feet)(In Feet)
g1014.756222728
h1522.01114334447
i2029.31925446369
j2536.73040558596
k3044.0435766109123
l3551.3587877135155
m4058.77610288164190
n4566.09612999195228
o5073.3119159110229269
p5580.7144192121265313
q6088.0171229132303361
r6595.3201268143344411
s70102.7233311154387465
t75110.0268357165433522
u80117.3305406176481582
v85124.7344459187531646
w90132.0386514198584712
x95139.3430573209639782
y100146.7476635220696855

The courts shall further take notice that the above table has been constructed, using scientific reasoning, to provide factfinders with an average baseline for motor vehicle stopping distances: (1) for a vehicle in good condition and (2) on a level, dry stretch of highway, free from loose material.

Deviations from these circumstances do not negate the usefulness of the table, but rather call for additional site-specific examination and/or explanation.

Site-specific research may be utilized under any circumstances.

Code 1950, § 46-212.2; 1956, c. 600; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-195; 1989, c. 727; 2001, c. 145; 2003, c. 277.

§ 46.2-881. Special speed limitation on bridges, tunnels and interstates.

It shall be unlawful to drive any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer on any public bridge, causeway, viaduct, or in any tunnel, or on any interstate at a speed exceeding that indicated as a maximum by signs posted thereon or at its approach by or on the authority of the Commissioner of Highways.

The Commissioner of Highways, on request or on his own initiative, may conduct an investigation of any public bridge, causeway, viaduct, tunnel, or interstate and, on the basis of his findings, may set the maximum speed of vehicles which such structure or roadway can withstand or which is necessitated in consideration of the benefit and safety of the traveling public and the safety of the structure or roadway. The Commissioner of Highways is expressly authorized to establish and indicate variable speed limits on such structures or roadways to be effective under such conditions as would in his judgment, warrant such variable limits, including but not limited to darkness, traffic conditions, atmospheric conditions, weather, emergencies, and like conditions which may affect driving safety. Any speed limits, whether fixed or variable, shall be prominently posted in such proximity to such structure or roadway as deemed appropriate by the Commissioner of Highways. The findings of the Commissioner shall be conclusive evidence of the maximum safe speed which can be maintained on such structure or roadway.

Code 1950, § 46-215; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-196; 1966, c. 85; 1977, c. 259; 1989, c. 727; 2006, c. 139.

§ 46.2-882. Determining speed with various devices; certificate as to accuracy of device; arrest without warrant.

The speed of any motor vehicle may be determined by the use of (i) a laser speed determination device, (ii) radar, (iii) a microcomputer device that is physically connected to an odometer cable and both measures and records distance traveled and elapsed time to determine the average speed of a motor vehicle, or (iv) a microcomputer device that is located aboard an airplane or helicopter and measures and records distance traveled and elapsed time to determine the average speed of a motor vehicle being operated on highways within the Interstate System of highways as defined in § 33.2-100. The speed of motor vehicles may be determined by the use of a photo speed monitoring device as authorized in § 46.2-882.1. The results of such determinations shall be accepted as prima facie evidence of the speed of such motor vehicle in any court or legal proceeding where the speed of the motor vehicle is at issue.

In any court or legal proceeding in which any question arises about the calibration or accuracy of any laser speed determination device, radar, microcomputer device, or photo speed monitoring device as described in this section used to determine the speed of any motor vehicle, a certificate, or a true copy thereof, showing the calibration or accuracy of (a) the speedometer of any vehicle, (b) any tuning fork employed in calibrating or testing the radar or other speed determination device, or (c) any other method employed in calibrating or testing any laser speed determination device or photo speed monitoring device, and when and by whom the calibration was made, shall be admissible as evidence of the facts therein stated. No calibration or testing of any device other than a photo speed monitoring device shall be valid for longer than six months. No calibration or testing of a photo speed monitoring device shall be valid for longer than 12 months.

The driver of any such motor vehicle may be arrested without a warrant under this section if the arresting officer is in uniform and displays his badge of authority and if the officer has observed the registration of the speed of such motor vehicle by the laser speed determination device, radar, or microcomputer device as described in this section, or has received a radio message from the officer who observed the speed of the motor vehicle registered by the laser speed determination device, radar, or microcomputer device as described in this section. However, in case of an arrest based on such a message, such radio message shall have been dispatched immediately after the speed of the motor vehicle was registered and furnished the license number or other positive identification of the vehicle and the registered speed to the arresting officer.

Neither State Police officers nor local law-enforcement officers shall use laser speed determination devices or radar, as described herein in airplanes or helicopters for the purpose of determining the speed of motor vehicles.

State Police officers may use laser speed determination devices, radar, and/or microcomputer devices as described in this section. All localities may use radar and laser speed determination devices to measure speed. State Police officers and local law-enforcement may use photo speed monitoring devices to measure speed as authorized in § 46.2-882.1. The Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William and towns within such counties may use microcomputer devices as described in this section.

The Division of Purchases and Supply, pursuant to § 2.2-1112, shall determine the proper equipment used to determine the speed of motor vehicles and shall advise the respective law-enforcement officials of the same. Police chiefs and sheriffs shall ensure that all such equipment and devices purchased on or after July 1, 1986, meet or exceed the standards established by the Division.

Code 1950, § 46-215.2; 1954, c. 313; 1956, c. 216; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-198; 1966, c. 585; 1968, c. 497; 1974, c. 554; 1984, c. 357; 1986, c. 530; 1988, c. 712; 1989, c. 727; 1990, cc. 691, 974; 1991, c. 345; 1994, c. 734; 1997, c. 33; 1998, c. 423; 1999, cc. 693, 694, 698, 724, 729, 733; 2000, cc. 354, 357, 365; 2002, c. 109; 2003, cc. 608, 965; 2006, c. 930; 2007, c. 231; 2020, c. 1232.

§ 46.2-882.1. Use of photo speed monitoring devices in highway work zones and school crossing zones; civil penalty.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Highway work zone" has the same meaning ascribed to it in § 46.2-878.1.

"Photo speed monitoring device" means equipment that uses radar or LIDAR-based speed detection and produces one or more photographs, microphotographs, videotapes, or other recorded images of vehicles.

"School crossing zone" has the same meaning ascribed to it in § 46.2-873.

B. A state or local law-enforcement agency may place and operate a photo speed monitoring device in school crossing zones for the purposes of recording violations of § 46.2-873 and in highway work zones for the purposes of recording violations of § 46.2-878.1.

1. The operator of a vehicle shall be liable for a monetary civil penalty imposed pursuant to this section if such vehicle is found, as evidenced by information obtained from a photo speed monitoring device, to be traveling at speeds of at least 10 miles per hour above the posted school crossing zone or highway work zone speed limit within such school crossing zone or highway work zone. Such civil penalty shall not exceed $100, and any prosecution shall be instituted and conducted in the same manner as prosecution for traffic infractions. Civil penalties collected under this section resulting from a summons issued by a local law-enforcement officer shall be paid to the locality in which such violation occurred. Civil penalties collected under this section resulting from a summons issued by a law-enforcement officer employed by the Department of State Police shall be paid into the Literary Fund.

2. If a photo speed monitoring device is used, proof of a violation of § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1 shall be evidenced by information obtained from such device. A certificate, or a facsimile thereof, sworn to or affirmed by a law-enforcement officer, based upon inspection of photographs, microphotographs, videotapes, or other recorded images produced by a photo speed monitoring device, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. Any photographs, microphotographs, videotapes, or other recorded images evidencing such a violation shall be available for inspection in any proceeding to adjudicate the liability for such violation of § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1.

3. In the prosecution for a violation of § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1 in which a summons was issued by mail, prima facie evidence that the vehicle described in the summons issued pursuant to this section was operated in violation of § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1, together with proof that the defendant was at the time of such violation the owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle, shall constitute in evidence a rebuttable presumption that such owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle was the person who committed the violation. Such presumption shall be rebutted if the owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle (i) 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 and provides the name and address of the person who was operating the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation or (ii) testifies in open court under oath that he was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation and provides the name and address of the person who was operating the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation. Such presumption shall also be rebutted if 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 § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1, is presented, prior to the return date established on the summons issued pursuant to this section, to the court adjudicating the alleged violation.

4. Imposition of a penalty pursuant to this section by mailing a summons shall not be deemed a conviction as an operator and shall not be made part of the operating record of the person upon whom such liability is imposed, nor shall it be used for insurance purposes in the provision of motor vehicle insurance coverage. However, if a law-enforcement officer uses a photo speed monitoring device to record a violation of § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1 and personally issues a summons at the time of the violation, the conviction that results shall be made a part of such driver's driving record and used for insurance purposes in the provision of motor vehicle insurance coverage.

5. A summons for a violation of § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1 issued by mail pursuant to this section may be executed pursuant to § 19.2-76.2. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-76, a summons issued by mail pursuant to this section may be executed by mailing by first-class mail a copy thereof to the owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle. In the case of a vehicle owner, the copy shall be mailed to the address contained in the records of or accessible to the Department. In the case of a vehicle lessee or renter, the copy shall be mailed to the address contained in the records of the lessor or renter. 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 subdivision 3 and (ii) instructions for filing such 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. If the summons is issued to an owner, lessee, or renter of a vehicle with a registration outside the Commonwealth and such person fails to appear on the date of return set out in the summons mailed pursuant to this section, the summons will be eligible for all legal collections activities. Any summons executed for a violation of § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1 issued pursuant to this section shall provide to the person summoned at least 30 days from the mailing of the summons to inspect information collected by a photo speed monitoring device in connection with the violation. If the law-enforcement agency that was operating the photo speed monitoring device does not execute a summons for a violation of § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1 issued pursuant to this section within 30 days from the date of the violation, all information collected pertaining to that suspected violation shall be purged within 60 days from the date of the violation.

6. A private vendor may enter into an agreement with a law-enforcement agency to be compensated for providing a photo speed monitoring device and all related support services, including consulting, operations, and administration. However, only a law-enforcement officer may swear to or affirm the certificate required by this subsection. Any such agreement for compensation shall be based on the value of the goods and services provided, not on the number of violations paid or monetary penalties imposed. Any private vendor contracting with a law-enforcement agency pursuant to this section may enter into an agreement with the Department, in accordance with the provisions of subdivision B 31 of § 46.2-208, to obtain vehicle owner information regarding the registered owners of vehicles that committed a violation of § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1. Any such information provided to such private vendor shall be protected in a database.

7. Information collected by a photo speed monitoring device operated pursuant to this section shall be limited exclusively to that information that is necessary for the enforcement of school crossing zone and highway work zone speeding violations. Information provided to the operator of a photo speed monitoring device shall be protected in a database and used only for enforcement against individuals who violate the provisions of this section or § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all photographs, microphotographs, videotapes, or other recorded images collected by a photo speed monitoring device shall be used exclusively for enforcing school crossing zone and highway work zone speed limits and shall not be (i) open to the public; (ii) sold or used for sales, solicitation, or marketing purposes; (iii) disclosed to any other entity except as may be necessary for the enforcement of school crossing zone and highway work zone speed limits or to a vehicle owner or operator as part of a challenge to the violation; or (iv) used in a court in a pending action or proceeding unless the action or proceeding relates to a violation of this section or § 46.2-873 or 46.2-878.1, or such information is requested upon order from a court of competent jurisdiction. Information collected under this section pertaining to a specific violation shall be purged and not retained later than 60 days after the collection of any civil penalties. Any law-enforcement agency using photo speed monitoring devices shall annually certify compliance with this section and make all records pertaining to such system available for inspection and audit by the Commissioner of Highways or the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles or his designee. Any person who discloses personal information in violation of the provisions of this subdivision shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 per disclosure.

8. A conspicuous sign shall be placed within 1,000 feet of any school crossing zone or highway work zone at which a photo speed monitoring device is used, indicating the use of the device. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that such sign was in place at the time of the commission of the speed limit violation.

9. Any state or local law-enforcement agency that places and operates a photo speed monitoring device pursuant to the provisions of this section shall report to the Department of State Police, in a format to be determined by the Department of State Police, by January 15 of each year on the number of traffic violations prosecuted, the number of successful prosecutions, and the total amount of monetary civil penalties collected. The Department of State Police shall aggregate such information and report it to the General Assembly by February 15 of each year.

2020, c. 1232.

§ 46.2-883. Signs indicating legal rate of speed and measurement of speed by radar.

Signs to indicate the legal rate of speed and that the speed of motor vehicles may be measured by radar or other electrical devices shall be placed at or near the State boundary on those interstate and primary highways which connect the Commonwealth to other jurisdictions at such locations as the Commissioner of Highways, in his discretion, may select. There shall be a prima facie presumption that such signs were placed at the time of the commission of the offense of exceeding the legal rate of speed, and a certificate by the Commissioner of Highways as to the placing of such signs shall be admissible in evidence to support or rebut the presumption. Such legal rate of speed and notice of measurement of speed by radar or other electrical devices may be posted on different signs and need not be posted on the same sign.

1968, c. 497, § 46.1-198.2; 1989, c. 727.

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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