In the commonwealth, it usually is not difficult for drivers to know when they are speeding. After all, most highways, roads and streets in Virginia have posted speed limits. On roads that lack speed signs, such as those in residential areas, motorists know they must drive slowly.
Even if you drive well under posted limits, it is possible to receive a costly traffic ticket. That is, officers may cite you for driving too fast for road conditions. This type of citation is significantly more serious than an ordinary speeding ticket.
According to Section 46.2-861 of the Code of Virginia, driving at an unreasonable speed for traffic and road conditions constitutes reckless driving. Violating this section of the law may lead to up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, the accrual of driver’s license demerit points and even the suspension of your driving privileges.
Speeding for conditions
The key to staying out of trouble is to always drive at a reasonable speed. While you can usually trust posted speed limits to tell you what speed is reasonable, there are some situations when it is necessary to reduce your speed.
These may include one or more of the following:
- Driving through construction zones
- Driving near pedestrians
- Driving during inclement weather
- Driving on special events
- Driving in congested traffic
Because road conditions can change quickly, monitoring traffic and other conditions are part of being a responsible driver. Remember, even seemingly small situational changes may require you to lower your car’s speed to comply with Virginia law.
In addition to the legal penalties, you are likely to face, driving too fast for the conditions of the road may lead to a substantial increase in your insurance premiums. Ultimately, by reducing your speed when conditions are not ideal, you can avoid these expensive and potentially life-changing consequences.