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What does it mean to impede traffic in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2022 | Traffic Violations |

As a Virginia motorist, you may have familiarity with a variety of traffic laws, but one lesser-known state highway rule, impeding traffic, may result in a violation. While you may think of impeding traffic as slowing the flow of vehicles on a highway, the Commonwealth of Virginia notes that this law relates to hauling and vehicle escorts in relation to private and commercial vehicles.

You can avoid violating this Virginia law by taking time to understand which vehicles it protects and what impeding traffic truly means as you travel the state’s highways.

Protected vehicles

Impeding traffic laws in Virginia protect certain vehicles, especially those used for hauling. However, those vehicles must carry a valid hauling permit. These include large trucks hauling oversized loads and those that include a police escort or other vehicle labeled as an escort. Such cars or trucks may carry a flag or a sign that notifies you of a wide or oversized load.

What impeding traffic means

Under Virginia law, you may receive a citation for impeding traffic by interfering with the normal operation or transport of an escorted or hauling vehicle. This means trying to pass a line of cars under police escort, lane hopping or making an unsafe lane change while attempting to pass an escort or hauling vehicle.

Fees and punishments

Virginia laws related to impeding traffic fall under the misdemeanor class, and if the court finds you guilty, you may have to pay a Class 4 misdemeanor. This may result in a fine of $250 and the addition of four driving demerits on your Virginia license.

Drivers of oversized or escorted vehicles may have to show proof of required permits before the courts can charge you with impeding traffic.