New Virginia Traffic Laws Take Effect in July 2015

In July 2015, the Virginia General Assembly made several changes in the traffic code laws.  These changes in the Virginia Traffic law will affect how drivers should interact with Management Vehicles, Trash Collection Trucks, Postal Delivery Trucks and, Bicyclist.

Please be aware of the new laws, the changes and how you as a Virginia motorist might be impacted.

Vehicles that help with the management of roadside and traffic incidents or perform traffic management services along highways now qualify for Virginia’s “Move Over Law” if the vehicles have flashing, blinking, or alternative amber warning lights.  This means drivers must proceed with caution and, if possible, change lanes before passing one of those vehicles on the highway.

Drivers passing a stopped mail vehicle with flashing, blinking, or alternating amber lights must proceed with caution and drive at a safe speed for road conditions.

Drivers can be cited for following bicycles, mopeds and other non-motorized vehicles too closely.

If a driver wants to pass a trash-collection vehicle that’s stopped on a road with less than four lanes the driver must slow down 10 mph below the posted speed limit and pass at least two feet to the left of the vehicle.

If a driver wants to pass a trash-collection vehicle that’s stopped on a road with at least four lanes – and at least two lanes intended for traffic going in the same direction – the driver must pass in a lane not adjacent to the vehicle and yield the right of way.

Drivers may cross double yellow lines to pass a pedestrian or a device moved by human power, including a bicycle, skateboard or foot scooter, if the movement can be made safely.

John Weiland of Weiland Upton believes the impact of these new laws may be significant to some.  “In particular,” he notes, “the change in the move over law is very important because driver’s should now beware that it’s simply a safer move to move over a lane, if possible, and slow their speed when they see anyone using the emergency lane on a Virginia highway.