Virginia drivers in Culpeper, Warrenton and surrounding areas, get ready for some new driving laws. These new laws will all go into effect tomorrow, on July 1, 2010. Here is a summary of some of them:
- Virginia’s “move over” law has been expanded to include tow trucks and construction vehicles stopped on a four lane highway. If you see one of these vehicles – or an emergency vehicle – on the side of the highway with lights on, you need to move over to another lane (safely!) or slow down when you pass. Not doing so could leave you with a Class 1 misdemeanor.
- If you are caught driving with a 17 year old or younger passenger who is not wearing a seat belt, you can be stopped and ticketed – even if you have done nothing else wrong. Seat belt use for this age group is a primary offense.
- A new law requires that 16 and 17 year olds wear a seat belt in the rear seats. This law was needed because there was an age gap in the existing laws and 16 and 17 year olds were able to avoid wearing seat belts by law. This, combined with the previous law, means that all vehicle occupants 17 or younger must wear a seat belt, and the driver can be stopped and ticketed if they do not.
- All motorists age 18 and over must wear a seat belt in the front seat, however not wearing a seat belt is only a secondary offense so you still can’t be stopped just because an adult is not wearing a seat belt.
- If your car has a special fuel license plate, you may still use the HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes in Virginia through June 30, 2011, no matter how many people are in your car. There is an exception, however. You cannot travel on I-95/395 between 6-9am and 3:30-6pm Monday through Friday – unless you have the required number of HOV occupants (3). No to confuse the issue, but there is also an exception to the exception: if your special fuel plate was registered in Virginia before July 1, 2006, you can ride in the HOV lanes with less than 3 occupants.
- If you use a disabled parking placard that hangs from your rearview mirror, it will no longer list your name, gender or date of birth. This is in response to privacy concerns. If you have one of these placards, you must carry a separate ID card issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that includes your name, address, placard number and expiration date.
Got all that? If you ever have any questions about a car wreck in the Culpeper or Warrenton area, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We want to hear from you, even if you are not sure you need a lawyer.
DULANEY, LAUER & THOMAS, LLP
98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 11
Warrenton, VA 20186
Toll Free: 888.907.2631
209 N. West Street
Culpeper, VA 22701
Toll Free: 800.741.1012