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Virginia makes changes to its traffic laws

On July 1, two new traffic laws are scheduled to go into effect in Virginia. The first law allows authorities to charge a person with reckless driving if his or her vehicle is traveling 85 miles per hour or faster on a highway. The current law allows a police officer to charge a driver with reckless driving if that person is traveling at 80 miles an hour or faster.

The change was meant to reflect the fact that the maximum speed limit in the state was increased in 2010. Most states give drivers a 15 mile per hour cushion before they are considered to be driving recklessly. It is important to note that motorists can still be ticketed for traveling faster than a posted speed limit. Individuals who are convicted of reckless driving in Virginia could pay a fine of up to $2,500 or spend time in jail.

The second law makes it mandatory for slower drivers using the left lane to move over without the need for an audible warning. Currently, slow drivers are not required to move out of the passing lane unless another they hear another vehicle using its horn. This law was passed before vehicles had mirrors on them, and many believe that honking at a slow driver may result in little more than a rude gesture in return.

Those who are convicted of reckless driving may face a fine, jail time and points on a drivers license. Motorists who are charged with this offense may have the option of hiring an attorney to help with their cases. An attorney may take steps to have the charge reduced or dismissed. These steps may include asserting that a speed gun was defective or arguing that this item was used improperly by an officer.

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