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Reviewing Virginia's implied speed limits

The default action of most in Roanoke after being pulled over is to ask the officer why (even though they may know full well what it was that they were doing that merited being stopped). As many of those that our team here at Robert F. Rider, PLC was worked with can attest to, however, there are circumstances where one might legitimately not know why he or she is being stopped. A common one is when you are driving through an area where there are no posted speed limits. How, in such a situation, can an officer justify pulling you over for speeding? 

Nearly every state recognizes implied speed limits in certain areas, and Virginia is no exception. What these implied limits are depends on the area in which you are driving. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, they are broken down as follows: 

  • 25 mph in residential neighborhoods and business areas
  • 35 mph on all unpaved roads
  • 45 mph for trucks (55 mph for all other vehicles on secondary roads)

The state generally considers secondary roads to be any whose routes are numbered 600 or above. 

This is likely not the first time you have heard these numbers; they were probably shared back when you were taking your first drivers education courses. Yet depending on how long ago that was, the likelihood of you remembering them may be slim. You may indeed be able to mount a successful counterargument to a speeding ticket based upon this lack of knowledge (provided that your speed was not so excessive in an unposted area that common sense would dictate that you were going too fast). The same might be said if you are cited for driving too fast for the given conditions. 

More information on challenging traffic citations can be found here on our site. 

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