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Traffic violations: July brings new laws for Virginia drivers

The intent of most traffic laws is to ensure the safety of those using the roadways, whether that is as a pedestrian or motorist. Unfortunately, some people may find themselves facing traffic violations if they are unaware of the laws. In some cases, certain actions that may result in charges may have been misconstrued or misrepresented.

Several new rules went into effect in Virginia in July with various potential consequences for those accused of breaking them. First, House Bill 885/Senate Bill 63 calls for an additional $100 in fines for those driving between 81 and 85 mph in a 65 mph speed zone. As a result of Senate Bill 437, a driver who causes serious injury to a vulnerable user of the road due to careless or distracted behavior now faces a Class 1 misdemeanor; a vulnerable user includes pedestrians, those on roller skates and bicyclists, among others.

A third bill, House Bill 1705, requires drivers to stop for pedestrians crossing a highway. Drivers must remain stopped until the pedestrian is through the lane. Additionally, drivers of vehicles in the adjacent lane or coming from behind the stopped vehicle cannot pass.

Many drivers in Virginia find themselves facing traffic violations for a variety of different reasons. Unfortunately, fines and other consequences can have a significant impact on a people's lives, potentially even impacting their ability to complete job-related tasks if driving is required. While most people accept these accusations and their subsequent consequences without questioning them, they do have an option of defending themselves. An experienced attorney can help them decide how to best respond.

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