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Little Known VA Traffic Law = $2500 fine
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Little Known VA Traffic Law = $2500 fine - October 24, 2007, 11:35 AM

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/20/2032.asp

Cliffs Notes:
- Patrol vehicle on the side of the road with lights flashing: you must change lanes away from the vehicle AND reduce speed to [posted speed limit] minus 20mph.
- If caught, even if you are below the posted speed limit --> 1st degree misdemeanor --> $2500 fine.
- "Move Over America. It's the law" - police organization.
- 3/4 of motorists have never heard of this law.
- Governator vetoed it.
- Commonwealth of VA lacks a Governator.

Virginia: Unknown Traffic Violation Carries $2500 Fine
Virginia motorists face $2500 fine for Move Over traffic violation about which 71 percent of public is unaware.

Five years ago, the Virginia legislature made it a serious crime to drive past a police officer stopped on the side of the road without changing lanes. As a result, unsuspecting motorists -- including those who are not speeding -- can nonetheless be caught in a speed trap and face a first degree misdemeanor ticket that carries a fine of up to $2500. Despite the significant financial penalty involved, nearly three-quarters of all motorists have never heard of "move over" laws, according to a Virginia State Police news release issued in July.

Forty states require drivers approaching a police vehicle with flashing lights activated either to make an immediate lane change or to slow down at least 20 MPH under the posted speed limit.

"If drivers do not move over or slow down, officers can and do write citations," the Virginia State Police statement explained.

"Our nation's law enforcement professionals put their lives on the line to protect our citizens," said Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations. "Slowing down and changing lanes to give our first responders the space they need to stay safe is the least we can do in return. It's what we must do. Move Over, America. It's the law."

Motorists who are pulled over in a
speed trap, however, can find themselves placed in just as much peril as law enforcement (see video of an incident). Likewise, some police agencies reject move over laws as dangerous. In 2005, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoed similar legislation, citing the objection of the California Highway Patrol.

"This bill is unnecessary and could result in the unintended consequences of additional roadway hazards," Schwarzenegger said in his veto message. "Specifically, the California Highway Patrol is concerned that this bill's mandate could create chaotic and dangerous situations at crime and collision scenes on the state's freeways."

A year later, an essentially identical Move Over bill was signed into law in California.


Article Excerpt:
Virginia Code 46.2-921.1
The driver of any motor vehicle, upon approaching a stationary emergency vehicle, as defined in § 46.2-920, that is displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating emergency light or lights as provided in §§ 46.2-1022, 46.2-1023, and 46.2-1024, shall (i) on a highway having at least four lanes, at least two of which are intended for traffic proceeding as the approaching vehicle, proceed with caution and, if reasonable, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that occupied by the stationary emergency vehicle or (ii) if changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.

Violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the violation resulted in damage to property of another person, the court may, in addition, order the suspension of the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for not more than one year. If the violation resulted in injury to another person, the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, order the suspension of the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for not more than two years. If the violation resulted in the death of another person, the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, order the suspension of the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for two years.</I>
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October 24, 2007, 11:42 AM

You should do this even if it is not a law! Just makes sence!!!


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October 24, 2007, 11:44 AM

I'm scared to come back...

Florida aint too bad.

My roomate got pulled doing 120 on the way to the beach a few weeks ago.
The cop yelled at him for 20 mins, thanked him for stopping, and told him to slow down.


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October 24, 2007, 11:51 AM

This is so stupid. If an officer is on the side of the road with his lights on, he's probably doing something right? So is the officer going to drop what he's doing, that was important enough for him to stop and put himself at risk in the first place, so he can chase you down because you didn't change lanes? See, that's going to result in inconsistent enforcement... the result of any retarded law. What if you can't change lanes due to traffic? IMO, someone in a panic to change lanes to avoid getting such a ticket is more likely to CAUSE an accident than if they just let things be.

Stupid stupid stupid.


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October 24, 2007, 12:01 PM

This is hands down one of the DUMBEST and UNSAFE laws I have ever heard of. The average speed for all lanes of 95 between Stafford and Richmond 75 mph and usually its usually a pack of cars with rarely a car length between them, so you see some dipshit VSP with a car pulled over and you are supposed to merge over, how many accidents do you think this will cause? And slowing 20 mph below the posted speed limit, my neck and back hurt just thinking about what will happen.


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October 24, 2007, 12:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarab
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/20/2032.asp

Cliffs Notes:
- Patrol vehicle on the side of the road with lights flashing: you must change lanes away from the vehicle AND reduce speed to [posted speed limit] minus 20mph.
Looks like you don't have to change lanes. Also, I don't see anything about 20mph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarab
Article Excerpt:
Virginia Code 46.2-921.1
The driver of any motor vehicle, upon approaching a stationary emergency vehicle, as defined in § 46.2-920, that is displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating emergency light or lights as provided in §§ 46.2-1022, 46.2-1023, and 46.2-1024, shall (i) on a highway having at least four lanes, at least two of which are intended for traffic proceeding as the approaching vehicle, proceed with caution and, if reasonable, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that occupied by the stationary emergency vehicle or (ii) if changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.

Violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the violation resulted in damage to property of another person, the court may, in addition, order the suspension of the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for not more than one year. If the violation resulted in injury to another person, the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, order the suspension of the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for not more than two years. If the violation resulted in the death of another person, the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, order the suspension of the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for two years.</I>


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October 24, 2007, 12:24 PM

You can play ignorance to such a law. The 2500 dollar fine is prob the max penalty.
Go to court and as long as it is not Fairfax, I am sure the judge would let you off as it will be news to him as well.


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October 24, 2007, 01:10 PM

Even though this law is specifically written for emergency or police look at it from this perspective. If you were on the side of the road changing a flat tire on the left side of your vehicle, would you feel comfortable with cars passing by within 2-3 feet of you going 60+ mph? I doubt it! You would constantly be hit by the wind drafts making it hard to do this job as well! If somebody passed within 1 foot of you standing there by your car,bike, etc, you would probably want to hop in your car, chase the person down, and give them the finger or a piece of your mind. I know I would!!!

This is the point of the law. As Dodge said, it's common sense. The law is in effect to try to make things safer for the parties on the side of the road! That's all!! If he had to move away from the car for any reason he needs that comfort zone to be safe. And if your in heavy traffic you still can have 2-4 feet left in your lane to more over slightly. If you can't safely move over then make an honest effort to slow down at least. It's not that unreasonable. I have been doing this for any vehicle that is on the side of the road since I started driving.

If somebody passed within 1 foot of you standing there by your car,bike, etc, you would probably want to hop in your car, chase the person down, and give them the finger or a piece of your mind. I know I would!!!


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B
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October 24, 2007, 01:12 PM

Don't legislate common sense... it makes the public dumber.


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October 24, 2007, 01:30 PM

Thanks for the info .. didnt know about it .. I will be cautious for cars moving into my lane due to this
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October 24, 2007, 01:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixrB
Don't legislate common sense... it makes the public dumber.
I concur. Lets draft a new law to prevent common sense legislation right away.
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B
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October 24, 2007, 01:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAWD
I concur. Lets draft a new law to prevent common sense legislation right away.
It's a common phenomenon that micromanagement leads to poor performance. This remains equally viable when applied to legislation over the public.

People need to be equipped, trained, or bettered... not scared into submission with massive fines.


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Last edited by B; October 24, 2007 at 02:09 PM..
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October 24, 2007, 03:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixrB
Don't legislate common sense... it makes the public dumber.


Celebrate freedom, honesty and excellence!
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October 24, 2007, 03:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixrB
It's a common phenomenon that micromanagement leads to poor performance. This remains equally viable when applied to legislation over the public.

People need to be equipped, trained, or bettered... not scared into submission with massive fines.
Yep, look at a prison. One of the most highly regulated and yet still dangerous environments. Ignoring the concentration of "bad people" it still supports your argument.
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Popped my cherry!
 
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October 24, 2007, 03:09 PM

I understand the safety thing...cause has anyone seen the video's of cops and civilians getting hit by passing cars while pulled over? Thats some scurry shit.

But a $2500 fine is retarted.


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