Speed Limits in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach law enforcement officers are constantly on the lookout for drivers who break the speed limit. Although speed limits appear throughout the state of Virginia and across the nation, certain jurisdictions may have different rules and expectations behind speed limit postings. Below, a Virginia Beach speeding ticket lawyer explains exactly what a speed limit is, how heavily it is enforced, and the implicit and explicit expectations behind a speed limit. Read on to learn about speed limits in Virginia Beach, Virginia and better protect yourself from potential trouble with law enforcement officials. To learn more about speed limits in Virginia Beach, call and schedule a consultation today.

How Speed Limits Are Determined

In Virginia, the speed limit is determined to be the greatest speed at which vehicles can operate safely on that given roadway in normal conditions. Virginia is an absolute speed limit state, similar to the majority of other states, which means that if the sign says the speed limit is 25 mph, then that’s the absolute speed limit and anything above is speeding. In the case of a 25 mph speed limit, for example, it would be considered unlawful to go 26 mph and an officer could potentially give you a speeding ticket.

Rules and Risks

Sometimes in Virginia, there are no signs posted indicating the speed limit. In these cases, there are speed limit defaults that depend on the type of road being driven on. In a business or residential area, the default is 25 mph. On secondary roads, it is a 55 mph speed limit, for commercial trucks it is 45 mph. Unpaved roads have a default speed limit of 35 mph.

There is no magical formula that makes driving over the speed limit okay or lawful. However, oftentimes officers will choose not to pull over people who are only slightly violating the speed limit, because it’s just not worth their time. An emergency situation is the only mitigating circumstance for speeding that may be allowed. If a driver charged with speeding can present evidence in court that the reason for their speed was to avoid the loss of limb or life, they have a better chance at winning the case.

Highest Speed Limits in Virginia

In Virginia, the highest speed limit on a highway is 70 mph. Driving over the highway speed limit of 70 mph carries massive penalties and driving over 80 mph will result in a reckless driving charge automatically. A reckless driving ticket could result in a pretty hefty fine, a charge on the driver’s criminal record, and a few days in jail.

The risks associated with driving too fast can also result in a lower reaction time, making an accident more likely. In the case of an accident, there is a higher likelihood of a more severe risk with increased risk of death as well as the risk of injury.

Traditional Defenses

The best defense for exceeding the speed limit is the claim and proof of a claim that an emergency forced you to go faster than the speed limit, in order to avoid serious damage or injury to you or somebody else. Other defenses include attacking the officer’s determination of the driver’s speed. This is usually done with a calibration certificate or claiming the officer’s method was not accurate or done incorrectly.

A lawyer can argue that there were so many other vehicles on the road that the officer mistook your car for another car. Another form of attack is arguing that from where the officer was situated it was impossible for him to keep sight of your vehicle for the entirety of the traffic stop so that it is possible that he wrongly picked out your car further down the road.