The speed limit is what the state has deemed to be the top appropriate speed in order to travel safely on the road. You are required to follow the speed limit as you may be ticketed anytime that you are caught driving over the limit. Additionally, if you are pulled over and cited for speeding you will face fines and demerit points against your license. You can however challenge your ticket with the help of a Virginia speeding ticket lawyer.
Read below to learn more about speeding offenses in Virginia and how to know if you are breaking the speed limit.
An absolute speed limit just means that it is illegal to drive at any speed over the posted speed limit. A presumed speed limit is a little trickier but it does provide more flexibility in building a defense. Presumed speeds limits follow that it’s legal to drive over the speed limit as long as you’re safely driving. The burden of proof is on the defendant to show that whatever speed over the speed limit he was going was a safe speed under the circumstances. This is different from absolute because with absolute limits, the burden of proof is on the officer to show that the defendant violated the speed.
A basic speed limit is where a person can take into account additional conditions in determining whether the driver’s behavior is an offense. This is similar to presumed limits, but it goes in the other direction. For example, if there’s a snow storm and the speed limit is 45 then someone driving at 45 miles per hour could be charged with speeding because they should have taken into consideration the weather conditions and lowered their speed accordingly. Under basic speed limits, someone could be ticketed for going the speed limit if there are other conditions present that affect the safety of that speed.
Virginia is an absolute speed limit state, which is what the majority of the states are. In Virginia, the speed limit is whatever is posted. If you’re driving ten miles per hour over or 10% plus 2 miles per hour over the speed limit then this is a ticketable offense. It is perfectly lawful for an officer to issue a speeding ticket for 1 mph over the posted limit, though in practice it is uncommon.
Only a handful of states follow presumed limits and you can be charged in every single state with violating basic speed limits.
If there is no sign available at all, then the speed limit for most business and residential areas is 25 miles per hour. Unpaved roads are a maximum of 35 miles per hour and on secondary roads the speed limit is 45 miles per hour for trucks and 55 miles for other vehicles.
The highest speed limit on highways in Virginia is 70 miles per hour. However, speeding on a highway naturally comes with risks associated with such high-level speeds. There is less time for drivers to react, which means that collisions are more likely to happen in quick scenarios and also collisions are more likely to result in more severe injuries or even death either to the driver or to other people on the road. There is also the risk of being charged with reckless driving, which is a very serious criminal offense, and it carries many long-term consequences.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law