The state of Virginia is very serious about maintaining safe speeds on the road. As anyone who travels any part of I-95 or I-64 on a regular basis knows, those arteries are perpetually under construction, clogged with traffic, or both and as Virginia’s population of those who have not yet taken a defensive driving course grows, every road has more cars on it than it did in the recent past. Fines and other penalties for traffic offenses in Virginia can vary widely based on the circumstances, but there is a consistent policy applied statewide that is strict but easy to follow. The primary source document for Virginia traffic ticket fines and other penalties is the Virginia Driver’s Manual, available online. The good news is traffic school, which is readily and cheaply available online, will soften the blow of most Virginia speeding ticket cost.
What to do When You’re Caught Speeding
If you find yourself on the side of the road with flashing lights in your rear-view mirror, in Virginia as most other places, you should know the Officer who pulled you over generally has some latitude to issue you a warning for minor offenses. So, it won’t hurt to be courteous. If you don’t get off with a warning, Virginia speeding ticket fines can be stiff; a base charge of $200 and an additional fine for each mile over the limit are not uncommon.
From there, additional speeding and /or traffic fines will be added depending on the particulars of the driver and situation. If you’re caught speeding in one of Virginia’s many scenic construction zones, that can as much as double your speeding fines, especially when workers are present. Other factors that can increase the cost of your ticket might include lack of a seatbelt for you or your passengers, problems with your car’s safety equipment, and reckless driving.
How Much More Will Your Ticket Be?
Reckless driving in Virginia is defines as 20 miles per hour over the posted limit or 80 miles per hour or more regardless of the limit. Failure to appear in court or pay your fine on time if you plead guilty will cost you more money. Also, it’s beyond the scope of this article, but driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can easily push your Virginia speeding ticket fine into the thousands of dollars before legal fees.
Beyond the monetary cost, it’s important to understand the Virginia demerit system, particularly for Virginia citizens or people who transit Virginia regularly. Depending on the severity, each Virginia traffic ticket is worth 3-8 points. A driver who acquires 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months will have 90 days to complete Virginia traffic school, also referred to as the Driver Improvement Course. 18 points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months will result in automatic revocation of a Virginia driver’s license, and a judge can permanently revoke a license for excessive or very rapid accumulation of demerits.
Traffic School to the Rescue
Traffic school can greatly soften the blow of multiple traffic violations by lowering fines and removing demerits. Failure to complete mandatory traffic school can result in a suspended or revoked license, so if you have a lead foot, find a good online traffic school that you can complete easily.
Traffic school is especially important for Virginia drivers under 18 years of age as the standards for license suspension or revocation are much stricter for these high-risk drivers.
Also of note, a Virginia Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) can be suspended or revoked based on much stricter criteria than a regular license, and a CDL can be revoked for a traffic violation committed when not driving for work.