Defensive Driving Resource

Know Your Driving Laws

Peter Johnson of Fairfax County, Virginia had no idea he was committing a serious traffic offense carrying up to twelve months in jail, a $2,500 fine and 6 points on his driving record when he failed to change lanes for a Virginia roadside police stop.  See Article.

Dr. Gridlock writes about the move over law subject on the Washington Post website and blogs are popping up about it, too. Many people are commenting that the same thing happened to them and they are sharing their experiences. Many of the comments state that they had no idea of the ‘new law’, that Virginia hasn’t done agood enough job publicizing it and that most of the cases they’ve heard of have been entrapment.

While much of the current buzz is about a secretive “new law”, it is interesting to know that Virginia passed the Move Over Law in 2002. It has been the law for seven years in Virginia and as of 2009, 45 states have a move over law. This would lead one to wonder why so many people are not aware of the law. The Virginia DMV website has information about the law, as does the Virginia State Police website. Even Snopes verifies the validity of an email that was circulated back in 2004. There are various Public Service Announcements about the law, one recorded at the WMEV FM 94 radio studio in Marion, Virginia.

There are signs on the highways  and anyone who had to take the Virginia Road Rules license test since 2003 would have been informed of the law through the handbook and the test itself.

How does a state government convey their driving laws to every resident and tourist? According to one article, The Virginia State Police have teamed up with the Virginia Trucking Association to spread the message by putting signs on trucks.
Many believe that state license tests should be required every year or every two years. Hundreds of students who completed the Ticketschool course  have called, informing staff they are very glad they took the course because they have been driving for many years and have subconsciously been taking the driving task for granted. They express their opinions that everyone should have to take the class every year as a refresher.

Of course many would argue that a four, six or eight hour driver improvement course being required every year or two may be a bit extreme. A practice driver exam would be the solution to this. You can read more about practice driving tests at: “Florida Ranks 43rd For Road Rules Knowledge”.

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