New statewide speed limit set for unpaved roads

(Stock photo courtesy http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=23801&picture=street-sign-35-mph)
(Stock photo courtesy http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=23801&picture=street-sign-35-mph)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — As of Tuesday, the standard speed limit for unpaved roads in Virginia is 35 mph.

Previously, the speed limit for these roads was 55 mph, but it also varied by county. The Virginia Department of Transportation proposed the change to keep the speed limit consistent, and the Virginia General Assembly passed the legislation earlier this year.

The speed limit is effective July 1, 2014.

“The revision to speed limits on all unpaved roads will cause less confusion for motorists,” said VDOT Chief Engineer Garrett Moore.

The one catch is the law doesn’t require VDOT to post speed limit signs on unpaved roads. So, if you don’t see a sign, you just have to know the speed limit is 35 mph.

There’s also an exception to the new standard speed limit: Virginia law does allow the Commissioner of Highways or another authority with jurisdiction over highways to change the standard 35 mph limit for certain unpaved roads, but only if there is a sign indicating the speed limit for each road.

VDOT says it is working with the Department of Motor Vehicles to get the word out to drivers about the new statewide speed limit.

“Virginia State Police will continue to enforce speed limit laws, just as we always have for the safety of all motorists,” said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Troopers have the authority to warn, summons or arrest those who fail to comply with established speed limits.”

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