Virginia Traffic Stop Laws

Disregarding Virginia’s traffic laws regarding stopping a vehicle can be a costly venture.

Virginia law under Title 46.2 – Motor Vehicles outlines specific guidelines regarding traffic violations, including how and when a driver can be convicted of a traffic violation involving the stopping of their vehicle. Most Virginia traffic laws regarding stopping a vehicle are similar to other state regulations, including the ability to make a right turn at a red light after coming to a complete stop.

Running a Red Light

Virginia traffic law addresses running a red light under VA Code 46.2-833. The law states how drivers must handle red, yellow and green lights. Both a steady and flashing red light indicate that the driver must come to a full stop until the light changes color or it is their turn to proceed into the intersection. In the case of an out-of-service light, the driver must treat the intersection as if there is a stop sign. Violations under this code are punishable by a fine of no more than $350.

Entering a Highway

Highway intersections controlled by a stop sign require drivers to come to a complete stop at the marked stop sign, before the crosswalk (if applicable), or at a point nearest the intersecting road where the driver can visibly see all approaching traffic. An intersection marked with a “Yield Right-of-Way” sign does not require the driver to come to a complete stop before entering the highway, unless it is required for safety. (VA Code 46.2-821)

Right Turns on a Red Light

The state of Virginia allows drivers to cautiously proceed with a right turn on a steady red light, if traffic allows and if there are no signs prohibiting this action at the intersection. The driver must, however, yield to pedestrians and other traffic. (VA Code 46.2-835)

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Disregarding a Request to Stop by a Law Enforcement Agent

A Class 2 misdemeanor is automatically given to a driver who does not conform to a visible or audible signal of a law-enforcement agent to stop their vehicle. If this non-conformation endangers the life of another individual, a Class 6 felony applies. In addition, drivers who ignore such requests will have their licenses revoked for at least 30 days and up to one year. (VA Code 46.2-817)

Stopping Another Vehicle

A driver in Virginia is prohibited from blocking access to or stopping another vehicle from continuing on highways, unless there is an emergency or mechanical breakdown. Violations of this charge qualify as Class 1 misdemeanors and may involve a revocation of a license.