Marshall Herman 804-692-2134

July 1, 2014

Revision to State Code Creates New Consistent Speed Limit for Motorists

RICHMOND – Effective July 1, a maximum speed limit of 35 mph will apply to all unpaved roads statewide, as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly this year.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) proposed the revised speed limit for unpaved roads to keep the speed limit consistent. Prior to the revision, the maximum speed limit on these roads was 55 mph, though this varied by counties.

“The revision to speed limits on all unpaved roads will cause less confusion for motorists,” said VDOT Chief Engineer Garrett Moore. “A lower speed limit of 35 mph is a reasonable and safer speed limit for unpaved roads across the state.”

The law does not require VDOT to post speed limit signs on unpaved roadways. VDOT is working with the Department of Motor Vehicles to help educate drivers on 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.”



Editor’s Note: On July 1, a maximum speed limit of 35 mph will apply on all nonsurface-treated (unpaved) highways statewide, through a revision of Virginia Code Section 46.2-873.1 as revised by Delegate T. Scott Garrett, M.D. with HB 854 and Senator Ralph Smith with SB 470:

§ 46.2-873.1. Maximum speed limit on nonsurface-treated highways.

The maximum speed limit on nonsurface-treated highways, which are roads that are comprised of an earth-aggregate or aggregate surface (i.e. dirt and gravel) that have not been stabilized with a bituminous or cementitious material, shall be 35 miles per hour. The maximum speed limit upon such highways may be increased or decreased by the Commissioner of Highways or other authority having jurisdiction over highways. However, such increased or decreased maximum speed limit shall be effective only when indicated by sign on the highway. For such highways upon which maximum speed limit is not indicated by sign, the maximum speed limit shall be 35 miles per hour.

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: July 1, 2014