Virginia news: Two new laws expand “Move Over” and ban blue headlights
Governor Glenn Youngkin recently signed two pieces of legislation that will affect Virginia drivers — the “Move Over” law and a ban on excessively bright “blue” headlights.
At GibsonSingleton, we support common-sense safety laws like these because we know they save lives.
The Move Over law will help protect drivers and first responders who have pulled over to the side of the road due to a distressed vehicle. The Blue Headlight law will help eliminate excessively bright headlights that make it difficult for oncoming drivers to see.
Both of these new laws went into effect on July 1, 2023.
What’s the Move Over law?
The Move Over law requires drivers on wide highways to change lanes to avoid any stationary vehicle displaying one of the following distress signs:
- Activated hazard signal flashers
- A caution sign
- Properly lit flares
- Electric flashers
It also requires drivers to avoid official vehicles on the side of the road to include:
- Police vehicles
- Fire department vehicles
- Virginia National Guard vehicles
- Department of Emergency Movement vehicles
- Department of Environmental Quality vehicles
- Medical Services Agency vehicles
What am I supposed to do under this new law?
When approaching a vehicle that’s pulled over to the side of a highway that has at least four lanes, you must now change to the lane that’s not adjacent to the parked vehicle — but only when it’s safe to do so. If it’s not safe or reasonable to make a lane change, you must slow to a safe speed and proceed with caution when passing the stationary vehicle.
What’s the penalty for violating this law?
Violation of the Move Over law is treated as a traffic infraction that could result in a fine of up to $250. But if the pulled-over vehicle is a police, fire department, or other type of official vehicle that displays two steady burning or flashing lights, the infraction is reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
If a driver injures someone or damages property while violating the Move Over law, he is subject to a one-year driver’s license suspension. If a driver causes a fatality while violating the Move Over law, he is subject to a two-year suspension of his driver’s license.
What’s the Blue Headlight law?
Bright headlights allow drivers to see a greater distance, but some types of bright headlights can have a blinding effect on oncoming drivers. That’s why the Blue Headlight law bans bright headlights and aftermarket modifications that make headlights appear blue in color. These headlights are often so bright that it seems as though the driver’s high beams are on.
A study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded that glare from bright headlamps causes disability and discomfort for oncoming traffic. This can temporarily blind drivers, and it can cause accidents. The negative effects for oncoming drivers are especially strong when driving on roads that are wet when it is very dark.
Traditional halogen bulbs have a yellow tinge. The new law prohibits the use of blue headlights that project a glaring light. Aftermarket modifications, such as a film that makes headlights appear blue, are also banned. Headlights that will no longer be legal in Virginia include HID (high-intensity discharge), Xenon HID, and blue LED lights.
The Blue Headlight law covers all road vehicles, including:
- Motorized skateboards
- Electric persona assistance mobility devices
- Autocycles (three-wheeled motorcycles with a steering wheel)
Who will stand by my side if I’m injured by a driver who breaks laws?
We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys will. Helping our friends and neighbors get the resources they need to recover after an accident is not just a job for us. We are former U.S. Marines, and we consider it our calling to fight tirelessly for the justice accident victims deserve.
We will always treat you and your family with respect and compassion, and we are here to take your call at any time if you have any questions or concerns. We understand what you’re going through because we’ve been there ourselves.
When you put your trust in GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. We call it our Zero Fee Guarantee.
Give our Virginia car accident lawyers a call at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to schedule a free consultation. Let’s see how we can help.
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.