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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
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Virginia drivers beware: New law places hefty fines on bad drivers

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You’ll want to think twice about speeding. A new Virginia law places hefty fines on bad drivers. On top of criminal fines and court costs, those who break the law will also have to pay civil fines of $300 to $1,000. (Note that these new fines only apply to Virginia citizens. So if you are from another state and get caught speeding, you only get the ‘regular fines.”)

Blowing through a stop light, passing a school bus while it’s stopped, and driving over 80 miles per hour on any road are all against the law. Starting Sunday you’ll pay dearly for doing so. They’re called abuser fees. They were included in the legislature’s transportation bill to raise money for new roads and rail.

Right now if you fail to turn without giving a signal, a judge can fine you up to $2,500, with a $50 court cost. The abuser fees for that crime are three payments of $350. That $1,050 does not include a criminal fine.

There’s lots of people making list of the Virginia legislators who voted for this one. Apparently, it is one of those new laws that snuck through the Virginia General Assembly while folks weren’t paying attention. (Then again, the bad drivers of Virginia don’t have a strong lobbying group.”

And, there’s a huge problem for “problem drivers, ” according to a press release

The new law also has strict punishments for repeat problem drivers. People who have driving records with eight or more demerit points will be charged an additional $100 upon a new conviction, plus $75 for each demerit point in addition to eight. The fees based on demerit points will not exceed $700 and the $75 per point fee only applies to demerit points earned after July 1.

Attorney Dave Albo (one of architects of the plan to assess the fees, which will eventually raise $65 million a year for transportation projects) is both a Virginia Delegate and an attorney who will represent people charged with driving offenses. Here’s a very interesting blog dedicated to Mr. Albo. He was quoted as saying:

“I’ve had people from all around the state calling and yelling at me.”