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In Due Course: 2010 Changes To Virginia’s Laws



This publication provides a brief summary of legislation passed by the 2010 General Assembly that is of interest to the citizens of Virginia and is likely to have an impact on their daily lives. The legislation has been signed by the Governor and most is due to go into effect on July 1, 2010. The summaries were prepared by the staff of the Division of Legislative Services.

Business and Employment

“Cramming” unauthorized services on telephone bills. The law prohibits a telephone service provider or billing agent from billing a customer for charges for products, goods, or services that the customer did not authorize. The law requires telephone service providers and billing agents to obtain verification of a customer’s authorization before submitting charges for products, goods, or services to the billing carrier.

Courts and Criminal Justice

Telephone email or texting; use of profane, threatening, or indecent language. The law provides that any person who, when emailing by telephone or texting, uses profane, threatening, or indecent language is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Current law punishes this behavior when simply using a telephone or citizens band radio.

Local Government

Noise ordinance penalties. The law authorizes localities to adopt civil penalties for violations of noise ordinances. The penalty for an initial violation cannot exceed $250 and penalties for subsequent violations cannot exceed $500.

Operation Of a Vehicle

Highway speed limits. The law increases the general highway speed limit on highways from 65 mph to 70 mph where indicated by lawfully placed signs, erected subsequent to a traffic engineering study and analysis

of available and appropriate accident and law- enforcement data.

Move-over” law. The law requires drivers on a four- lane highway to yield the right-of-way when approaching vehicles displaying flashing blue, red, or amber lights by moving to a lane not adjacent to the vehicle displaying flashing blue, red, or amber lights if possible. The offense is punished as a traffic infraction, formerly a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation, when the violation involves a vehicle with flashing, blinking, or alternating blue or red lights, is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The provisions do not apply in highway work zones.

Safety belt use for persons under 18 years of age. The law requires safety belt use by those less than 18 years of age who are in the rear seats of motor vehicles.

To take a look at all the law changes click here