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Driving Into 2021: The New Year’s New Laws

With the new year underway, many of us have begun new routines for a happy and healthy 2021. But changes in our state’s statutes have also appeared. Indeed, Virginians are seeing a few dramatic shifts in driving laws, parts of a larger pattern spanning the past few years. 


As your local attorneys based in Fairfax, Dua Law Firm wants to keep you informed of all such changes. And though they may seem minor, traffic laws affect the daily routines of myriad Northern Virginia residents. So if you or a loved one are facing vehicular legal challenges, reach out to us. Our accomplished trial lawyers can guide you through complex legal processes and claims in numerous practice areas. Plus, we offer services in English and Hindi, which provides successful outcomes to a greater number of clients. 


Below, we survey the driving laws that take effect this month as well as other changes from the past two years: 

Traffic Laws In Effect January 2021

The Hands-Free Law, which took effect on January 1, is the most extensive of Virginia’s new traffic codes. This cellphone-related legislation goes further than past ones, which prohibited typing or reading texts or emails while driving. This measure bans drivers from even holding a phone while driving. 


Nationwide, phone usage remains a frequent cause of vehicular accidents. Thus, state lawmakers hope the Hands-Free Law will curb such instances in Virginia. Those ticketed for it face a fine of $125 for their first infraction and $250 for their second. 


Another significant measure in effect since January 1 is the “driver privilege card” program for undocumented immigrants. This policy offers driving credentials to applicants who pass a written and driving test. However, though similar to a standard license, this card cannot be used to vote or board a flight. 

Expanded or Revised Traffic Laws

While lawmakers put a few new measures on the books, they modified some that were already present. For instance, the suspension of drivers’ licenses for failure to pay fines was lifted. Licenses previously suspended for the same reason can be reinstated. 


Lawmakers also raised the threshold speed for reckless driving on Virginia highways from 80 to 85 mph. While one can still earn a speeding ticket and a fine below that rate, anyone caught above it can receive the more extreme misdemeanor or felony for reckless driving

Traffic Laws That Took Effect in 2019-2020

Finally, we review a few further laws that took effect in the past two years. While not as new as those mentioned above, these measures deserve a reminder nonetheless. 


First, children must ride in rear-facing car seats until the age of two or until they meet the minimum weight standard for a front-facing one. Also, drivers may not smoke in motor vehicles with any child under the age of fifteen present. And third, any first-time offenders of refusing a breathalyzer to determine BAC may petition for a restricted license. 

Dua Law Firm: Experienced Legal Services in Traffic Law for Fairfax, VA, Residents

So, as the new year takes off and we follow our newest resolutions, stay safe and lawful through sound legal advice. At Dua Law Firm, we can help you to navigate the shifting landscapes of many legal fields and opinions. Our experienced traffic law attorneys can represent you and your interests in courts throughout Fairfax and Northern Virginia. Put your best interests first: call us today at (703) 382-7300 or fill out our online form.