RICHMOND, Va. -- The beginning of July means several new traffic laws will take effect. The 2015 General Assembly amended state code to make it safer for traffic management vehicles, bicyclists, postal vehicles, and trash-collection vehicles, among other initiatives, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles said in a press release.
Here are some of the new laws and changes:
Vehicles that help with the management of roadside and traffic incidents or perform traffic management services along highways now qualify for Virginia's "Move Over Law" if the vehicles have flashing, blinking, or alternative amber warning lights. This means drivers must proceed with caution and, if possible, change lanes before passing one of those vehicles on the highway.
Drivers passing a stopped mail vehicle with flashing, blinking, or alternating amber lights must proceed with caution and drive at a safe speed for road conditions.
Drivers can be cited for following bicycles, mopeds and other non-motorized vehicles too closely.
If a driver wants to pass a trash-collection vehicle that's stopped on a road with less than four lanes the driver must slow down 10 mph below the posted speed limit and pass at least two feet to the left of the vehicle.
If a driver wants to pass a trash-collection vehicle that's stopped on a road with at least four lanes -- and at least two lanes intended for traffic going in the same direction -- the driver must pass in a lane not adjacent to the vehicle and yield the right of way.
Drivers may cross double yellow lines to pass a pedestrian or a device moved by human power, including a bicycle, skateboard or foot scooter, if the movement can be made safely.
Also, a change in the law now allows a Virginia resident convicted in federal court of an offense "substantially similar to Virginia's DUI laws" to petition the Virginia general district court for restricted driving privileges, according to the DMV.
Previously, only residents convicted of DUI in Virginia courts or other states' courts could petition.