Safety Laws in Virginia

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  • Motorcycles — all motorcycle riders in Virginia must wear helmets while riding.
  • Bicycles — the state has not enacted a law with regards to the use of helmets while driving bicycles. However, the following jurisdictions enforce bicycle helmet laws based on age: City of Alexandria, Albemarle County, Amherst County, Clarke County, Arlington County, City of Falls Church, City of Hampton, Floyd County, James City County, City of Manassas, Town of Luray, City of Manassas Park, Orange County, City of Norfolk, City of Petersburg, Stafford County, Prince William County, Town of Vienna, York County and Town of Wise.



The state requires you to turn on your vehicle’s headlights between sunset and sunrise. You are also required to turn on headlights whenever you turn on windshield wipers. Headlights must also be turned on when the weather can’t allow you to see past 500 feet ahead.


The Virginia State law requires you to turn on a modulating headlight during the day.


You must turn on your bicycle’s white headlights when riding (at night) between sunset and sunrise. These headlights must be visible from 500 feet away. Your bicycle must be equipped with a rear side red reflector light. This reflector must be visible from 600 feet away.

Cell Phones

All drivers younger than 18 years old are not allowed to use cell phones and other digital communication devices while driving. All drivers in Virginia, regardless of age, are not allowed to text while driving. If you are caught violating this law, you will face a fine of up to $125 for the first offense. For subsequent offences, you will face a fine of up to $250.

Child Car Seat Laws

All children younger than 18 years old must ride in a federally approved safety seat. It is your responsibility, as a driver, to ensure that passengers younger than 18 years old are wearing safety belts.

Reporting Drunk or Dangerous Drivers

If you suspect drunk or dangerous drivers, report them to the Virginia State Police. You can do so by dialing #77. Be sure to record the vehicle’s license number, the current location and where it is heading to.

Unattended Kids in Cars

If you suspect an unattended kid in a vehicle, inform the law enforcement authorities immediately. If the kid is in danger, dial 911 immediately.

Unattended Pets in Cars

If you suspect an unattended pet in a vehicle, contact the animal control unit or the local police department.