Speed Traps in Virginia

Speed traps refer an area of the road that is heavily monitored by law enforcement for speed limit violations. Speed traps occur typically with the officer hidden from the immediate view of the drivers and in areas where speeding is more common. If you have been caught speeding, it is best to hire a Virginia reckless driving attorney to help you understand the impact of the charges on your license and future driving abilities.

Different Types of Speed Traps in Virginia

There are different kinds of locations of speed traps. Sometimes, the Virginia police officers wait in areas where the speed limit drops such as the bottom of a hill or the end of a long stretch of a long highway for example because these areas tend to have more prevalent speeders. Officers also can wait at places such as the exit ramp because drivers are usually driving at a high speed on the highway and then all of a sudden the speed limit changes drastically so it’s not uncommon for people to not adjust their speed right away.

When to Slow Down at a Speed Change

The speed limit officially changes at the point of the posted speed limit sign. Drivers can see the sign in advance while they’re driving which gives them enough time to adjust their speed accordingly. Sometimes, there are even other signs warning that there is going to be a reduction in speed up ahead so there’s not really an excuse for why a driver shouldn’t be going at that speed by the time they reached the sign. Drivers should be slowing down before they reach them.

Purpose of Speed Traps

The Commonwealth will likely tell you that the purpose of speed traps is for safety reasons. Sometimes, they’re set up in particular problem areas where there have been a lot of speeders or accidents caused by speeders which support safety being the reason for the traps. However, there are also speed traps set up in places where it seems like the speed limit is just too low for the area and in those kinds of situations definitely, you would see why someone would think extracting revenue was the main purpose of the speed traps.


Speed traps are legal and prominent in Virginia traffic enforcement tactics. Virginia is proud of the fact that it’s among the top 10 states with the lowest highway death rates per 100M miles traveled. Virginia, in general, is one of the harshest states on the speeders and in court speed traps are never seen as a negative. Generally, judges are just as proud of this as the police officers. They see it as a good thing when someone is pulled off the road going at the speed when they’re caught in speed traps because it’s getting an unsafe driver off of the road.

How Speed Traps Impact Your Case

Being caught in a speed trap does absolutely nothing for your case. If you were to argue that you were caught in a speed trap, then the judge would probably just ask you why you were speeding.

Everyone should know that in Virginia, speed traps are pretty commonly located all over the place, particularly in areas where there are a lot of tourists. Officers do know that out of town people are not as aware of Virginia’s laws and they can take advantage of this, unfortunately.