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Well Done, Virginia!

You won’t often see me write these words, even though I’m a [new] Virginian. We don’t have the most progressive state legislature or DOT or transportation commission in the country (and that massive understatement confirms my English upbringing), but for once the state is making me proud.
You may have read this week that penalties for serious traffic violations have gone up significantly – particularly in the form of administrative fees and penalties attached to various driving offences such as speeding and drinking and driving. So now a speeding ticket in Virginia might cost you $3,000 if you were way above the speed limit and driving erratically or too close etc.

Personally, I love it. For the first time in the 15 years I’ve lived in Virginia people are actually talking about having to behave behind the wheel of their car! I think that’s good news for cyclists in the state.

The only down side I can see is that the fees were levied to raise funds for a transportation funding package that will “improve” roads all over the state. Based on VDOT’s track record, and that of most local agencies in the state, that isn’t going to be so good for bicyclists. But, we can do something about…we can “stick it to the man” by not speeding or running red lights or driving too close or driving under the influence.

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