DV Archive

Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Virginia’s new laws

with 3 comments

By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

It was a busy legislative session at the State Capitol, and while all the debate is over and the bills have been passed, most of the new laws don’t go into effect until July 1st.

July 1st is right around the corner so here is a very abbreviated list of some of these new laws, particularly ones that could impact your day-to-day life.

(h/t to the incredibly handy RichmondSunlight.org website for their easy to use search mechanism. Richmond Sunlight is run by the Virginia Interfaith Center)


*DUI- if a bus driver possess or consume alcoholic beverages while operating a school bus that’s transporting children, they are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

*Seat belts- Virginians age 17 and younger who ride in the back seat of a vehicle must wear a seat belt starting July 1, and violators face a $25 fine.

*Golf carts- golf carts may cross highways in certain circumstances. Golf cart owners in towns with a population of 2,000 or less may cross a highway at an intersection that is marked as a golf cart crossing with signs.  The roadway’s speed limit must be 35 miles per hour or less, and the crossing has to be the only way the golf cart may travel from one part of the town to another.


*Concussions– Requires the Board of Education to develop and distribute to local school divisions guidelines for policies dealing with concussions in student-athletes

*Excused absences for holidays- Provides that any student’s absence because of the observance of a religious holiday must be recorded as excused on the student’s attendance record and that no student may be deprived of any award or of eligibility or opportunity to compete for any award or of the right to take an alternate test or examination, for any which he missed because of such absence.


*Guns in restaurants- Allows a person with a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club and prohibits such person from consuming alcoholic beverages while on the premises.

Charitable Giving-

*Bingo- Limits the number of bingo games per session to no more than 50.


*Communication- requires the Tax Commissioner to devise a method by which a taxpayer who files a state tax return, statement or document electronically, may decline to receive bulletins, publications, or other information provided by the Department electronically.

Government Sunshine-

*Public meetings- Prohibits any public body from conducting a meeting required to be open in any building or facility where any recording devices are prohibited.

Spam emails-

*Unsolicited commercial electronic mail- Narrows the scope of the existing spam statute to cover only those emails that constitute unsolicited commercial electronic mail (spam).


*Absentee ballots- expands scope of persons defined as members of voter’s immediate family.

-Increases the deadline for each electoral board to make absentee ballots available

Death Penalty

*Jury notification- Virginia law and allows judges to notify juries of the proper instructions for a finding of a sentence of death or life imprisonment.

*Expands who can get charged- expands the death penalty by allowing the death sentence to be imposed for the murder of auxiliary law-enforcement officers, fire marshals and EMS personnel.

This is by no means the complete list, so if I missed something you think is important let me know and we will add it to the list!


Written by Ryan Nobles

June 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Posted in General Assembly 2010

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3 Responses

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  1. There was a bill to allow an individual to put a handgun in a locked glove compartment or in a locked box in the vehicle. I have not heard anymore about it. Did it become law or did it not make it out of the committee?

    bill ruby

    June 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  2. what new law that lets you drive some atvs on the roads

    roy edwards

    July 5, 2010 at 11:43 pm

  3. As you may know, Virginia is the only state that bans the use and sale of detectors. There is no evidence that the detector ban increases highway safety. Our nation’s fatality rates have fallen consistently for almost two decades. Virginia’s fatality rate has also fallen, but not any more dramatically than it has nationwide. Research has even shown that radar detector owners have a lower accident rate than motorists who do not own a detector.

    Maintaining the ban is not in the best interest of Virginians or visitors to the state. I know and know of people that will not drive in Virginia due to this ban. Unjust enforcement practices are not unheard of, and radar detectors can keep safe motorists from being exploited by abusive speed traps. Likewise, the ban has a negative impact on Virginia’s business community. Electronic distributors lose business to neighboring states and Virginia misses out on valuable sales tax revenue.

    Radar detector bans do not work. Research and experience show that radar detector bans do not result in lower accident rates, improved speed-limit compliance or reduce auto insurance expenditures.
    • The Virginia radar detector ban is difficult and expensive to enforce. The Virginia ban diverts precious law enforcement resources from more important duties.
    • Radar detectors are legal in the rest of the nation, in all 49 other states. In fact, the first state to test a radar detector ban, Connecticut, repealed the law – it ruled the law was ineffective and unfair. It is time for our Virginia to join the rest of the nation.
    • It has never been shown that radar detectors cause accidents or even encourage motorists to drive faster than they would otherwise. The Yankelovich – Clancy – Shulman Radar Detector Study conducted in 1987, showed that radar detector users drove an average of 34% further between accidents (233,933 miles versus 174,554 miles) than non radar detector users. The study also showed that they have much higher seat belt use compliance. If drivers with radar detectors have fewer accidents, it follows that they have reduced insurance costs – it is counterproductive to ban radar detectors.
    • In a similar study performed in Great Britain by MORI in 2001 the summary reports that “Users (of radar detectors) appear to travel 50% further between accidents than non-users. In this survey the users interviewed traveling on average 217,353 miles between accidents compared to 143,401 miles between accidents of those non-users randomly drawn from the general public.” The MORI study also reported “Three quarters agree, perhaps unsurprisingly, that since purchasing a radar detector they have become more conscious about keeping to the speed limit…” and “Three in five detector users claim to have become a safer driver since purchasing a detector.”
    • Modern radar detectors play a significant role in preventing accidents and laying the technology foundation for the Safety Warning System® (SWS). Radar detectors with SWS alert motorists to oncoming emergency vehicles, potential road hazards, and unusual traffic conditions. There are more than 10 million radar detectors with SWS in use nationwide. The federal government has earmarked $2.1 million for further study of the SWS over a three-year period of time. The U.S. Department of Transportation is administering grants to state and local governments to purchase the SWS system and study its effectiveness (for example, in the form of SWS transmitters for school buses and emergency vehicles). The drivers of Virginia deserve the right to the important safety benefits that SWS delivers.
    *** A small surcharge($5-$10) or tax(2%-3%) could be added to the price of the device to make-up for any possible loss of revenue from reduced number of speeding tickets and the loss of tickets written for radar detectors.***

    Please sign this petition and help repeal this ban and give drivers in Virginia the freedom to know if they are under surveillance and to use their property legally:




    August 8, 2010 at 7:33 pm

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