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Commonwealth's Counties

VACo Supports Expanded Local Speed Limit Authority

HB 1071 (Carr) and HB 793 (Henson, Jr.) seek to achieve a long sought-after transportation safety policy goal of localities across the Commonwealth. These bills would allow the governing body of any locality to reduce to less than 25 miles per hour, but not less than 15 miles per hour, the speed limit of highways that are part of the state highway system.  The bill further states that these roads must be in a business district or residence district within the locality’s boundaries and the reduced speed limit must be designated with lawfully placed signs.

In the 2021 Session, legislation was passed allowing localities to lower their speed limits in these types of districts.  The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) interpreted the bill to mean that the authority to reduce the speed limit under these provisions applied only to roads not under the Commissioner of Highway’s jurisdiction. In this case, roads owned and maintained by cities, towns, and the counties of Henrico and Arlington. HB 1071 and HB 793, if successful, would allow localities the ability to reduce speed limits in certain areas even if the road in question is in the state highway system.

This bill would improve the ability of Boards of Supervisors to respond to constituent concerns regarding transportation safety.  VACo would like to thank Delegate Carr and Delegate Henson Jr., as well as their respective staffs, for putting these bulls forward.  VACo will be happy to speak in support of these bills.

VACo Contact: James Hutzler

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