HB 1939 (Plum) 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 primary and secondary state highway systems. 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.
VACo supports HB 1939.
HB 1939 also seeks to achieve a long sought-after transportation safety policy goal of localities across the Commonwealth. 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. To try and remediate this, Delegate Carr introduced HB 633 in the 2022 Session with language specifically stating localities could reduce the speed limit even if the road in question is in the state highway system. Unfortunately, HB 633 did not get signed in to law. The current bill, HB 1939, would have the intended effect of the initial legislation filed years ago. This bill will improve the ability of Boards of Supervisors to respond to constituent concerns regarding transportation safety. VACo would like to thank Delegate Plum and his staff for putting this bill forward, and VACo looks forward to speaking in support of this bill.
VACo Contact: James Hutzler