School Zone Speed Limits on Holidays

In Virginia the law says that a school zone is only effective for 30 minutes before and after school hours. What effect does this have when it’s a holiday that the lights are still flashing?

The statute clearly says that school zone speed limits are only effective 30 minutes before and after regular school hours. However, in Virginia many times you’ll see the school zone light flashing when school is not in session. This can happen when the school forgets to properly program the light for the holiday. It can also happen for an unexpected event, such as a bad weather day.

I argue that the deputy or the trooper has to prove that school was in session to maintain a charge for speeding in a school zone. And more than that he needs to prove, in my opinion, the actual hours of when school started and stopped that day because that’s part of the proof that the lights were on at the right time.

Unfortunately, not every judge rules that way. Some judges will accept the proof for speeding in a school zone if the officer simply testifies the lights were on. Then it would be up to the defense to put on evidence that school was not on that day, or that school started or stopped at a different time that day.

If you’re in a school zone where school is not session or the school hours are different for that day for some reason, you have a strong defense. It may be up to you and your attorney to prove to prove that the lights should not have been on, but this argument should help in court.

Photo by: Dave Dugdale

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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