Speed Limit NOT Enforced by Aircraft?

If you’ve driven through Virginia, you’ve probably seen signs that say “Speed Limit Enforced by Aircraft.” But have you ever known anyone who got a ticket due to an airplane? I haven’t.

Apparently there’s a reason for that. Due to stretched budgets, speed enforcement aviation units around the country are going by the wayside. According to the Associated Press, the New York State Police haven’t written a single speeding ticket due to aircraft since 2005. New York is even removing the signs from the roadways, even though the program isn’t officially canceled and the aircraft are still available for use.

But how does Virginia fit into that? According to the same article, Virginia State Police have virtually abandoned air-enforcement as well. Here are the number of air speed-enforcement flights per year:

2011 – 1 (resulted in 20 drivers getting tickets)
2010 – 4
2009 – 0
2008 – 1

The Virginia State Police does have an Aviation Unit, which they’ve had since 1984. They operate seven helicopters and three airplanes, from three airbases across the Commonwealth. However, in their Annual Report, there is no mention of the Aviation Unit performing traffic enforcement. It’s probably lumped in with the other categories of flights they performed, but to me, that shows that traffic enforcement isn’t a primary concern.

No wonder air enforcement is dwindling. As the Associated Press article points out, air enforcement costs quite a bit of money. It involves a lot of equipment, fuel, and personnel.

This certainly doesn’t mean to disregard the speed limit in Virginia. The Troopers are out there, just not typically in the air.

Photo by AllWork

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.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on Amazon.com.

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.



Contact Andrew & Fitz