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Measure expanding localities’ speed-limiting authority takes effect July 1

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Measure expanding localities’ speed-limiting authority takes effect July 1

May 20, 2024 | 2:35 pm ET
By Nathaniel Cline
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Measure expanding localities’ speed-limiting authority takes effect July 1
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A speed limit sign in Richmond. (Wyatt Gordon/ For the Virginia Mercury)

Gov. Glenn Youngkin took his final actions on bills from Virginia’s 2024 legislative session on Friday, signing seven more measures into law. One of those was legislation that will expand all localities’ speed-reducing authority to include roadways within a business or residential district and state-owned highways.

Lawmakers passed a measure a few years ago allowing localities to decrease roadway speed limits in their jurisdictions to as low as 15 mph. However, lawmakers found that the Virginia Department of Transportation denied seven of eight speed limit decrease requests because, by state law, only the Commissioner of Highways could authorize changes on state-maintained roads. The newly-signed bill requires counties, cities and towns to post signs reflecting reduced speed limits and to report the change to the Commissioner of Highways.

“While additional work will need to be done on this policy in the future to continue to improve its implementation while continuing to guarantee road safety, the bill can move forward at this time,” Youngkin wrote in a press release announcing the bills he signed and 48 others he vetoed.

Del. Betsy Carr, D-Richmond, sponsored the legislation, which is set to take effect July 1.