My office has received numerous emails and telephone calls in recent weeks concerning a rumor spreading through the motorcycling community that it is now legal in Virginia to operate your motorcycle on the shoulder of the highway when traffic is heavy or stopped. I am sending this email in order to correct this misunderstanding. It is not legal to operate your motorcycle or any other motor vehicle (emergency responders excluded) on the shoulder of the highway in Virginia.
46.2-841(B) of the Code of Virginia reads as follows:
The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle on the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. Except where driving on paved shoulders is permitted by lawfully placed signs, no such movement shall be made by driving on the shoulder of the highway or off the pavement or main traveled portion of the roadway.
There is no exception under Virginia law for motorcycles. While I can certainly understand the argument in favor of allowing this for air cooled engines, it is still prohibited behavior in Virginia.
If you are interested in discussing a change to the law as it pertains to this issue or any other issues faced by motorcyclists, I would invite you to join us for the Virginia Motorcycle Legislative Roundtable on October 17, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. The Roundtable will start at1:00 pm at the Richmond Marriott West, which is located at 4240 Dominion Boulevard, Glen Allen, VA 23060. The Legislative Roundtable is where Virginia Motorcyclists gather to discuss issues of importance to the motorcycling community, and to have input on the 2016 legislative agenda to be presented to the Virginia General Assembly by the Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists.
If you are interested in attending, we would welcome you around the table. If you are unable to attend but want to express your ideas, or if you have any questions concerning this year’s Virginia Motorcycle Legislative Roundtable, please do not hesitate to contact me.
McGrath & Danielson
The Motorcycle Law Group