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Cruising at Virginia Beach Oceanfront can lead to Arrest

By David Cardon on March 28, 2017


Most people who have driven on Virginia Beach's Atlantic Avenue have observed the anti-cruising signs posted along Atlantic Avenue.  These signs tell you it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle or moped past a traffic-control point two (2) times in the same direction within any three-hour period.  In the 1990s, Virginia Beach officials passed the anti-cruising ordinance to stop the traffic congestion along Atlantic Avenue.  They determined the gridlock was interfering with police, fire, and rescue vehicles ability to respond to calls for assistance.

The ordinance defines a restricted area extending along Atlantic Avenue from the Rudee Inlet Loop to and including 31st Street.  The enforcement period lasts from April 15 through September 30 and is enforced between the hours of 2:00PM and 4:00AM.  Police officers enforce the law by recording vehicle license plates on a laptop computer at designated points along Atlantic Avenue.

The penalty for violating the ordinance is a $20 fine plus $30 court costs.  Also, there is no limit to the number of times you can be cited for cruising.  Each successive trip past a traffic-control point after a violation has occurred shall constitute a separate violation.  The good news is the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles does not assign demerit points for violation of this ordinance. 

 

Although the penalty for violating the ordinance is relatively low, cruising can still lead to an arrest.  If you cruise, a police officer now has a legitimate reason to pull you over and investigate you and your passengers. 

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to "get around" this law.  Although it is unlikely the Virginia Beach Police are enforcing this law 100% of the time, you can probably count on strict enforcement on weekend evenings and holidays. 

If you enjoy cruising Atlantic Avenue, I suggest the following alternative activities:

 

  • Ride the TRT Trolley.  TRT operates a Trolley service during the summer that runs along Atlantic Avenue. The fare is inexpensive, and you can cruise Atlantic Avenue as much as you like! (Plus, you do not have to pay for gas!)

 

  • Have a friend drive when cruising.  You are not violating the ordinance if you are a passenger in a car that is cruising.

 

  • Work at the beach.  The anti-cruising ordinance is not applicable if you are driving for business purposes.

 

  • Go somewhere else. Try cruising in a different city like Norfolk or Chesapeake!

 

 When you drive on Atlantic Avenue, make sure not to violate other laws. Some of the more common violations people are cited for while driving on Atlantic Avenue include:

 

  • unreasonable, loud, disturbing noise

  • driving the wrong way on a one-way street

  • blocking intersections or marked crosswalks

  • illegal u-turns

  • improper/expired tags

  • possession of open alcohol container in public

  • curfew violations (any minor under 18 can not be present in a public place between 11:00PM and 5:00AM without a parent or guardian).

 

The Virginia Beach Police Department devotes approximately 90 officers to patrol the oceanfront each day during the summer.  The police patrol the oceanfront on foot, on horses, in cars, on motorcycles, on mountain bikes, and on all-terrain and wave-riding vehicles.  This Labor Day weekend, if you plan to spend time at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, be sure you comply with all city and state laws.  Otherwise, you might end up spending time at Virginia Beach's other popular tourist attraction, the Virginia Beach Jail!

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