Virginia I 77, 66(6) miles of revenue hell

Yippeekyaa

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As a local and very frequent traveller of this road thought a helpful and informative guide was in order. This guide is written from the northbound direction, just read it from the bottom up if traveling southbound.


Approaching the NC/VA border is the welcome center/rest area. The entrance Is actually located in NC. The speed limit drops from 70 to 65 at a point just past the offramp. Ignore the “speed limit enforced by aircraft” Aircraft enforcement was abandoned years ago due to costs and the signs remain in place as it would cost too much to remove them and later put back in place if they restarted aircraft patrols. From this point you are at the bottom of a 7 and 1/2 mile long hill.

The next 7 miles Is a variable speed limit zone. Normally 65mph in favorable conditions. Large led signs display the speed limit and change when the conditions get bad, which often does. If those signs display anything other than 65 use extreme caution! This long uphill climb offers dramatic views in good weather but the conditions can rapidly change, especially if low clouds pass by. Have personally seen it go from light rain to total whiteout in less than a quarter mile. In winter the temperature can decrease dramatically as you climb this hill which often causes issues with icing as low hanging clouds pass through. Keep in mind that this 8 mile section is often listed as one of the most dangerous sections of highway in Virginia.

Exit 8. Congrats on making it to the top, now the real fun begins. This is the normal starting point for very heavy enforcement. Both the Virginia highway patrol and the county Sheriff’s department cover this area. Look for them sitting at crossovers in the medians. The median is a mix of trees at some points to tall grassy mounds others. Some of the crossovers are very well hidden. The next 24 miles is roller coaster terrain until exit 32 when I81 and i77 merge as one. The left lane is frequently slowed by tractor trailers passing another slower one which can leave you stuck behind one at speeds as low as 40 on the uphill side. Just be patient.

The next 3 exits,14, 19 and 24 is the hot zones for enforcement. Often you will see two patrol cars at the crossovers, one working each side. There are crossovers just before and just after each exit. At nightime if you see cars stopped on shoulder alerts via waze, it is often a leo. If by chance you are not blocked in the left lane by slower traffic, any speed over 75 is just asking for trouble. Pick out a good rabbit and keep a good distance behind them if you can, but even that is no guarantee. Have seen them pull over multiple cars at the same time.

just after exit 24 is a long straight uphill climb across the New River Bridge. No it is not the one they bungee jump from, that one is further north and on a different road. At the top of the hill the median is a giant earthen mound over 50 feet high. Hidden at the end is a two lane crossover. They sit here and shoot instant on with sniper like precision. This is the highway patrols favorite spot. Seeing as many as 4 patrol cars lined up there waiting for their next mobile atm withdraw is not unusual. Notice the black tire tracks in the road just after this point. That is from cars and trucks getting jammed up when they try to get in the left lane when the leo has a victim on the side.


Exit 32 is the merge onto I81 S, for the next 9 miles the exit numbers change to I81 numbers. Also the speed limit goes up to 70 at the merge YAY! This 9 mile section is four lanes, multiple exits and lots of truck stops. The cheap gas is often not worth the trouble to get at any of them. The exits are clogged with tractor trailers pulling in or out and stopping here in a car is always an extended delay if you are in a hurry. Enforcement on this 9 mile section is light to none. At exit 72, I77 leaves 81 and turns back north.

The speed limit remains at 70. Between exits 42 and 47 is yet another hot spot for enforcement. At mile marker 48, just before the big walker mountain tunnel the speed drops to 55. It is highly recommended you maintain this speed through the tunnel AND turn on you headlights. The VAHP just love to sit at the exit of the tunnel and nab speeders when they exit. There are signs to check your headlights when you exit, just leave then on for the next tunnel a few miles ahead.

At mile marker 51 is a weigh station, enforcement from here to the WV line is very light. At MM 55 a steep downhill grade begins and the speed limit is reduced here. a few sharp curves here, use extra caution. A rest area at MM 59. At MM 66 the speed limit drops to 55 for the east river mountian tunnel. The WVHP use the same tactic of sitting at the end of the tunnel to collect revenue so again, do not exceed the speed limit. The VA/WV state line is in the middle of that tunnel.
 

Z06fan

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Thanks for posting and good analysis on that area. During my last few trips through that section, I haven't noticed as much VSP activity (they almost nailed me coming out of the tunnel a few years ago), but the deputy's of Buford T. Justice are always in those crossovers. I can't imagine how many tickets they write each day.
 

GotWake

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I’ve nicknamed this section of I77 as “The Gauntlet”. It’s been a while since I’ve been through there to WV. I can’t get the family to go skiing/riding. But, it’s about the only place I’ve seen the local sheriffs as aggressive as VSP. They are crazy through there. I usually find a rabbit and/or chill through that section.
 

VariableWave

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Come to Emporia I95 and come East on 58... think a little extra attention will be needed.... Call me up, like Viper in TG, I got you... hahaha... I'll be your wingman... and get ya.

Ya, VaSP and other locals, like to rip ya... I recall an overpass hit back about 2012 on 58 closer to Boydton's, that I had early warning, but questioned.. V1 may have helped. but was also a rental, not CMs but detector.
 

Yippeekyaa

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Thanks for posting and good analysis on that area. During my last few trips through that section, I haven't noticed as much VSP activity (they almost nailed me coming out of the tunnel a few years ago), but the deputy's of Buford T. Justice are always in those crossovers. I can't imagine how many tickets they write each day.
Carrol county Virginia basically funds their sheriff department with ticket revenue on 77. The department recently got a new leader in January when his predecessor retired. The new sheriff was a former patrol officer in the department that obtained master status at writing tickets. He has maintained the same level of enforcement as his boss did.
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I’ve nicknamed this section of I77 as “The Gauntlet”. It’s been a while since I’ve been through there to WV. I can’t get the family to go skiing/riding. But, it’s about the only place I’ve seen the local sheriffs as aggressive as VSP. They are crazy through there. I usually find a rabbit and/or chill through that section.
66.27 miles, the length of 77 through Virginia. I round it up to 66.6 and call it the highway through hell. Gauntlet is a great term. At the southern end of the new river bridge is shot tower state park, i call that section radar shot road as they are nearly always there. Sitting back and chillIng is the best way to drive this highway. Between the mountains, curves, tunnels, slow going tractor trailers and johnny law It is difficult to drive fast safely. Doing so just leads to road rage and or loss of funds. My tactic is no more than +5 psl. Keep right as much as possible, and keep a close watch on the weather and waze reports. If there is an accident between exits 1 and 32, Avoid and take the long way around.
 
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Dave G

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20190405_112934_HDR.jpg

I feel your pain. I have dealt with this for 36 years. Traveling to WV. Hate the fact I even have to travel through the not so great state of VIRGINIA. And yes, I run my RD as pictured in VA.
20190607_101414_HDR.jpg


Stay Safe and Ticket Free
 

GotWake

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Carrol county Virginia basically funds their sheriff department with ticket revenue on 77. The department recently got a new leader in January when his predecessor retired. The new sheriff was a former patrol officer in the department that obtained master status at writing tickets. He has maintained the same level of enforcement as his boss did.
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66.27 miles, the length of 77 through Virginia. I round it up to 66.6 and call it the highway through hell. Gauntlet is a great term. At the southern end of the new river bridge is shot tower state park, i call that section radar shot road as they are nearly always there. Sitting back and chillIng is the best way to drive this highway. Between the mountains, curves, tunnels, slow going tractor trailers and johnny law It is difficult to drive fast safely. Doing so just leads to road rage and or loss of funds. My tactic is no more than +5 psl. Keep right as much as possible, and keep a close watch on the weather and waze reports. If there is an accident between exits 1 and 32, Avoid and take the long way around.

There are just so many cut throughs and areas they can hide. But, you are right about the traffic.
 

Yippeekyaa

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Good report. You can also say the same thing for US 29 Danville VA north.
Just returned from a trip to Martinsville with 20 miles of driving on 58. The Henry county sheriffs are sneaky sobs. In a 45mph section one was backed into this hiding spot. Westbound and you couldn't see him until it was too late. He had a lock on eastbound coming out of a curve. Mark on waze saved me. Was still there an hour later on the return trip and the previous waze mark was gone. Added a new mark and sneaked back home.
 

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jestric

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... Mark on waze saved me. Was still there an hour later on the return trip and the previous waze mark was gone. Added a new mark and sneaked back home.

I wonder how many Waze marks disappear on their own and how many are "mistakenly" marked as "Not There"? :hmm:
 

surprisinguy

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The next 7 miles Is a variable speed limit zone.
Traveled this quite a few times - I must say it is one of the better maintained roads in VA
 

Samn

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that detector in the front window will get you a 3point moving violation.
Ive had 2 in 20 years. one w my valentine after 5-6 years new vg-somthing caught me. In the 90's got caught w my small passport.
 

jestric

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that detector in the front window will get you a 3point moving violation.
Ive had 2 in 20 years. one w my valentine after 5-6 years new vg-somthing caught me. In the 90's got caught w my small passport.

I received a ticket from a Virginia State Trooper for having a RD many years ago as I was traveling through the State. He caught me on an on-ramp to I-95 after I had just made a stop for gas. After he wrote the ticket he noticed that I had my military uniform in the back and said that if he known he would have only given me a warning. You can bet that I provided my ID along with my drivers license whenever I was stopped from that point forward. Yes, it has paid off - not always, but enough to definitely make it worth showing it.
 

GotWake

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that detector in the front window will get you a 3point moving violation.
Ive had 2 in 20 years. one w my valentine after 5-6 years new vg-somthing caught me. In the 90's got caught w my small passport.

That's flat wrong. It's a $100 ticket that carries no points.
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I always cut through and get on 58 at Ayer's Orchard when I go to SML. I rarely see anything through there unless it's rolling radar to 220. I think it's probably the worst road for Waze reports. I will sometimes see them, but they rarely.
 
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v1fan

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I second that. At least today a radar detector or parking sensor is an equipment violation in VA. At one time they confisicated the detector so things are always subject to change...

That said, with all these locals being a bit short on tax revenues, I'd wager enforcement is on an upward ramp into Q4. Detection investments may be of increased value if you know what I mean....
 

GotWake

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I second that. At least today a radar detector or parking sensor is an equipment violation in VA. At one time they confisicated the detector so things are always subject to change...

That said, with all these locals being a bit short on tax revenues, I'd wager enforcement is on an upward ramp into Q4. Detection investments may be of increased value if you know what I mean....

It’s been a while. But, I’ve had several RD tickets in Va. The only time I’ve heard about anyone getting their RD taken was one of our members who lied about having one. But, it was given back after the court case was resolved. I wouldn’t try to hide or lie about it they know you have one. That’s just going to piss them off.


§ 46.2-1079. Radar detectors; demerit points not to be awarded.
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth when such vehicle is equipped with any device or mechanism, passive or active, to detect or purposefully interfere with or diminish the measurement capabilities of any radar, laser, or other device or mechanism employed by law-enforcement personnel to measure the speed of motor vehicles on the highways of the Commonwealth for law-enforcement purposes. It shall be unlawful to use any such device or mechanism on any such motor vehicle on the highways. It shall be unlawful to sell any such device or mechanism in the Commonwealth. However, provisions of this section shall not apply to any receiver of radio waves utilized for lawful purposes to receive any signal from a frequency lawfully licensed by any state or federal agency.

This section shall not be construed to authorize the forfeiture to the Commonwealth of any such device or mechanism. Any such device or mechanism may be taken by the arresting officer if needed as evidence, and, when no longer needed, shall be returned to the person charged with a violation of this section, or at that person's request, and his expense, mailed to an address specified by him. Any unclaimed devices may be destroyed on court order after six months have elapsed from the final date for filing an appeal.
 

Samn

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That’s good to know. I always see a trooper sitting on the other side of the JRB rt17. Rarely is his radar on, I think he’s using a detector detector here in Va
 

GotWake

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That’s good to know. I always see a trooper sitting on the other side of the JRB rt17. Rarely is his radar on, I think he’s using a detector detector here in Va

i wonder how many RDDs they have now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in southern Va. Most the my RDs have been immune and mounted high. My R7 scares me a little.
 

Yippeekyaa

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Update to this thread. Traveled this section of highway 40 times since September and have made note of enforcement levels each trip. Zero enforcement was observed during darkness. Drove it 8 times in the last week with 4 of those trips being in night. 10pm, 2am, 5am and 8pm. Zero visual, waze or radar alerts. During daylight it was a madhouse of alerts with the odd exception of Sunday’s. Every Sunday had zero enforcement.
 

Z06fan

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Update to this thread. Traveled this section of highway 40 times since September and have made note of enforcement levels each trip. Zero enforcement was observed during darkness. Drove it 8 times in the last week with 4 of those trips being in night. 10pm, 2am, 5am and 8pm. Zero visual, waze or radar alerts. During daylight it was a madhouse of alerts with the odd exception of Sunday’s. Every Sunday had zero enforcement.
I was thinking about that the last time that I drove through there at night. I've only seen an LEO maybe once after dark and he was pulling out to chase someone down heading North bound. I haven't driven it as much as you so will be curious to see what you notice. Never a shortage of LEO's camped out on that section during the day time.
 

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