What I write below is not intended for those who already know Virginia is a mess, it is intended for those who may not yet be aware of how things are. Virginia is a police state. I grew up there and left in reaction to events which were unacceptable. The police there are all too often a bunch of redneck bullies with a badge. I know there are good cops there, but they are the exception. I'm not going to debate this - I know what I am talking about. I've spent the entire night in rest areas all over the country, dozens of times, on SEVEN cross-country trips, and except for Virginia and Tennessee, I have not been hassled once by a cop. Whether you're hassled or not depends most on the quality of people in the area where you are. You see, the police are a subset of the people in the area, and they are only different because they have a badge and the authority that goes with it. Things in the western US are generally much better in this regard : there is a "live and let live" attitude out west that is rare in the eastern US and VERY rare in the southern US. Like I said, some cops are redneck assh*les with a badge, and there are a lot of this type of cop in the southern US. Plan your travels accordingly, is my advice, and if you believe some southern ignoramus who claims everything is fine in the southern US, you have only yourself to blame for what you get. By the way I am caucasian ( so the typical southern racism would not play a part ) , I have short hair and no facial hair and I look like I could be a government employee. I have never been disrespectful to a policeman. So I am a long way from the "profile" of a person the police might typically want to hassle. So when the cops hassle me anyway, it is clear the problem is the cop, not me. NOTE : the police should not hassle anyone who is not "misbehaving", but the real world does involve people who have done nothing wrong being hassled and anyone with some life experience is aware of this. What motivated me to leave Virginia for good was the following event : I was living in Virginia, and my girlfriend had an emergency need to get to the airport so she could fly to be with her sister who was critically ill. I was in the process of driving the girlfriend to the airport in her 4-cylinder Volvo wagon, and I accidentally let the clutch out poorly and the tires on the drive wheels "chirped" as a result of my poor driving technique. A county cop walked up to the car as I was parking it, and charged me with reckless driving. Now, I had not done anything close to reckless driving, nor had I hit any pedestrian or hit another car. Yet this cop charged me as I stated. The day of court came and the judge sentenced me to TEN days in jail. I have not left anything out of this story, so if you're thinking I did something to deserve ten days in jail you are incorrect. But I did serve ten days in jail. When I was released the girl friend and I began planning to move out of the state and we did so. I can say that life in the state we moved to was far more pleasant and the police in that state were 100% reasonable and I never had a single problem with cops while living for ten years in the state to which we moved. Virginia has a state slogan "Virginia is for Lovers". The truth is quite different from the slogan.