Induction loop detectors have become the most utilized sensors in traffic management systems. The gathered traffic data is used to improve traffic efficiency (i.e., warning users about congested areas or planning new infrastructures). Despite their usefulness, their deployment and maintenance costs are expensive. Vehicular networks are an emerging technology that can support novel strategies for ubiquitous and more cost-effective traffic data gathering. In this article, we propose and evaluate VIL (Virtual Induction Loop), a simple and lightweight traffic monitoring system based on cooperative vehicular communications. The proposed solution has been experimentally evaluated through simulation using real vehicular traces.