What is reckless driving in Virginia?
Any act of a driver that can cause potential harm to any living thing or any property is deemed as reckless driving in Virginia. A reckless driving ticket is not easy as a speeding ticket as it is categorized as a criminal offense in Virginia. The person who is given a reckless driving ticket has to face harsh penalties and court trails. The penalties include hefty fines, court fees, attorney fees and even potential jail time. In Virginia, a person can be charged with reckless driving due to 14 careless acts.
According to Virginia code, section 46.2-852:
“Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.”
While the other common acts of which the drivers are convicted:
- Causing damage to any living thing or property due to careless driving
- driving in the Parking Lots (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-864)
- Passing a stopped school bus (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.1-859)
- Driving a faulty vehicle (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-853)
- Driving Next to a vehicle in same Lane (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-857)
- Crossing a dangerous curve (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-854)
- Crossing a Railroad Crossing (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-858)
- Driving an overloaded vehicle (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-855)
- Not Yielding correct Way (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-868)
- Not giving proper Signal on highway (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-860)
- Passing two Vehicles in a single lane (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-856)
- Over speeding (mentioned in Virginia Code 46.2 – 862)
- Speeding on the Highway or ignoring the current traffic conditions irrespective of the current speed limit (mentioned in Virginia Code, section 46.2-861)
Penalties for reckless driving in Virginia
The common penalties for reckless driving in Virginia are very harsh as the majority of life-threatening accidents and accidental deaths are due to over speeding and careless attitude of the driver. Reckless driving is treated as a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia and the convicted driver may face the following penalties as per the sensitivity of his crime:
- Hefty fines which can lead up to $2500 with an additional court fee.
- Imprisonment for a maximum period of 12 months
- Suspension of the driving license: The court can even suspend the license of the driver for at least 2 to 6 months.
- Demerit driving points: The department of the motor vehicle can allow up to 6 demerit points in the driving transcript of the licensee.
A long-term disadvantage of a reckless driving ticket in Virginia:
- Dependency on public mode of transport if the driving license of the are suspended
- Hiked insurance premiums
- The car insurance premiums increase due to the demerit points in the driving records of the licensee
- Long-term record of criminal offense
- Long-term record of reckless driving ticket
- Record of reckless driving in the driving transcript for a period of 2 years
- Loss of job
- The individual can even lose his job due to imprisonment
Driver’s personal and professional life is disturbed