Reckless driving is deemed as a serious traffic violation in Virginia. The law enforcement authorities and legislators have constituted strict laws and penalties to minimize the bad road behaviors of drivers and ensure the safety of the citizens of Virginia.
What driving acts are included in reckless driving?
Reckless driving is divided into 14 different elements in the law of Virginia and each element has slightly different penalties.
- Reckless driving generally (mentioned in Virginia Code 46.2 – 852)
- Reckless driving by speeding (mentioned in Virginia Code 46.2 – 862)
- Reckless driving in the parking lots (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-864)
- Recklessly passing a stopped school bus (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.1-859)
- Recklessly driving a faulty vehicle (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-853)
- Recklessly driving next to a vehicle in same lane (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-857)
- Recklessly crossing a dangerous curve (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-854)
- Recklessly crossing a railroad crossing (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-858)
- Speeding on the highway or ignoring the current traffic conditions irrespective of the current speed limit (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-861)
- Recklessly driving an overloaded vehicle (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-855)
- Recklessly driving and not yielding the right way (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-868)
- Recklessly driving and not giving proper signal on the highway (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-860)
- Recklessly passing two vehicles in a single lane (mentioned in Virginia Code section 46.2-856)
The maximum penalties for reckless driving in Virginia
In Virginia reckless driving is considered as a class 1 misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanor carries strict and harsh punishments in Virginia. However, in extreme cases, a reckless driving ticket can even lead to felony charges.
The common penalties in Virginia for reckless driving are:
- Under the Class 1 misdemeanor charges the penalties for reckless driving are:
- Hefty fines: The reckless driving ticket can lead to heavy fines of a maximum amount of $2500 excluding the court fees.
- Imprisonment: Reckless driving ticket can even lead to imprisonment of a maximum period of 12 months.
- Suspension of driving license: The maximum period of suspension of a driving license is 6 months.
- Negative demerit points: One can even be penalized for 3 to 6 demerit points for reckless driving. These points are managed by the state department of motor vehicle in Virginia.
- Felony charges for reckless driving are based under the following circumstances:
- Felony charges are applied if a driver’s reckless driving act has resulted in the death of some innocent individual or caused them severe injuries.
- If you are driving with an already suspended license.
Felony charged is much harsh then Class 1 misdemeanor:
- Imprisonment for a maximum period of 5 years
- Fine up to $2500 along with the court’s fee.
- Suspension of the driving license for 1 year
The long-term impact on the life of the offender:
- Driver’s personal and professional life is disturbed due to the suspension of driving license and dependency on the public mode of transportation.
- Increased insurance premiums
- Dependency on public mode of transport if the driving license is suspended
- Record of reckless driving in the driving transcript for a period of 2 years
- Loss of job in case of imprisonment or suspension of license