What is reckless driving?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2019 | Criminal Law |

Reckless driving can mean a lot of different things in Virginia. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, driving at a speed or in a way that endangers others may result in a charge for reckless driving. You do not have to exceed the speed limit to get this charge, even though a lot of the time speed is a factor. The main point is that you are driving in a way that could lead to an accident.

Reckless driving laws are about not thinking about safety and not caring about those around you. It is taking responsibility as a driver too lightly. Because this is a traffic violation, the penalties will include a license suspension.

Type of reckless driving

Reckless driving can be a felony or misdemeanor charge. Once you exceed 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, you may face this charge. Dangerously passing also qualifies under this category. Passing two vehicles, on a hill, at a railroad crossing, an emergency vehicle or a school bus all are illegal maneuvers that may get you charges for reckless driving.

You may face this charge for driving under certain conditions as well. Going too fast for the weather and the current state of the road qualifies. Having an obstructed view, such as having something covering your rear window so you cannot see behind you properly, or having bad brakes are both issues that could lead to this charge.

One thing that might surprise you is that not all of the traffic violations that fall in this category seem dangerous on the surface. Not using your turn signal, for example, may seem like a small infraction, but it is reckless in the eyes of the law.

Of course, you may intentionally do something that leads to a reckless driving citation. This includes racing or driving beside someone else on the roadway in the wrong lane.

There is also an allowance for an officer to decide if your actions are dangerous. So, just because you do not do something on this list, it does not mean you will not face a reckless driving charge. Careful driving and following traffic laws may help lower the odds of receiving such a citation.


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