TYPES OF VIRGINIA RECKLESS DRIVING IN VIRGINIA:

The most common form of reckless driving is speeding 20+ over the speed limit but as you review that following the Virginia Legislature has decided to make many different types of driving behavior as “Reckless Driving”

(1) Speeding 20+ over the posted speed limit;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit - A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit where the applicable speed limit is thirty miles per hour or less, (ii) at a speed of sixty miles per hour or more where the applicable maximum speed limit is thirty-five miles per hour, (iii) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limits where the applicable maximum speed limit is forty miles per hour or more, or (iv) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit).

(2) Driving over 80 mph.

Virginia Code Section 46.2-862 Exceeding speed limit - A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit where the applicable speed limit is thirty miles per hour or less, (ii) at a speed of sixty miles per hour or more where the applicable maximum speed limit is thirty-five miles per hour, (iii) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limits where the applicable maximum speed limit is forty miles per hour or more, or (iv) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit).

(3) Failing to give proper signal;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-860. Failing to give proper signals – A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who fails to give adequate and timely signals of intention to turn, partly turn, slow down, or stop, as required by Article 6 (Virginia Code Section 46.2-848 et seq.) of this chapter.

(4) Improper brakes, or while vehicle not under proper control;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-853. Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes - A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle which is not under proper control or which has inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes on any highway in the Commonwealth.

(5) Driving to fast for traffic conditions;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-861. Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions - A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who exceeds a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions existing at the time, regardless of any posted speed limit.

(6) Failure to yield right-of-way when merging onto highway;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-863. Failure to yield right-of-way - A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who fails to bring his vehicle to a stop immediately before entering a highway from a side road when there is traffic approaching on such highway within 500 feet of such point of entrance, unless (i) a “Yield Right-of-Way” sign is posted or (ii) where such sign is posted, fails, upon entering such highway, to yield the right-of-way to the driver of a vehicle approaching on such highway from either direction.

(7) Driving in a manner generally endangering others;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule - 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;

(8) Passing a stopped, properly equipped school bus;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus;

(9) Overtaking/passing an emergency vehicle;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-829. Approach of law-enforcement or fire-fighting vehicles, rescue vehicles, or ambulances; violation as failure to yield right-of-way - Upon the approach of any emergency vehicle as defined in Virginia Code Section 46.2-920 giving audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or air horn designed to give automatically intermittent signals, and displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating emergency light or lights as provided in Virginia Code Section 46.2-1022 through 46.2-1024, the driver of every other vehicle shall, as quickly as traffic and other highway conditions permit, drive to the nearest edge of the roadway, clear of any intersection of highways, and stop and remain there, unless otherwise directed by a law-enforcement officer, until the emergency vehicle has passed. This provision shall not relieve the driver of any such vehicle to which the right-of-way is to be yielded of the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway, nor shall it protect the driver of any such vehicle from the consequences of an arbitrary exercise of such right-of-way. Violation of this section shall constitute failure to yield the right-of-way; however, any violation of this section that involves overtaking or passing a moving emergency vehicle giving an audible signal and displaying activated warning lights as provided for in this section shall constitute reckless driving, punishable as provided in Virginia Code Section 46.2-868.

(10) Racing;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-865. Racing; penalty - Any person who engages in a race between two or more motor vehicles on the highways in the Commonwealth or on any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business property open to the public in the Commonwealth shall be guilty of reckless driving, unless authorized by the owner of the property or his agent. When any person is convicted of reckless driving under this section, in addition to any other penalties provided by law the driver’s license of such person shall be suspended by the court for a period of not less than six months nor more than two years. In case of conviction the court shall order the surrender of the license to the court where it shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Virginia Code Section 46.2-398.

(11) Passing a vehicle at a crest or a grade;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-854. Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve – A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who, while driving a vehicle, overtakes and passes another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, on or approaching the crest of a grade or on or approaching a curve in the highway, where the driver’s view along the highway is obstructed, except where the overtaking vehicle is being operated on a highway having two or more designated lanes of roadway for each direction of travel or on a designated one-way roadway or highway.

(12) Overloaded vehicle such as to obstruct/interfere with driver’s control;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-855. Driving with driver’s view obstructed or control impaired - A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle when it is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons, as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.

(13) Passing another vehicle at a railroad grade crossing;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-858. Passing at a railroad grade crossing – A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who overtakes or passes any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction at any railroad grade crossing or at any intersection of highways unless such vehicles are being operated on a highway having two or more designated lanes of roadway for each direction of travel or unless such intersection is designated and marked as a passing zone or on a designated one-way street or highway, or while pedestrians are passing or about to pass in front of either of such vehicles, unless permitted so to do by a traffic light or law-enforcement officer.

(14) Reckless Driving in “parking areas”.

Virginia Code Section 46.2-864. Reckless driving on parking lots, etc. – A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who operates any motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person: 1. On any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business property open to the public; or 2. On the premises of any industrial establishment providing parking space for customers, patrons, or employees; or 3. On any highway under construction or not yet open to the public.

(15) Passing two vehicles abreast;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-856. Passing two vehicles abreast – A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who passes or attempts to pass two other vehicles abreast, moving in the same direction, except on highways having separate roadways of three or more lanes for each direction of travel, or on designated one-way streets or highways. This section shall not apply, however, to a motor vehicle passing two other vehicles when one or both of such other vehicles is a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped; nor shall this section apply to a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped passing two other vehicles.

(16) Driving two abreast in a single lane;

Virginia Code Section 46.2-857. Driving two abreast in a single lane – A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, so as to be abreast of another vehicle in a lane designed for one vehicle, or drives any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, so as to travel abreast of any other vehicle traveling in a lane designed for one vehicle. However, this section shall not apply to any validly authorized parade, motorcade, or motorcycle escort, nor shall it apply to a motor vehicle traveling in the same lane of traffic as a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped.

The lawyers of The Gordon Law Firm have represented more than 500 people charged with Reckless Driving and other traffic related misdemeanors in Northern Virginia. If you have any questions about Reckless Driving, call our law firm for a free initial consultation at 866.591.6682 or 703.218.8416 or e-mail us.