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Breaking Down 5 Variations Of Reckless Driving In Virginia


Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852 establishes Virginia’s overarching prohibition against reckless driving. Whenever a driver operates their vehicle in a way that threatens people or property, it likely qualifies as reckless driving under Virginia law.

That being said, there are many other variations of reckless driving in Virginia. Furthermore, a conviction for any type of reckless driving charge can result in Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 6 felony charges, including the real possibility of jail or prison time, criminal fines, and driver’s license suspension or revocation.

To understand the breadth of Virginia laws against reckless driving, the following sections will break down five variations of this offense.

  1. Passing on Grade or Curve

It is reckless driving under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-854 to:

  • Pass or overtake another vehicle traveling in the same direction;
  • On or approaching a curve or the crest of a grade; and
  • When the driver’s view is obstructed.

Section 46.2-854 does feature several exceptions. It is lawful to pass or overtake other vehicles on:

  • Highways with at least two lanes of travel for each direction; and
  • Designated one-way roads or highways.
  1. Driving with Impaired Control or Obstructed View

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-855 makes it reckless driving to:

  • Operate a vehicle overloaded by cargo or passengers; and
  • Which causes impaired control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle; or
  • Which obstructs the driver’s view of the front or sides of the vehicle.
  1. Passing Two Vehicles Simultaneously

It is reckless driving under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-856 to simultaneously pass or attempt to pass two other vehicles traveling in the same direction.

Section 46.2-856 does feature several exceptions. It is lawful to pass or overtake two other vehicles simultaneously if:

  • Traveling on a highway with at least two lanes of travel for each direction;
  • Driving on designated one-way roads or highways; or
  • Passing two bicycles, certain personal electric devices, or mopeds at the same time.
  1. Failing to Give Proper Signals

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-860 makes it reckless driving to fail to provide timely signals when intending to:

  • Turn;
  • Partially turn;
  • Slow down; or
  • Stop.
  1. Driving too Fast for Highway or Traffic Conditions

It is reckless driving under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-861 to operate a vehicle at excessive speeds in certain circumstances. Regardless of the posted speed limit, drivers must operate at a reasonable speed with respect to:

  • Circumstances existing at that time on the roads; and
  • Traffic conditions existing at that time on the roads.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you are facing charges for reckless driving, the attorneys at Simms Showers LLP can help. Reach out to our Leesburg reckless driving lawyers for a consultation on your case.

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Simms Showers LLP is conveniently located two blocks from the Loudoun County Courthouse. Our criminal defense firm offers a free phone consultation for criminal or personal injury cases. Se habla español. Call Simms Showers LLP for quality legal counsel today at 703-997-7821 or contact us online.

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