Can I Face Reckless Driving Charges for Passing Vehicles in Virginia?
Under Virginia law, reckless driving is a criminal offense that involves dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. When a driver creates a risk of property damage or physical injury, it likely qualifies as reckless driving in Virginia.
From a punishment standpoint, reckless driving is typically charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. A conviction can lead to $2,500 in criminal fines, 12 months in county jail, and mandatory suspension of driving privileges. In more extreme cases, though, reckless driving can become a felony offense with the real possibility of a prison sentence.
Thus, it is vital for all drivers in Virginia to avoid reckless driving charges. In particular, drivers should pay attention to the following four ways in which passing another vehicle can lead to reckless driving charges in Virginia.
- Passing on Hills or Around Curves
Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-854, it is unlawful to pass or overtake other vehicles on hills or around curves. This section applies when the hill or curve obstructs the driver’s view of the road in view. There are exceptions to this rule, including:
- Designated one-way streets; or
- Highways with multiple lanes designated for each direction of travel.
- Passing Two Vehicles at the Same Time
Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-856, it is illegal to pass or overtake two other vehicles at the same time. There are exceptions to this rule, including:
- Designated one-way streets;
- Highways with multiple lanes designated for each direction of travel; or
- Bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, or mopeds.
- Passing at a Railroad Crossing
Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-858, it is unlawful to pass or overtake other vehicles at a railroad crossing. There are exceptions to this rule, including:
- Designated one-way streets;
- Highways with multiple lanes designated for each direction of travel;
- Intersections designated and marked as passing zones; or
- As directed by law enforcement officers or traffic signals.
- Passing a Stopped School Bus
Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-859, it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off passengers. This section only applies to official school buses that meet state requirements, including warning devices, lettering, and yellow color. There are exceptions to this rule, including:
- Divided highways where the school bus is on the opposite side of the passing vehicle;
- Roads with physical barriers separating the passing vehicle from the school bus; or
- As directed by law enforcement officers or school crossing guards.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you need legal assistance with charges for reckless driving in Virginia, it can be productive to schedule a consultation with a reliable Winchester reckless driving attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP comprehend how to defend against various criminal charges, including reckless driving. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.