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Can I Face Virginia Reckless Driving Charges For Passing Vehicles?

SchoolBusStop

Reckless driving in Virginia is a broadly construed criminal offense that can involve various types of conduct. From a macro standpoint, this offense requires a driver to operate a vehicle in a reckless or dangerous fashion that creates a likelihood of property damage, physical injury, or death.

Before proceeding any further, it is important to remember that reckless driving is a crime in Virginia. Any driver who commits this offense can face Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 6 felony charges, which include the definite possibility of jail or prison time, criminal fines, and driver’s license suspension or revocation.

In addition to the standard definition detailed above, Virginia also prohibits more specific versions of reckless driving. For example, passing or overtaking other vehicles can become reckless driving in the four situations discussed below.

  1. Passing a Stopped School Bus

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-859 requires all drivers to stop their vehicles when approaching any school bus that is:

  • Stopped on any highway, private road, or school driveway;
  • Engaged in picking up or dropping off children, elderly individuals, or physically/mentally disabled individuals; and
  • Equipped with standard warning devices and painted in yellow with the words “school bus” in black letters.

Although there are exceptions to this rule, any person who violates Section 46.2-859 will likely face Virginia charges for reckless driving.

  1. Passing at Railroad Crossing

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-858 prohibits drivers from passing or overtaking other vehicles traveling in the same direction at a railroad grade crossing. But drivers may pass other vehicles in these situations if:

  • There are two or more designated lanes of travel in each direction;
  • The driver is traveling on a designated one-way street or highway;
  • The intersection is marked as a passing zone; or
  • Law enforcement or traffic devices permit such passing.

Any person who violates Section 46.2-858 will likely face Virginia charges for reckless driving.

  1. Passing Two Vehicles Abreast

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-856 bars drivers from passing or overtaking two other vehicles traveling in the same direction at the same time. But drivers may pass two other vehicles if:

  • There are three or more designated lanes of travel in each direction;
  • The driver is traveling on a designated one-way street or highway; or
  • The vehicle passes two bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, or mopeds at the same time.
  1. Passing at Crest or Curve

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-854 forbids drivers from passing or overtaking other vehicles traveling in the same direction on or approaching a crest or curve. But drivers may pass other vehicles in these situations if:

  • There are two or more designated lanes of travel in each direction; or
  • The driver is traveling on a designated one-way street or highway.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you need legal assistance with Virginia charges for reckless driving, it can be exceedingly valuable to speak with a diligent Leesburg reckless driving attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP are well-versed in the criminal defense of reckless driving and other charges. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

SOURCES:

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-854/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-856/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-858/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-859/

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