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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Reckless Driving > Dissecting 5 Common Varieties of Reckless Driving in Virginia

Dissecting 5 Common Varieties of Reckless Driving in Virginia


The Commonwealth of Virginia has a vested interest in preserving safe highways and other roadways. When a person operates a motor vehicle in such a way that endangers other people or property, it is considered reckless driving. Under Virginia law, reckless driving is punishable as misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. To understand the boundaries of this offense, the following sections will dissect five common varieties of reckless driving in Virginia.

  1. Driving at Excessive Speeds

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-862 outlines when excessive speeding becomes reckless driving. Under this section, it qualifies as reckless driving if a person operates a motor vehicle:

  • 20 miles per hour above the legally posted speed limit; or
  • 80 miles per hour no matter the legally posted speed limit.

Speeding is one of the most commonly cited versions of reckless driving. As a result, all Virginia drivers must adhere to the legally posted speed limits and, above all else, stay under the 80-mile-per-hour threshold.

  1. Failing to Use Signals Properly

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-860 requires all drivers to use their signals properly. Specifically, this section compels drivers to use their signals when:

  • Turning;
  • Partially turning;
  • Slowing down; or
  • Stopping.

Virginia drivers can review the full parameters of proper signal usage in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-848.

  1. Passing a Stopped School Bus

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-859 mandates that all drivers must yield to a stopped school. Granted, this section only applies if the school bus is properly marked as well as stopped for the unloading or discharging of:

  • Children;
  • Elderly individuals; or
  • Handicapped or disabled people.

Additionally, Section 46.2-859 provides several exceptions, including divided highways and specific instructions from law enforcement officers. In those limited situations, Virginia drivers are allowed to pass a stopped school bus.

  1. Driving Abreast in a Single Lane

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-857 prohibits drivers from operating motor vehicles in the same direction in a single lane. Stated otherwise, a person cannot use a single lane to drive in the same direction as other vehicles.

That being said, Section 46.2-857 also carves out several exceptions, including:

  • Two-wheeled motor cycles;
  • Motorcade or parade escorts;
  • Motor vehicles in the same lane as bicycles, mopeds, and similar devices;
  • Passing other vehicles by using a separate lane.
  1. Passing on Grades or Curves

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-854 bars drivers from passing other vehicles at the crest of a grade or on a curve. If the driver has an obstructed view due to the grade or curve, they are not allowed to pass other vehicles traveling in the same direction. Otherwise, it qualifies as reckless driving under Section 46.2-854.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have legal questions about reckless driving or similar traffic offenses in Virginia, it can be extremely helpful to contact a knowledgeable Leesburg reckless driving attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have defended numerous clients against charges for reckless driving and other traffic offenses in Virginia. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.


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