Examining Virginia Traffic Data for Reckless Driving & Speeding
Across Virginia in 2018, approximately 500,000 people received speeding tickets and 120,000 people faced reckless driving charges, according to an article by CBS affiliate WTVR.
Parsing out last year’s case data from the Virginia General District Courts, approximately 98 percent of speeding tickets were for driving at least 10 miles per hour above the limit. On average, drivers faced $190 in fines, including legal costs and court fees. To gain a more thorough understanding of this topic, the following sections will explore applicable laws and 2018 data for speeding tickets and reckless driving.
Virginia law requires all drivers to obey legally posted speed limits throughout the commonwealth. Technically, any driver who exceeds the speed limit is in violation of Virginia traffic laws. But law enforcement is unlikely to stop and ticket a driver who is only going a few miles per hour above the limit.
In terms of 2018 data for speeding tickets, the General District Courts indicated that:
- 283,000 people received speeding tickets for driving 15 to 19 miles per hour above the posted speed limit;
- 174,000 people received speeding tickets for driving 10 to 14 miles per hour above the posted speed limit;
- 13,710 people received speeding tickets for driving less than 10 miles per hour above the posted speed limit; and
- 40 people received speeding tickets for driving less than 5 miles per hour above the posted speed limit.
Reckless Driving Charges
Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852, reckless driving occurs when a driver places other people or property in danger of harm or injury. In addition to this general definition, Virginia law also provides specific types of conduct that qualify as reckless driving.
For example, a person commits reckless driving under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-862 if they operate a motor vehicle:
- 20 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit; or
- 80 miles per hour or more, regardless of the posted speed limit.
Ordinarily, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868. Upon conviction, offenders can spend 12 months in county jail and pay $2,500 in criminal fines. Additionally, reckless driving convictions include a mandatory period of driver’s license suspension.
In terms of 2018 data for reckless driving charges that involved speeding, the General District Courts indicated that:
- 118,000 people faced charges for speeding at least 20 miles above the legal limit;
- 98,000 people faced charges for driving at least 80 miles per hour;
- 2,135 people faced charges for driving between 100 and 129 miles per hour; and
- 17 people faced charges for driving at least 130 miles per hour.
Let Us Help You Today
If you need legal help with reckless driving charges or speeding tickets in Virginia, it can be exceedingly worthwhile to speak with a well-versed criminal defense attorney. The Winchester reckless driving attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have the capacity to mount an effective defense in various criminal contexts, including reckless driving charges and speeding tickets. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.