Reckless Driving Charges Filed After Virginia School Bus Accident
A Virginia school bus driver faces criminal charges for reckless driving after causing a multi-vehicle crash, according to an article by CBS affiliate WTKR.
This automotive accident occurred in Chesterfield County on Tuesday, May 28th just before 2 p.m. At that point, the school bus driver was approaching the intersection of Iron Bridge and Deerfield roads. When the traffic light turned red, the vehicle in front of the school bus came to a quick stop. But the school bus was moving too fast to stop in time.
Instead, the school bus driver veered to the right, running through the red light and traveling into the intersection. In the process, the school bus collided with two passenger vehicles and mowed down a street sign. Eventually, the driver regained control and brought the school bus to a stop. Thankfully, the bus driver was able to avoid causing physical injury to any bystanders.
As a result of this accident, the authorities charged the school bus driver with a specific type of reckless driving — failure to maintain proper control. To understand the nuances of this charge, the following sections will explore relevant Virginia laws and penalties.
What are the Virginia Laws for Maintaining Proper Control?
The Virginia laws requiring drivers to maintain proper control appear under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-853. Failing to maintain proper control of a vehicle is classified under the umbrella of reckless driving offenses in Virginia.
There are two types of reckless driving offenses under Section 46.2-853. Either:
- The driver fails to operate his or her vehicle safely in a controlled fashion; or
- The vehicle has insufficient brakes or an improperly adjusted braking system.
In both of the situations described above, criminal charges for reckless driving are appropriate under Virginia law.
What are the Virginia Penalties for Failing to Maintain Proper Control?
As failing to maintain proper control qualifies as reckless driving, the penalties appear under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868. In most circumstances, failing to maintain control is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for this misdemeanor can result in a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
In the most egregious circumstances, however, failing to maintain proper control can become a Class 6 felony. A conviction for this felony can result in a maximum sentence of 60 months in prison and $2,500 in criminal fines. Though these elevated penalties only apply in cases that involved a suspended driver’s license and resulted in the death of a person.
Let Us Help You Today
If you need legal help with charges for failure to maintain control or other types of reckless driving in Virginia, it can be substantially rewarding to reach out to a dependable Winchester reckless driving attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have helped many clients with reckless driving charges in Virginia, including failure to maintain control. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.