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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Reckless Driving > Sifting Through 5 Variations Of Reckless Driving In Virginia

Sifting Through 5 Variations Of Reckless Driving In Virginia


Reckless driving is a criminal offense in Virginia that can result in Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 6 felony charges. The punishment upon conviction can lead to a jail or prison sentence and substantial criminal fines.

As a refresher, the conventional law against reckless driving appears under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852. This section prohibits any reckless or dangerous operation of a motor vehicle in Virginia. If a driver creates a risk of property damage, physical injury, or death, it can qualify as reckless driving

Over and above the conventional law under Section 46.2-852, Virginia also classifies other types of behavior as reckless driving. To illuminate the breadth of reckless driving laws in Virginia, the following sections will explore several common variations.

  1. Improper Control & Faulty Brakes

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-853 requires drivers to maintain proper control of their vehicles. This section also requires drivers to maintain adequate and properly adjusted brakes.

Any person who violates Section 46.2-853 by driving with improper control or faulty brakes can face criminal charges for reckless driving.

  1. Passing at Crest or Curve

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-854 prohibits drivers from:

  • Passing or overtaking other vehicles traveling in the same direction;
  • On or approaching the crest of a grade or a curve in the road; and
  • While the driver’s view of the road is obstructed.

There are several exceptions to Section 46.2-854. For example, drivers may pass other vehicles at a crest or curve on designated one-way roads. The same is true for highways with at least two lanes for each direction of travel.

Any person who violates Section 46.2-854 by passing at a crest or curve can face criminal charges for reckless driving.

  1. Obstructed View or Impaired Control

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-855 requires drivers to maintain an unobstructed view of the front and sides of their vehicle. This section also prevents drivers from overloading their vehicles with passengers or cargo.

Any person who violates Section 46.2-855 by driving with an obstructed view or impaired control can face criminal charges for reckless driving.

  1. Failing to Give Proper Signals

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-860 requires drivers to provide adequate and timely signals upon intending to turn, partially turn, slow down, or stop.

Any person who violates Section 46.2-860 by failing to give proper signals can face criminal charges for reckless driving.

  1. Driving Unreasonably Fast

Code of Virginia Section 46.2-861 requires drivers to operate their vehicles at a reasonable speed. Outside of the posted speed limit, this section requires a reasonable based on then-existing circumstances and traffic conditions.

Any person who violates Section 46.2-860 by driving unreasonably fast can face criminal charges for reckless driving.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you have legal questions about reckless driving in Virginia, it can be vastly helpful to reach out to a responsible Leesburg reckless driving attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP can assist with an effective criminal defense plan for reckless driving and other offenses. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.








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