Virginia Truck Driver Charged With Distracted Driving & Reckless Driving
A Virginia truck driver faces criminal charges for distracted and reckless driving after losing control of their vehicle and causing a fire, according to an article by ABC-affiliate WRIC.
According to reports from the Virginia State Police, this 36-year-old man was transporting diesel fuel in a tractor-trailer. The truck driver was apparently heading west on Virginia State Route 40 near Hilltop Drive when they lost control of the vehicle. The tractor-trailer then went off the road and overturned, spilling diesel fuel and causing a fire in the process.
As a result of this incident, the truck driver faces criminal charges for reckless driving, failure to maintain control, and distracted driving, since the driver was reportedly holding a cell phone while they caused the accident.
While the truck driver in question awaits further developments in their legal case, it seems like an appropriate occasion to review Virginia laws against and penalties for distracted driving and reckless driving.
Code of Virginia Section 46.2-818.2 details the rules against distracted driving. Under this section, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while holding a personal communications device, such as a cell phone. Virginia law does permit drivers to place calls or send messages using Bluetooth or similar hands-free methods.
Any driver who violates Section 46.2-818.2 is guilty of a traffic infraction and subject to the following penalties:
- First Offense — Punishable by a fine of $125;
- Second or Subsequent Offense — Punishable by a fine of $250; or
- Highway Work Zone — Punishable by a fine of $250.
Code of Virginia Section 46.2-853 provides the overarching rule against reckless driving. Under this section, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner that creates a risk of property damage, physical injury, or death.
In addition to the overarching rule above, Virginia law also codifies other types of dangerous behavior as reckless driving. For example, Code of Virginia Section 46.2-853 requires all drivers to operate their vehicles in a controlled fashion with adequate and adjusted brakes.
Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868 establishes the penalty scheme for reckless driving offenses, including failure to maintain control. Typically, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. If convicted, the offender can face a maximum punishment of $2,500 in criminal fines and 12 months in county jail.
Furthermore, reckless driving offenders can lose their driving privileges. Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-393, reckless drivers can be subject to license suspension for a period of 60 days to six months.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you need legal assistance with distracted driving or reckless driving, a Leesburg criminal lawyer can help. Reach out to the attorneys at Simms Showers today for a consultation.