The annual traffic enforcement assault in Virginia known as Operation Land, Sea, and Air resulted in 6000 traffic and criminal citations being recorded.
Reckless driving is a surprisingly standard and common offense in Virginia. Even though it is a criminal charge – a Class 1 Misdemeanor, the same as a DUI – it is very easy for the average person to get arrested and charged with reckless driving.
Virginia is know for the toughest reckless driving penalties in the country, and Virginia judges certainly do issue jail sentences for offenses that would probably just be traffic citations in other states.
A new proposed bill could add another marginal traffic violation to Virginia’s reckless driving laws, already the toughest in the nation. According to The Newspaper, HB1993 would criminalize not coming to a complete stop before taking a right turn at at red light.
“…a separate section of the code with a lesser fine would be more appropriate.”
One clever defendant and his attorney found a crazy loophole to beat a specific type of Virginia reckless driving charge.
“A person is guilty of reckless driving who fails to stop, when approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children.”
Virginia State police have announced increased police patrols and presence on the highways from now until the end of the holiday weekend.
The speed limit on 680 total miles of Virginia highway is set to increase from 65 to 70mph this year, but most of the change will be on rural parts of the highway system, and not I95 or I64 in metro areas.
Accomack County has been considering imposing stiff extra fees on anyone convicted of a DUI or reckless driving charge in the county.
A final decision on the $350 extra fee has been postponed for now, but it is still on the table, according to delmarvanow.com.
County officials are in favor of the extra fee for DUI charges and suspended license cases, but are split for reckless driving offenses. The county supervisor opposes the fee in reckless cases only, while the County Sheriff supports all the fees. The proposed fee to be used to offset expenses to police and rescue personnel, no doubt to cover budget shortfalls.
Virginia went down this road before with it’s statewide “abusive driver fees” for reckless driving. The fee was wildly unpopular and repealed a year later.
As reported in the Washington Post, the Virginia State Police have been stepping up weekend traffic patrols. They are aggressively targeting and enforcing speeding laws, and have made hundreds of arrests for reckless driving, DUI, and drug possession, as well as thousands of citations for speeding and sear belt violations.