When something goes terribly wrong in an operating room and a life is needlessly lost, the legal system often faces the tough task of attaching monetary value to such a death. The sum that is calculated is often in the millions of dollars. [Read more…]
The Washington Post reports on how the vast differences in reckless driving laws between Virginia and DC can result in drivers with DC licenses getting a 6 month license suspension for a single incident of driving 10mph over the speed limit.
According to the story, the DC DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license for 6 months if you get a reckless driving conviction in Virginia. And it is incredibly easy for this to happen, since Virginia’s reckless driving laws include reckless by speed, which is a citation for driving 20mph over the posted speed limit, or 80mph on any highway, even those where the posted speed limit is 70mph. [Read more…]
The VSP begins it’s summer campaign of extra highway safety enforcement.
Does any of this make the road of Virginia safer? Maybe. But that is the nature of more police… there are always people you can pull over for speeding and other offenses. It is easy enough to generate bigger numbers of traffic citations if that’s the goal.
But what this is really about is that they get extra federal funding for these campaigns, as it clearly says in the article: “Funding for the enforcement initiative is provided through federal highway safety monies”
Which is all well and good, but it is silly to claim that it is about anything else: We have federal money to pay more officers, so we will do stuff. Fair enough.
This is an interesting and unusual case where a school bus driver was charged with reckless driving.
Obviously it was a serious accident, but the circumstances are unusual. [Read more…]
While few police stops are quite that exciting or dramatic, a recent attempted police stop resulted in a police chase in Augusta County, by vehicle and on foot, resulting in an overturned vehicle and minor injuries for the defendant, and a trip to the Middle River jail.
The news report at NewsLeader.com doesn’t say why the police were originally attempting to pull over Trevis H. Johnson, 28, of Charlottesville, but he was later charged with reckless driving, drug possession, and eluding police.
Typical police stops for reckless driving, the likely cause for the original police attention to the defendant, result in a criminal citation for a Class 1 misdemeanor. This charge is a serious offense, but there are often opportunities to challenge a criminal reckless charge in VA courts.
Hampton Roads has an interesting analysis in the Pilot Online about the number of speeding tickets issued for travelling at rates 10mph over the limit or less.
It is widely believed that police are unlikely to pull you over for speeding if you are only going 10mph over the limit, and their analysis appears to bear that out. According to their research, only three tenths of 1 percent of tickets issues where for less than that speeding threshold.
However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. You are probably most likely to get tagged with low grade speeding in school zones with lots of kids around, which makes sense.
Virginia is known for some of the toughest speeding laws in the nation, with criminal charges for driving 20mph over the limit, or over 80mph, known as “reckless by speed“. Reckless driving in Virginia is the same seriousness as a drunk driving charge – a Class 1 Misdemeanor offense.
But it is comforting to know that you are very unlikely to get a speeding citation for under 10mph over the limit. The practical reason for this isn’t so much that the police are just willing to give you a pass. It’s more likely if they want to pull over speeders, it frankly isn’t hard to find people travelling faster than that, so they don’t waste their time with the very minor infractions in most cases.
And it’s certainly true that speedier drivers, especially chronic ones, are a bigger threat to public safely, and more worth the time and effort for an officer to stop them and issue a traffic ticket.
But Virginia is probably the last place that you want to push the limit much beyond that, given the significant legal problems you face when you up the ante.
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.