A judge in Richmond is under fire for allowing a reckless driving charge for a commercial bus driver to be dismissed after completing a driving school program. That bus driver is facing new charges for reckless driving after hitting and killing a pedestrian with her bus.
Under the law, if a person has a commercial driver’s license in Virginia, they are ineligible for a reckless driving offense dismissal after attended driving school, under a law passed in July 2008. The original reckless driving incident occurred in May of this year.
Though the defendant clearly checked off that she had a commercial driver’s license, the judge still allowed her to take a Second Chance Driving Improvement Clinic. After satisfying the terms of the driving class, on Sept 10th, the reckless driving charge was dismissed on Sept 30th.
The defense attorney quoted indicated that is it not uncommon for judges to miss laws that have been recently passed, especially when the facts of those laws come up infrequently.
If the reckless driving offense had stood, and she had not been allowed the opportunity for the dismissal, she likely would have lost her job as a driver for the GRTC Transit System. However, she also violated company policy by not notifying her supervisor of the reckless driving charge.
It is certainly possible that she would have been fired from her job if she had followed that procedure, and if the judge had refused to allow for the dismissal, she would have lost her driver’s license and not been driving.
Whenever there is a tragedy like this, people are always looking for someone to blame. It is impossible to say what would have happened in either of those cases, but it is clear that multiple administrative failures led to a circumstances where someone was killed.