Reckless driving, under the ‘Virginia Code Section 46.852, can partially be defined as driving a vehicle at speed or in a particular manner so as to endanger or put anyone else’s life in danger on a highway or on the road. It further implies that reckless driving also includes driving a vehicle at 20 mph or more, over the posted or prescribed speed limit or even above 80 mph, regardless of the prescribed speed limit on a highway.

The state of Virginia can charge drivers on the offense of reckless driving, based on whether they exceed the speed limit or endanger the lives of others by driving fast.

Being Reckless by Speed

Some interstates in Virginia have speed limits of 70 mph. There are 14 different types of reckless driving offenses, which include:

Failure to Maintain Control

Virginia Code Section 46.2-853 outlines that when an accident occurs, the state police can charge the person responsible for the accident with failure to maintain control. Most reckless driving tickets says ‘failure to maintain control’ which comes under reckless driving.

Passing a Stopped School Bus

If a police officer thinks that you have passed a school bus while it was stopped to load or unload children, then you can end up getting a reckless driving ticket. Judges often take these sorts of tickets very seriously due to the increased likelihood of causing danger to children.

General Reckless Driving Offenses

Even if your driving doesn’t fit any specific circumstances or definitions of reckless driving, you can still be charged if you are allegedly endangering people or property, which comes under the Virginia Code Section 46.2-852. This section can be charged for a variety of situations, including doing wheelies on a motorcycle or passing in a ‘no passing’ zone.

It is important for a driver to fully understand the term ‘reckless driving’ in Virginia. It is often the case that you are charged with reckless driving and suffer the penalties simply due to exceeding the speed limit. Regardless of what your reckless driving ticket says, it would still be considered as a criminal charge. This means that you have to be present on a court date, asked to enter a plea and then there will be a trial.

Reckless Driving Penalties

As reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor, here are some reckless driving penalties and their level of offense.

Traffic Violations

Most traffic violations can be charged for over speeding or running a stop sign. They are charged up to a fine of $300 to $2500. However, they cannot be punished by jail time and do not fall under crimes. However, they can still go on your driving record.


All reckless driving crimes can cause serious consequences such as jail time up to a year, depending upon the level of offense. If you are charged with reckless driving, then your life insurance can fall into jeopardy. That is why you need to be vigilant about your driving and try to avoid over speeding.