Passing Two Vehicles Abreast Can Lead to Reckless Driving Charges

If you're stuck in slow moving traffic and feel that you could easily pass multiple vehicles at once to arrive at your destination a bit quicker, think twice before acting on this impulse. Virginia's reckless driving statutes encompass many different types of behavior, including passing two vehicles at once. Virginia laws about passing vehicles

§ 46.2-856 Passing Two Vehicles Abreast

A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who passes or attempts to pass two other vehicles abreast, moving in the same direction, except on highways having separate roadways of three or more lanes for each direction of travel, or on designated one-way streets or highways. This section shall not apply, however, to a motor vehicle passing two other vehicles when one or both of such other vehicles is a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped; nor shall this section apply to a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped passing two other vehicles.

What This Means for You

If you're charged with reckless driving under § 46.2-856, this is much more serious than a simple traffic violation. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. If convicted, you'll face:

  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Up to $2,500 in fines
  • Driver’s license suspension of 10 days to six months
  • Six demerit points added to your driving record for 11 years
  • The stigma of a criminal record that will make it more difficult to pass a background check

Building an Aggressive Defense

Due to the harsh nature of Virginia's reckless driving laws, paying your ticket and accepting the consequences is sure to be a mistake. Attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh can help you build an aggressive defense to reduce or drop the charge. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to use strategies such as submitting your previous driving record, attending a driver improvement clinic, or completing community service hours. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation to explore your legal options in greater detail.