When people think of reckless driving, many consider this a traffic offense for excessive speeding. However, in Virginia, reckless driving includes 16 misdemeanor offenses, and passing another vehicle at a railroad crossing is one of them. If you have been charged with reckless driving for this, you should take the charges seriously and retain an experienced reckless driving attorney to help you build a strong defense.
Reckless Driving for Passing at a Railroad Crossing in VA
Virginia’s reckless driving law governing railroad crossings provides that a person is guilty of reckless driving if he overcomes or passes another vehicle in the same direction at a railroad grade crossing or at an intersection of highways. A few exceptions to this law exist if the road:
- Has two lanes of traffic going in the same direction
- Is marked as a passing zone
- Is a one-way street or highway
It is also considered reckless driving if you pass another vehicle while a pedestrian is passing or about to pass in front of either of the vehicles unless a police officer directs a driver to do so or a traffic light permits this.
Passing at a railing crossing is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face these penalties:
- A jail sentence of up to one year
- A fine of up to $2,500
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to six months
You could also face other long-term consequences if you are convicted of this offense. You will have six demerit points placed on your driving record that will remain there for 11 years. This can cause your auto insurance rates to increase. In addition, you will have a permanent criminal record that can affect your ability to obtain a job, security clearance, and a loan.
While passing another vehicle at a railroad crossing may seem like a minor offense, this is not the case in Virginia. Let Charles Van Hardenbergh help you fight to get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Call our office to schedule your appointment to learn more about your legal options.