Unlike other states, Virginia allows reckless driving citations for offenses other than speeding. For example, state law enforcement could charge you with reckless driving if you pass a stopped school bus—and if you are convicted, you face the same harsh penalties that you would for speeding.
When Can You Be Charged With Reckless Driving for Passing a School Bus?
Under Virginia Code §18.2-859, it is considered reckless driving to fail to stop when approaching a school bus picking up or discharging children, elderly individuals, or mentally or physically disabled people. Motorists cannot pass buses stopped on a highway, most streets, private roads, or school driveways.
There are two exceptions when a driver can pass the bus:
- The school bus is stopped on the other roadway of a divided highway, access road, or driveaway separated by a barrier or unpaved area.
- A law enforcement official directs the motorist to pass the school bus.
What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving for Passing a Stopped School Bus?
You could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor if you were arrested for reckless driving for passing a stopped school bus. If you are convicted or plead guilty to this offense, you face punishments including:
- Jail sentence of up to one year
- Fine not to exceed $2,500
You would also have a permanent criminal record, which could have long-term consequences on your life. It could limit your ability to obtain a job, education, housing, and more.
Have you been charged with reckless driving for passing a stopped school bus or for another violation of Virginia’s reckless driving laws? Our experienced reckless driving lawyers are here to defend you. You may have strong defenses to the charges you face—even if you believe you are guilty. To learn more about how we can assist you, contact us online or call our Manassas office at 888-DUI-LWYR to schedule your free consultation today.