Cruise control may feel like a lifesaver on long road trips, but this feature must be used carefully to avoid a reckless driving charge.
How Cruise Control Affects a Reckless Driving Charge
Cruise control takes over the throttle of your vehicle to maintain a steady speed. Traditionally, the driver brings the vehicle to the desired speed and pushes a button to set the cruise control. However, some newer vehicles have adaptive cruise control technology that uses radar sensors to detect the speed of the vehicle in front of you and make the necessary adjustments to maintain a safe following distance.
Regardless of what type of cruise control you are using, you can turn off the feature by braking. This means that you are still in control of the vehicle and responsible for safe driving. As such, you can be charged with reckless driving if you are spotted engaging in any behaviors that an officer believes violates the Virginia reckless driving statute.
Defending Against a Reckless Driving Charge
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor criminal offense that comes with hefty fines, potential jail time, and the possibility of a criminal record. As such, it is vital that you prepare an aggressive defense against the charge.
Although you cannot use cruise control as a defense, obtaining a speedometer calibration may be an option if you were charged with reckless driving by speed. It is common for speedometers to become less accurate over time. If your calibration shows that your vehicle speedometer was under measuring your speed, the judge will likely give you credit for the discrepancy. This can result in the charge being reduced or dropped if you were clocked close to the legal limit for a reckless driving charge.
Questioning the accuracy of the radar or lidar device the officer used to measure your speed may also be an option. Officers are required to have a calibration certificate issued within the past six months. The certificate must provide specific details to confirm the accuracy of the device before it can be accepted as evidence against you.
Virginia attorney T. Kevin Wilson has extensive experience helping drivers develop an effective defense against reckless driving charges. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.