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Why was I charged with reckless driving for passing someone at a railroad crossing?

reckless driving railroad crossingPassing someone at a railroad crossing can result in a reckless driving charge, even if your actions don't cause an accident.

Railroad Crossing Laws Regarding Reckless Driving

Railroad crossing accidents have been declining since 1980, but a driver is almost 20 times more likely to be killed in a crash involving a train than in an accident involving another car. For this reason, Virginia takes traffic violations involving railroad crossings very seriously.

Virginia law states, "A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who overtakes or passes any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction at any railroad grade crossing or at any intersection of highways unless such vehicles are being operated on a highway having two or more designated lanes of roadway for each direction of travel or unless such intersection is designated and marked as a passing zone or on a designated one-way street or highway, or while pedestrians are passing or about to pass in front of either of such vehicles, unless permitted so to do by a traffic light or law-enforcement officer."

Penalties for Reckless Driving

A first time offender convicted of reckless driving will have his license suspended for a minimum of 60 days and a maximum of six months. You can apply for a restricted license, which will grant limited driving privileges during certain hours. However, someone with a commercial driver's license can’t obtain a restricted license if his license was suspended for passing at a railroad crossing.

In addition to the license suspension, you'll face hefty fines, the possibility of jail time, and the stigma of a criminal record that can affect your future job opportunities, green card application, and more.

Retaining Legal Representation

If you've been charged with reckless driving, it's a mistake to simply pay your ticket and accept the consequences. Virginia attorney T. Kevin Wilson is committed to helping drivers who've been charged with reckless driving build the strongest possible defense. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.

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