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Newly Written Law Regarding Virginia Reckless Driving

Posted on Mar 18, 2011
A Virginia reckless driving issue has come about after the discovery that the Virginia state statute is missing a word, following a car accident in which a child was hit near a school bus. Because of this missing word, one judge in Fairfax County ruled that it was not illegal to pass a stopped school bus. However, since then the Virginia General Assembly has taken steps to amend the misworded law regarding school buses and drivers being allowed to pass a stopped school bus.

The law used to read that "a person is guilty of reckless driving who fails to stop, when approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children."

This awkwardly written law has been reviewed closely, and it was determined that the word "at" was deleted in 1970 when the law was amended. The section of the law has been reworded, and the bill passed the House on February 4, 2011.

This newly reworded law now makes passing a stopped school bus a reckless driving offense in Virginia.

The law now reads that "a person driving a motor vehicle shall stop such vehicle when approaching, from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons and shall remain stopped until all the persons are clear of the highway, private road or school driveway and the bus is put in motion; any person violating the foregoing is guilty of reckless driving."

On the same day the law was amended, Fairfax County police said they are seeing an increase in the number of cars passing stopped school buses. Just in Fairfax County alone, four students were hit near school buses on their way to school.

On February 26, 2011 the bill was signed by the Senate president and is now law.

If you have been arrested for reckless driving in Northern Virginia, please call the Wilson Law Firm at (703) 361-6100, and we will review your case, provide you with your legal options, and help fight to get your charges lessened.

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