Throughout Virginia, and particularly in the Virginia Beach and Norfolk area, teens are at an elevated risk when it comes to reckless driving. 2010 saw 35 teen driver deaths and 4,118 teen driver injuries throughout the state. Teens are less experienced as drivers but tend to engage in more high risk behavior than adults. This high risk behavior includes speeding, talking on the phone while driving, texting while driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Virginia does have laws designed to protect against this behavior, such as a ban on texting while driving, but those laws are not always followed. If you have a teen, you should make sure they are aware of the risks of reckless driving.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
In Virginia, reckless driving is a misdemeanor that comes in several varieties. Some of the violations include speeding, racing, passing or overtaking an emergency vehicle or school bus, and passing in an unsafe area. Each of these violations comes with a fine and points off on your license. The exact length of time that these violations remain on your license depends on the severity of the crime. A speeding ticket handed out for going 20 mph or more above the posted limit takes five years, while more severe crimes stay on your license for 11 years. Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs also comes with an 11 year duration and can also include severe punishments like jail time.
How to Prevent Problems
If you want to avoid getting a traffic ticket and facing even more severe consequences, it is best to make sure that you and any children of driving age in your care practice safe driving techniques. Foremost among these is obeying the speed limit, which can save lives and also prevent speeding tickets that make up the most common reckless driving tickets give out. Don't use your cell phone while driving unless you have a hands free setting that you activate before starting the car. Most importantly, make sure to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Even if you only have one drink, wait at least half an hour before getting behind the wheel of a car. This will help you avoid many problems.
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