Driving Two Abreast

Va. Code § 46.2-857: Reckless by Driving Two Abreast in a Single Lane

It is considered reckless driving for two vehicles (including motorcycles) to travel in the same lane, or for one vehicle to pass another without completely leaving the original lane.

We see this type of reckless driving charge most frequently with motorcycles lane splitting or when someone passes another vehicle without completely getting into another lane, for example someone passing a driver while straddling the white shoulder line.

Va. Code 46.2-857 Reckless Driving – Driving two abreast in a single lane

“A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, so as to be abreast of another vehicle in a lane designed for one vehicle, or drives any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, so as to travel abreast of any other vehicle traveling in a lane designed for one vehicle. However, this section shall not apply to (i) any validly authorized parade, motorcade, or motorcycle escort, or law-enforcement officers driving motorcycles while on official duty; (ii) a motor vehicle traveling in the same lane of traffic as a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped; nor shall it apply to (iii) any vehicle when lawfully overtaking and passing one or more vehicles traveling in the same direction in a separate lane.”

Penalties for Fairfax Reckless Driving – Two Vehicles in the Same Lane
  • Class 1 misdemeanor (Criminal Conviction)
  • 0 to 12 months in jail
  • $0-$2,500 in fines
  • 0-6 months loss of license
  • 6 Va DMV demerit points
Defenses for Reckless Driving Two Vehicles in the Same  Lane

There are two main ways we prevent conviction for reckless driving under 46.2-857 in Fairfax:

1) We attack the culpability. We try to show reasons why the driver does not deserve these harsh punishments and ask the court to reduce the charge to a less sever traffic ticket.

2) We attack the accuracy and admissibility of the police officer’s accusations. Often there is a question who saw the driving behavior and could they tell what lanes the vehicles were in. There is some ambiguity about whether driving partially in a lane qualifies as a violation of this law.

For more information about reckless driving defenses, click here.

How to Prepare for a Reckless Driving – Two Abreast in the a Single Lane

Some of the things we recommend drivers do, can include (click the links for more information):

  • Taking a Driver Improvement Course
  • Get a copy of the officer’s accident report (if there was an accident)
  • Draw a diagram of the lanes and area where this incident occured
  • Writing a brief biography about yourself
  • Writing a detailed incident summary about yourself
  • Getting a copy of your DMV record
Likely Lesser Offenses For Reckless Driving – 46.2-857

In Fairfax, prosecutors will not negotiated with unrepresented defendants; however, your attorney might be able to get the reckless driving charge reduced from a criminal reckless driving charge to one of the following non criminal traffic tickets:

  • Improper Driving
  • Improper Lane Change
  • Failure to Pay Full Time and Attention

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Defending Drivers in Fairfax

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