Va. Code § 46.2-860: Reckless by Failing to Signal
It is considered reckless driving to turn, slow down, or stop without giving a proper signal. When turning, the driver must continuously signal for 50 feet before turning if the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less. Otherwise, the driver must signal for 100 feet.
Va. Code 46.2-860 Reckless Driving – Failing to give proper signals
“A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who fails to give adequate and timely signals of intention to turn, partly turn, slow down, or stop, as required by Article 6 (§ 46.2-848 et seq.) of this chapter.”
Va. Code 46.2-848 Signals required on backing, stopping, or turning
“Every driver who intends to back, stop, turn, or partly turn from a direct line shall first see that such movement can be made safely and, whenever the operation of any other vehicle may be affected by such movement, shall give the signals required in this article, plainly visible to the driver of such other vehicle, of his intention to make such movement.”
Penalties for Fairfax Reckless Driving -Failure to Signal
- 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
There are two main ways we prevent conviction for reckless driving for failure to signal 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. To be guilty of this form of reckless driving a driver must violate Va. code 46.2-848. V.a Code 46.2-848 only requires a driver to signal if their maneuver will affect the operation of another vehicle. So to be guilty, an officer must prove that your turn or stop affected the way someone else was driving.
This law is also strange in that Va. Code 46.2-860 does not clearly mention changing lanes. Additionally, the law requires drivers to give clear signal BEFORE they stop or backup but as we all know, cars are not equipped with signals that tell other that you plan on stopping or backing up. You stop lights and reverse lights activate only when you begin to stop or backup. So the law is very strange here and appears to be a throw back to when people used hand signals when driving cars.
For more information about reckless driving defenses, click here.
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)
- Take pictures from the driver’s seat showing the driver’s view exactly as it existed at the time of the ticket.
- 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 – Failure to Signal
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
- Failure to Signal 46.2-848
- Failure to Pay Full Time and Attention