Being charged with reckless driving, also called “careless driving” or “dangerous driving”, has a number of consequences. This article will define the charge of reckless driving, as well as summarize the possible consequences.
What is reckless driving?
Although the definition of reckless driving may vary from state to state, most states subscribe to similar driving behaviors. In general, any action involving negligence or blatant and intentional disregard for another’s safety is considered reckless driving.
Here are the most common behaviors of dangerous driving.
- Running a red light
- Running a stop sign
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Racing other vehicles
- Evading law enforcement officials
- Illegal passing such as on a two-lane highway over a double yellow line
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Texting while driving
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Driving while under the influence (DUI)
Consequences of reckless driving
If you are charged with reckless driving, depending on the severity of the infraction, you may face one or more of the following consequences.
- Fines, some very stiff – from hundreds to thousands of dollars
- Points on your driving record
- Higher auto insurance rates
- Jail time
- Temporary suspension or permanent revocation of your driver’s license
- Job loss (a concern for those that drive for a living)
- Denial of security clearance (an issue that can affect military service or holding some government jobs)
- Permanent criminal record (depending on the offense)
Traffic School for those convicted of reckless driving
In some states (Arkansas is one) the court may recommend traffic school for the offender. This is usually based on the nature of the driving offense. Traffic school can offset points from your driving record and possibly get your insurance company to lower your auto insurance.
Judges won’t usually recommend traffic school for those offenses that are misdemeanors or felony convictions, such as:
- DUIs or DWIs
- Hit-and-Run accidents
- Reckless driving resulting in property, injury or death
Those most likely to be eligible for traffic school include the following criteria:
- Having a valid driver’s license that has not been suspended or revoked
- Not driving with a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Your offense did not result in a felony or misdemeanor conviction
If you drive with respect for the lives of others and the law, you won’t ever find yourself in the situation of being charged with reckless driving. Remember to drive undistractedly, paying attention to only one thing – driving, and obey the traffic laws.
Please do your part to help everyone stay safe out there.
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