Reckless driving; passing other vehicles at intersections. (HB320)

Introduced By

Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church) with support from co-patron Del. Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Reckless driving; passing other vehicles at intersections. Clarifies the language of 46.2-858, which prohibits a person from overtaking or passing another vehicle stopped at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection when a pedestrian is present. Amends § 46.2-858, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/02/2014Committee
01/02/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14101739D
01/02/2014Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/10/2014Assigned Transportation sub: Subcommittee #2
01/20/2014Subcommittee recommends reporting (4-Y 2-N)
01/21/2014Passed by for the day in Transportation
01/23/2014Tabled in Transportation (12-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)

Comments

Editor’s Pick
John writes:

Reckless driving comes in many forms, some of which have to be spelled out to underscore notice and enforcement. While the reckless driving definition in 46.2-852 is broad “in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person,” Virginia law also spells out other specific actions, for example, passing a stopped school bus in 46.2-859 or passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve when the driver’s view is obstructed in 46.2-854.

This HB320 draft revises and clarifies the densely written 46.2-858 and updates the language to make it absolutely clear that passing another vehicle is reckless driving when pedestrians are in a crosswalk about to cross in front of a stopped vehicle in a situation with multiple lanes. Since pedestrians or a bicycle rider might be obscured by the stopped vehicle and about to step into the travel lane, the very last thing an approaching driver should do is accelerate and pass without making sure no pedestrian is in danger by that action. An older person or a person on a bicycle, in particular, can’t always spring back if someone decides to ignore the person in the crosswalk and suddenly accelerates to pass.

The language of this revision is based on the recommended standard of the Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC) § 11-502
“Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.”

According to Traffic Laws Annotated 1979, [http://books.google.com/books?id=f3xPAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA173#v=onepage&q&f=false] 41 states have laws in place in general accord with this Uniform Vehicle Code language. Virginia’s version was deemed in general agreement with the goal of the UVC language, but the present version of 46.2-858 is far from the most clearly written or understandable law, embedded as it is in a section on railroad crossings. If the Virginia legislature previously considered this behavior to be an example of bad driving, one may well wonder why they did not spell it out more simply and clearly. Lawyers rarely arrest bad drivers; peace officers do.