Did you know that you can be driving under the posted speed limit and still receive a ticket for driving too fast?
The Virginia Code specifies speed limits on Virginia roads. As we are all aware, if you speed you risk a ticket. We are all responsible for driving our vehicles under the speed limit.
But did you know that you can be driving under the posted speed limit, and still receive a reckless driving citation for driving too fast?
Many drivers consider how fast they can safely drive when conditions are optimal -- daylight, clear weather, dry and clear roadways. However, as we have just been vividly reminded, we may be driving in rain, snow, sleet, or ice. We may be driving at night, or when the road is not clear for other reasons. Weather plays a big role in how fast we should be going, regardless of the posted speed limit.
In Culpeper County, there is another factor – deer. The Sheriff’s Office responds to many crashes between a vehicle and a deer. That is because deer are constantly on the move and will follow their natural “deer highway,” which may directly cross over our roads. During deer mating season, this activity skyrockets. Their instincts compel them to follow a certain path, and they are not looking both ways before they cross the road. Deer can and will cross the road at any time, and they will jump in front of your car to do it.
The offense of “driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions” translates into you going too fast. It’s more than a regulatory issue. Speeding endangers everyone and is a crucial factor in vehicle collisions. Speed:
Reduces your reaction time
Diminishes your ability to steer away from objects in the roadway
Increases your stopping distance
Increases the force of impact if there is a collision
If you are driving a vehicle in Virginia, you are responsible for being aware of all conditions affecting the safe operation of your vehicle – your own circumstances, your vehicle’s condition, road conditions, and environmental factors. The law requires that you drive no faster than you can safely do so under all conditions. If not, you can be charged with reckless driving regardless of the posted speed limit. Worse, you can injure yourself or others.
The bottom line is to be aware, and slow down. Everyone will be safer for it.