Reckless Driving Parking Lot Accident – 46.2-864
If you had an accident in a parking lot and received a reckless driving ticket, you’re in the right place. Virginia Code 46.2-864 covers this situation:
46.2-864. Reckless driving on parking lots, etc.
A person is guilty of reckless driving who operates any motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person:
1. On any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business or governmental property open to the public; or
2. On the premises of any industrial establishment providing parking space for customers, patrons, or employees; or
3. On any highway under construction or not yet open to the public.
Fortunately, you have options. We may have defenses to the case, and we might also be able to avoid a misdemeanor charge and have your case reduced to a lesser offense, such as improper driving.
You should never just accept a reckless driving conviction as a done deal.
Leaving could get you an EXTRA charge
And you should also not just leave the scene of an accident…
The other day at Lowe’s I saw two cars hit each other. Both drivers were backing out of the parking spots. I didn’t see who started backing out first.
The damage was extremely minor. One of the vehicles was a truck with a trailer hitch. It punched a small hole in the other (smaller) car’s bumper.
Here’s the crazy part: both drivers got out, looked at their bumpers, and walked away. They didn’t exchange insurance information or even speak to each other from what I could see.
They potentially committed misdemeanors by driving away.
In Virginia, drivers involved in accidents have duties to stop and report. Otherwise, you could be charged with “hit and run” or “leaving the scene of an accident.”
Your precise duty depends upon the nature of the accident. In the example I mentioned above, both drivers hit attended property (each other’s vehicles). Thus, they were required to follow 46.2-894. That requires them to:
- Stop as close to the scene as possible without obstructing traffic.
- Report their name and ID information to law enforcement and the other drivers involved.
- Render aid to anyone injured.
The drivers did stop, and no one seemed to be injured. But I’m not sure if either driver notified the police. The important thing to remember in a case like this is that even if the other driver leaves, you still have a duty to “forthwith” notify the police.
If a driver doesn’t perform his reporting duties, anyone in the vehicle who is at least 16 years old has to notify the police with any information they have. That notification must be done within 24 hours of the accident.
Here’s the bottom line: failing to report an accident is at least a class 1 misdemeanor. If someone is injured or the damage is more than $1,000, it’s a class 5 felony. Even if you’re a 16-year-old child in the car, you could still be guilty of a misdemeanor if the driver doesn’t stop and you don’t report within 24 hours.
Call Andrew for reckless driving parking lot accidents
If you were ticketed for a reckless driving accident in a parking lot under 46.2-864 or for hit and run, call me today so we can discuss your defense.