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7 reckless driving charges your teen driver should know about

For many teens, passing their driver's test and getting their driver's license is a rite of passage into adulthood. For teens, this is an exciting time because they are able to go where they want, when they want, with few limitations. For parents, this time may be filled with worry and concern, mostly for the safety of their children but also because teens aren't always aware of the severity of the law or the steep consequences they could face if they break it.

It's because of this fact that we're writing today's post on seven reckless driving charges your teen driver could face. By calling attention to these common missteps, we hope to educate parents and teen drivers alike, giving them the knowledge they need to avoid these mistakes down the road.

Speeding. Whether your teen is caught driving 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit or in excess of 80 mph, they could face a serious reckless driving charge that could put six points on their license that could eventually lead to suspension or revocation of driving privileges.

Failure to use signals properly. Whether your teen is turning onto a side street or changing lanes on a freeway, the failure to use proper signals can lead to a reckless driving charge, which is a misdemeanor.

Passing a school bus. While this may seem innocuous, passing a school bus is a crime in Virginia and one teen drivers need to remember if they want to avoid a misdemeanor reckless driving charge.

Racing. It is illegal for anyone, including teen drivers, to engage in a race between two vehicles. This constitutes reckless driving and can lead to the suspension of the driver's license for at least six months (Virginia VA Code § 46.2-865).

Driving too fast for conditions. Whether in rain, snow or fog, it is unlawful to drive faster than conditions permit.

Reckless driving in a parking lot. Driving too quickly or chasing a friend in a vehicle through a parking lot may be seen as reckless driving in Virginia and is punishable by a misdemeanor charge.

Driving with an obstructed view. Whether your teen driver's view is obstructed because of too many friends in the backseat of their vehicle or because of something hanging from their rear view mirror, driving with an obstructed view is a crime in our state that could lead to costly consequences.

Source: The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, "Six Point Violations, Reckless Driving (Felony or Misdemeanor)," Accessed March 29, 2016

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