Reckless Driving

In the state of New York, reckless driving is defined under NY VTL 1212 as:

Reckless driving shall mean driving or using any motor vehicle, motorcycle or any other vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power or any appliance or accessory thereof in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway.

What this means, in general terms, is that it is against the law to drive in such a way that endangers the safety and wellbeing of others on the road. In addition, a driver may be accused of reckless driving if they get in the way of another vehicle in a fashion that is considered dangerous. The “reckless” of reckless driving means that a driver was aware that the way in which they were operating their vehicle posed a risk to others.

A person charged with reckless driving in New York faces serious consequences. Reckless driving is not a mere citation, but a criminal charge. If a person is convicted of the crime, they may face up to 30 days in jail for a first offense. There is no capability to have the record expunged in the future, and the person’s driver’s license may be revoked.

The financial consequences can be devastating for some. The maximum fine for a first offense is close to $400 and five points will be tacked onto the driver’s license. These points can make insurance rates skyrocket. It has been shown that people convicted of reckless driving may see as much as a 42 percent increase in their auto insurance premiums.