Driving When View is Obstructed (46.2-855) / Car Overloaded (46.2-855)
If you have ever moved to a new home, you most likely packed some of your belongings in your car. You want to fit as many boxes in as possible, even in the front seat. So, what if some of the boxes block your passenger window? If you fill your car up to the point that your front or side view is obstructed, you could be committing the crime of Reckless Driving, Driving When View is Obstructed or Car Overloaded. The same risk applies when having too many people in your car. Driving with too many passengers or too many items in your car is considered a criminal offense in Virginia. You can be charged with Reckless Driving under the Virginia Code Section 46.2-855. The Reckless Driving statute you would be in violation of is, Driving When View is Obstructed or Car Overloaded. The code states;
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle when it is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons, as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.
The statute states that you would be in violation of the law if the front or side view out of the car is obstructed. Therefore, you could be found guilty of reckless driving under 46.2-855, if you have more passengers than seatbelts or if you have too many items in your car. This normally does not include passengers or items blocking your rear window.
Reckless Driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and carries a punishment of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine not exceeding $2,500.00. Additionally, reckless driving is a six (6) point offense on your driving record. A reckless driving conviction stays on your driving record for 11 years and reckless driving remains on a criminal record for the rest of your life and cannot be expunged.