Reckless Driving Bill Advances In House

CHARLESTON, WV- Drivers convicted of reckless driving in West Virginia, even if it’s caused by cell phone use, may soon see serious consequences if their driving caused a death or serious bodily injury in a crash.

A bill to increase penalties for reckless driving causing serious injury or death is advancing in the Legislature. House Bill 2820, is scheduled for a third reading in the House on Monday. If approved by both chambers and signed by Governor Jim Justice, the penalty for reckless driving causing bodily injury would increase from 10 days to 6 months in jail, to 2 to 10 years in prison. The fine would increase from $50 to $1,000 to $1,000 to $3,000.

The penalty for those convicted of reckless driving causing death is a new provision added to the law that was previously under the serious bodily injury portion. That new provision in the law makes reckless driving causing death a felony and would carry a penalty of 3 to 15 years in prison and a $1,000 to $3,000 fine. Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney General George Sitler, said the new penalties if enacted, would be similar to those related to driving while under the influence.

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