In Virginia, “Highway” Has a Very Broad Definition

For most people in Virginia, the word “highway” conjures up visions of tangled overpasses and cars and trucks traveling at 65 miles per hour. However, according to the laws of this state, the word “highway” has a much broader definition, as follows:

“The entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel in the Commonwealth, including the streets and alleys, and, for law-enforcement purposes, (i) the entire width between the boundary lines of all private roads or private streets that have been specifically designated "highways" by an ordinance adopted by the governing body of the county, city, or town in which such private roads or streets are located and (ii) the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place used for purposes of vehicular travel on any property owned, leased, or controlled by the United States government and located in the Commonwealth.”

Why does this definition matter? Well, according to Virginia law, you can be charged with reckless driving if you operate your vehicle recklessly or negligently on any of this state's “highways”—which, by the phrasing of this statute, includes not only streets, avenues and true highways, but also parking lots, alleys and even driveways. In fact, it's not a rare occurrence for Virginia drivers to incur a reckless driving charge for going too fast in a school parking lot or even backing out of their own driveways without looking first! Questions? Call the Virginia traffic lawyers at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman (888-783-9701) for a free consultation today!

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