Passing a Car at a Railroad Crossing Is Illegal in the State of Virginia

In the state of Virginia, it's against the law to overtake or pass any kind of vehicle at a railroad crossing (of course, this law is usually enforced when you pass a stopped vehicle at a crossing where the warning signals have been activated, rather than a moving vehicle when there's no train in sight). If you are caught doing this, a police officer will have no choice but to ticket you for reckless driving—at which point your top priority should be to call a traffic attorney from Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC.

Passing at a Railroad Crossing Can Create an Immediate Hazard

We've all had the experience of being stuck behind an extra-cautious driver, who stops at a railroad crossing the instant any warning signals begin to flash (and even before the crossing guards have been activated). If we're in a hurry, our first instinct is to pass the stopped car before the train is anywhere close to the crossing. Not only is this foolhardy and dangerous, but it's also illegal, and a police officer who witnesses the act can issue you a citation for reckless driving, the penalties for which include:

  • Thousands of dollars' worth of fines
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver's license
  • Up to a year in jail
  • A mandatory six points added to your driving record

Part of the reason passing a car at a railroad crossing is taken so seriously by the authorities is that you're not only endangering your own life. The operators and passengers of the approaching train, the driver of the other car and his passengers, and any pedestrians in the immediate vicinity are also endangered by the decision to pass the stopped car. The only worse thing you can do than pass a car at a railroad crossing would be to pass a fully packed school bus—and since school-bus drivers are required to be extra-cautious at railroad intersections, this situation occurs more often than you might think.

A Charge of Passing at a Railroad Crossing Requires a Spirited Defense

Given the potential repercussions of a full-on train wreck involving numerous fatalities, the authorities in the state of Virginia don't look too kindly on drivers who behave recklessly at railroad crossings. If you were charged with passing a car at a railroad intersection, whether or not that particular incident resulted in an accident, call the experienced lawyers of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC today for a free consultation.