While the wording for reckless driving is vague in California traffic law,
the penalties can be severe. A person can be fined, jailed or both for
reckless driving and it was largely dependent upon police officer’s
opinion or discretion. Here are four examples of reckless driving behavior,
which can get you convicted.
Example #1, Self-Centeredness and Reckless Driving
The primary cause of recklessness when driving is being self-centered.
On California roadways, time is something that becomes a catalyst for
making poor choices. It is not uncommon for people to use street structures
that are not designed for vehicles to bypass waiting in traffic. A very
common example of this is driving on sidewalks. It is very easy to drive
over a curb, pass several cars, and merge back into traffic when it is
When a driver chooses this reckless behavior, they are endangering the
lives of people who are using sidewalks for walking. Turning a sidewalk
into a personal driving lane can garner a minimum ticket of $145, which
when the state and county surcharges, fees, and assessments are added
will add up to around $900, plus from 5 to 90 days in jail. According to
CVC 23103, this is an instance where a driver exhibits an obvious and willful disregard
of safety for pedestrians.
Example #2, Reckless Driving that Pits Your Car Against People
Reckless use of a vehicle in California is not just a traffic violation,
it is considered a misdemeanor crime. In places where crosswalks integrate
with traffic, it is easy for a driver to use their car to try and manipulate
the activities of pedestrians. Coaxing people with your car to walk faster
in a crosswalk is reckless. This includes creating barriers, and inching
through crosswalks in anticipation of a green light.
In today's political climate, recklessness also includes forcing your
car through a crowd gathered on public grounds. It doesn't matter
if the crowd is occupying designated foot traffic areas, or not. When
you use your car to forcefully get through a crowd, it is similar in the
eyes of the law as brandishing a weapon.
Example #3, Recklessness is Sometimes Opportune
Swerving into oncoming traffic is considered reckless. Again, this is a
self-centered behavior. Swerving into oncoming traffic puts your life,
and others, at risk of bodily injury. It also means crossing medians with
willful or wanton carelessness. Any law enforcement officer (LEO) who
witnesses excessive swerving in and out of established traffic lanes,
will immediately assume that the driver is driving recklessly or they
may even consider the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Breaking solid highway divisions is one of the clearest examples of reckless driving.
Hire a Central Valley Attorney
If you are considering fighting a cell phone ticket or you’re scheduled
to appear in court for a traffic ticket in Bakersfield or any Central
Valley court, call Bigger & Harman to receive a free, no obligation
phone consultation. Bigger & Harman are traffic ticket defenders who
have offices throughout Central Valley and a few SoCal locations, such
as Los Angeles, Riverside, SLO, and San Bernardino.
Although their main office is in Kern County, they represent traffic ticket
clients in Hanford, Barstow, Santa Clarita, LA, Fresno, Porterville, Independence
and many more. Bigger & Harman have a good reputation with the judges,
court clerks, and law enforcement as tough courtroom lawyers, but more
importantly with their clients, which includes many of the truckers who
haul our country’s manufactured and agricultural goods to market.
Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300 to discuss your situation or email:
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