virginia subrogationA case in Fairfax General District Court, heard before Judge Thomas E. Gallahue, underscores the need for the Virginia General Assembly to overhaul the Reckless Driving code section to explicitly include texting while driving.  In the case Judge Gallahue dismissed the reckless driving charge against Jason Gage since the statute in question, VA Code section 46.2-852 et seq.  This issue directly affects Virginia Subrogation attorneys, who routinely use the convictions or pleas of guilt to driving offenses as evidence in the case against defendant drivers.
The case in question arose from Jason Gage allegedly reading texts while driving, according to Gage’s cellular records, which show he received several text messages around the time of the accident.  Kyle Alec Rowley, only 19 years of age, was fatally struck by Gage’s car when his car was parked in the right travel lane after ceasing to operate.  Rowley’s hazard lights were illuminated and the car in front of Gage successfully navigated around Rowley’s vehicle, but Gage struck the rear of Rowley’s vehicle, killing Rowley.
According to police there were no signs of excessive speed or driving under the influence to account for Gage’s accident, which led them to investigate his cellular records.  The police did not think to charge Gage under VA Code 46.2-1078.1, which levies a $20 fine for texting while driving.  Since the reckless driving statutes do not include provisions proclaiming texting or talking on a cell phone “reckless” Judge Gallahue stated he had to dismiss the charge.
There is a strong argument that amending the reckless driving statutes to include a provision for texting while driving will send a strong message to Virginia drivers to cease texting while driving.  There have been numerous studies demonstrating texting while driving exponentially increases the likelihood of an accident.  For the Virginia Subrogation attorney having a clearly written, inclusive reckless driving statute makes prosecuting subrogation claims easier to prove in court, since a conviction or admission would demonstrate prima facie negligence on the part of the defendant.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *