Last summer’s horrendous fatal accident caused by a Pennsylvania driver in New York made the news in multiple states. Members of one family — a grandmother, mother, two daughters and their friend — were incinerated when their SUV exploded in flames. A tractor-trailer had slammed into the back of another vehicle, causing a chain-reaction collision amid cars and trucks slowing for road work. The driver of the first vehicle that was hit was also killed. This past summer, the driver of the tractor-trailer was charged with reckless driving after police investigators concluded that his inattention while driving was the cause of the fatal accident.
What does reckless driving mean in Pennsylvania?
Reckless driving is a serious charge in which a driver piloted a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. With reckless driving, there is a greater degree of culpability than mere negligence or carelessness, and it is punished more severely.
Learn about the penalties for reckless driving in Pennsylvania
The usual penalty for reckless driving is a $200 fine and a six-month license suspension. However, when reckless driving leads to an accident that causes serious bodily injury or death, and the driver leaves the scene of the accident, Pennsylvania law provides for:
- At least a one-year license suspension
- 90 days in jail and a $1,000 minimum fine if someone was seriously injured
- A fine of $25,000 and a jail sentence of 12 months if the accident caused a person’s death
If you or someone you care about is facing serious charges after a traffic collision, consult with Berks County’s experienced reckless driving defense counsel in order to understand the ramifications of the charges and what the best options might be for a defense to the charges.