Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this article, upon the trial of any person charged with reckless driving where the degree of culpability is slight, the court in its discretion may find the accused not guilty of reckless driving but guilty of improper driving. However, an attorney for the Commonwealth may reduce a charge of reckless driving to improper driving at any time prior to the court’s decision and shall notify the court of such change. Improper driving shall be punishable as a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $ 500.
GUILT TO BE ESTABLISHED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. –Both reckless driving and improper driving are criminal offenses and to sustain a conviction of either the Commonwealth’s evidence must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Bacon v. Commonwealth, 220 Va. 766, 263 S.E.2d 390 (1980). (decided under prior law).
WHEN EVIDENCE INSUFFICIENT. –The mere fact that an accident happened, or that the automobile followed an erratic course for 362′ after it was out of control, does not give rise to an inference of reckless driving or of improper driving. Bacon v. Commonwealth, 220 Va. 766, 263 S.E.2d 390 (1980). (decided under prior law).