Virginia Delegate Bill Janis Proposes a new law for recklessly violating a traffic light.

03 Feb

UPDATE: Bill Janis has amended this bill to State : Reckless driving offenses.  Provides that any person who operates a motor vehicle in violation of § 46.2-833 (running a red light) is guilty of reckless driving

This now makes sense and is Practical!

It pains me to write this as Bill Janis, Virginia Delegate from the 56th District and Republican Whip, is one of my favorite members of the General Assembly. Having said that, Janis has proposed a new bill which is every bit as nonsensical as the hate crime legislation proposed by the big boys in DC.

The bill Provides that any person who operates a motor vehicle in violation of § 46.2-821 (running a stop or yield sign) or 46.2-833 (running a red light) and unintentionally causes the serious bodily injury or death of another is guilty of reckless driving. So, if you blow through a red light and don’t hit anyone or if you do without causing serious bodily injury or death you will get a ticket but if you are unfortunate enough to kill or injure someone the offense is elevated to reckless which comes with more points against your license and those points remain on your DMV record longer.

Now I am not in favor of maiming or killing those I share the roads with but this proposal is not practical. Running red lights and stop signs is very dangerous and already carries  penalties. If you want to elevate running red lights and stop signs to reckless then do that; it doesn’t make sense to predicate the penalty based on whether or not someone was unfortunate enough to get in their way.

I always try to think about who benefits from particular legislation in order to determine the motivation of the bill’s patron. Having been cited with reckless driving a few years back I was advised by more than a few people who said if I simply hired an attorney with an expertise in traffic violations the judge would reduce or dismiss the charges. I did so and for just under a thousand dollars in legal fees the judge dismissed the charges (contingent upon my successful completion of traffic school and court fees). Bill Janis is a defense lawyer,  representing clients in the full range of dui defense, traffic tickets, criminal and civil lawsuits. Hmmmm…?


Posted by on February 3, 2011 in politics


3 responses to “Virginia Delegate Bill Janis Proposes a new law for recklessly violating a traffic light.

  1. P. Henry Saddleburr

    February 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    I like Bill Janis as a person, but as a legislator he shows all the signs of those who have been swallowed by the machine. Sometimes they have nanny-like impulses. Sometimes they are self serving. Sometimes it’s a little of both.

    Janis has several ‘jump the shark’ moments in his legislative career.

    Is it possible to be in elected office without being either corrupted or succumbing to the grievance mongers?

    I’m beginning to wonder.

  2. J. Etheridge Ward, III

    July 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Bill Janis has got this all wrong. First you need to find me a properly functioning traffic light, you will be hard pressed to find one in the State of Virginia, so that means that 99.9% of these devices are improperly functioning – you cannot be found guilty of a malfunctioning device. Bill Janis needs to read the Virginia state code on a GREEN light, that light does not give the person who gets a GREEN light at an intersection the right to proceed, only after all other vehicles in that intersection have cleared the intersection.

    I believe the original law written as it should have been, knowing that the traffic lights do not function as they should, gives everyone in the intersection the Right-of-Way over the opposing traffic that receives the GREEN light. When you get a GREEN light at an intersection you can only proceed if the intersection is CLEAR – that means if traffic is flowing through it because the light turned too quickly (as it does in most cases), the person with the GREEN light must WAIT until the way is clear.

    People don’t run red lights, the light turns red and the people are in the intersection. These people were past the POINT-OF-NO-RETURN for the intersection, but the light fixture is only a mechanical device and is subject to failure, mainly due to the idiots that programmed it at each intersection, not taking into consideration the major factors: Speed Limit; Reaction Time (no standard); Point-of-no-Return (distance/time to stop a vehicle SAFELY before the White Stop Line Bar); and how many feet is it across that intersection from that White Stop Line Bar to the other side of the intersection. That is quite a distance in some cases, and each is different, so you just cannot go out and program every intersection with the same time differentials, that would create a malfunctioning light, as are most.

    To think that I would slam on my brakes to keep from getting a wreckless driving violation makes NO SENSE, that would mean I would be wreckless. Get with it. We DO NOT NEED another CATCH-22. The law is fine just the way it is.


    J. Etheridge Ward, III

  3. anonymous

    October 9, 2011 at 8:06 am

    you are all brain dead, hes making the roads safer for all drivers and pedestrians. you just dont want to get in trouble cause you all run red lights.

    bill janis, forever.


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