CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) –A bill in the House of Delegates is aiming to increase the penalties of reckless driving resulting in death or serious bodily injury in the state of West Virginia.
House Bill 3134 was introduced by House Delegates John Schott and Chad Lovejoy. Under the bill, if someone is guilty of reckless driving resulting in death, the driver would be ordered to spend 3 to 15 years in prison and would be charged with a $1,000 to $3,000 fine. That’s different than the current law which states no more than a year in prison and a fine of $100 to $1,000.
The bill also states if someone is found guilty of recklessly driving and causing serious bodily injury, the driver could spend 2 to 10 years in prison and could face a fine of $1,000 to $3,000. That’s up from the current law that states 10 days to 6 months in jail and $50 to $1,000 fine.
Beckley Police Officer and Regional Coordinator for the Governor Highways Safety Office, Sgt. Jamie Wilhite stressed that a chunk of fatal and injury related accidents in West Virginia are related to impared, reckless, or distracted drivers, and this bill would be beneficial in punishing those who don’t think before endangering other innocent drivers on the road.
“It’s holding people accountable for their actions and what they cause,” Sgt. Wilhite said. :We’re not talking about, and I use this term loosley ‘an accident, ‘because it’s really not an accident it is a crash caused by someone else.”
As of February 22, 2019, the bill is on its third reading in the House of Delegates.