Category Archives: Traffic Offenses

Please Stop for School Buses #safety #traffic

Image c/o Wikipedia.org

Now that the kids are back in school, here’s a helpful reminder that in Virginia (and probably most, if not all, of the other states) you’re guilty of reckless driving — a Class 1 misdemeanor (§ 46.2-868) — if you fail to stop when a school bus’s lights indicate that it’s stopping to pick up or drop off its passengers. See § 46.2-859. The punishment for a class 1 misdemeanor can be stiff, but if you actually kill someone while violating this statute, it becomes a class 6 felony, for which the punishment is even greater.

If you’re having any trouble understanding your obligations under the statute, refer to the helpful illustration on page 14 of the the Virginia Driver’s Manual. To summarize, if you’re in a car and see the flashing lights, stop and wait. Wherever you’re going, it isn’t worth killing a child to get there on time, and based on this video, referring to that risk is not hyperbole. The video also shows that, in some states, they’re watching you.

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Rob Bodine is a Virginia attorney focusing his practice on real estate and intellectual property law. He’s currently Virginia counsel with First Class Title, Inc., a Maryland title insurance and settlement company. Rob is also a licensed title insurance agent in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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Filed under Criminal Law, Education, Traffic Offenses

$afety Fir$t: Traffic Cameras and You

The Fairfax County Police just issued a news release with respect to yet another red light camera going up in the county. Who voted for these cameras?

Rob's Blog of Controversy

Note: This is a repost and edit of an entry I wrote for my prior blog, Are You Kidding Me?.

I have a pet peeve that I must get off my chest: Traffic cameras. They drive me nuts. But before I lay into them, let me give you some background.

I have a long-standing pet peeve: Sham enforcement of traffic laws. It’s clearly not about safety; it’s about raising revenue for the state. Essentially, it’s a tax wrapped up in a dishonest justification. And that would be fine (and Constitutional) if there weren’t punishment attached to the fine. For some of them, you could have your license revoked, your record tarnished (higher insurance rates, anyone?), and even have to serve jail time.

Now, some of you might be thinking, “But Rob, it’s about safety.”

No, it isn’t. If it were about safety, traffic laws wouldn’t…

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Filed under Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses

But We’re Not Allowed to Say We “Specialize” #law

In the old days, you would have one lawyer to handle everything: speeding tickets, buying a house, contracts, litigation, real estate, copyrights, leasing, entertainment, intellectual property, forensic accounting, criminal offenses… the list goes on. Now, you have to have a separate lawyer for each one of those categories!
Jim Belushi

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Rob Bodine is a Virginia attorney focusing his practice on real estate and intellectual property law. He’s currently Virginia counsel with First Class Title, Inc., a Maryland title insurance and settlement company. Rob is also a licensed title insurance agent in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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Filed under Copyright Law, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property Law, Philosophy, Real Estate Law, Tort Law, Traffic Offenses

Hashtags Are Your Friends #Twitter #hashtag

I’ve found myself retweeting some tweets lately that are interesting but might not get as much attention as they deserve. I always seem to have to add a comment to them in order to assure they’re getting viewed. You see, in any given instance, even a relatively low-profile account such as mine has a better chance of getting noticed than a high-profile account if I effectively use hashtags. People searching for keywords will find my tweet in their search result. For an example, see my title on this post. My posts automatically are shared to Twitter, and sometimes someone will share my page to Twitter. Either way, the hashtags automatically get included in those tweets, again raising my profile.

If you have no idea what hashtags are or how to use them, head over to the Twitter Help Center’s page on the subject. The only issue I take with their advice is that tweeting with more than two hashtags isn’t usually spamming. If your post covers more than two areas of interest, you’re going to want to use more than two hashtags. Just stick them at the end of the tweet’s title so that they don’t obscure the title, even repeating a word as long as you have the space to do so. Again, look at the title to this post as an example. I could have written, “#Hashtags Are Your Friends #Twitter,” but chose not to include the # sign in the title itself. It’s easier for people to read my title, yet I can still include the hashtag.

YMMV.

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Rob Bodine is a Virginia attorney focusing his practice on real estate and intellectual property law. He’s currently Virginia counsel with First Class Title, Inc., a Maryland title insurance and settlement company. Rob is also a licensed title insurance agent in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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Filed under Criminal Law, Philosophy, Traffic Offenses

Attention #Virginia Drivers: Changes to the #Texting While Driving #Law

Don’t do this.

The law of texting while driving (“TWD”) has changed in Virginia. § 46.2-341.20:5. Prohibition on texting and use of handheld mobile telephone; penalties now makes TWD a “primary offense,” which means that an officer can pull you over for texting even if you haven’t done anything else wrong. Moreover, “lawfully stopped” does not include being temporarily stopped by a red light or heavy traffic, so there’s no exception for when, for example, you’re sitting at a red light (subsection D, “texting”). On the other hand, some of the exceptions still apply.

  1. You may use your phone to operate your GPS system or embedded music player while driving.
  2. You may receive and end telephone calls as long it doesn’t take more than a single gesture (i.e., swipe or button push) to do so (subsection D, “Texting”).
  3. You may use your phone in *any* manner as a response to an emergency (subsection C).
  4. You may use your device “hands free” as long as it’s mounted (i.e., you aren’t holding it with either one or both hands) in such a way that you don’t have to unbuckle your seat belt or adjust your proper driver’s sitting position to access it (subsection D, “Use of a handheld mobile telephone”). This exception does not apply to texting! You may not text even if the phone is mounted!

Note: These bullet points are summaries of the exceptions. Please read the statute to make sure you understand them completely.

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Rob Bodine is a Virginia attorney focusing his practice on real estate and intellectual property law. He’s currently Virginia counsel with First Class Title, Inc., a Maryland title insurance and settlement company. Rob is also a licensed title insurance agent in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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Filed under Criminal Law, Philosophy, Traffic Offenses