2011 Connecticut Code
Title 14 Motor Vehicles. Use of the Highway By Vehicles. Gasoline
Chapter 248 Vehicle Highway Use
Sec. 14-222. Reckless driving.

      Sec. 14-222. Reckless driving. (a) No person shall operate any motor vehicle upon any public highway of the state, or any road of any specially chartered municipal association or of any district organized under the provisions of chapter 105, a purpose of which is the construction and maintenance of roads and sidewalks, or in any parking area for ten cars or more or upon any private road on which a speed limit has been established in accordance with the provisions of section 14-218a or upon any school property recklessly, having regard to the width, traffic and use of such highway, road, school property or parking area, the intersection of streets and the weather conditions. The operation of a motor vehicle upon any such highway, road or parking area for ten cars or more at such a rate of speed as to endanger the life of any person other than the operator of such motor vehicle, or the operation, downgrade, upon any highway, of any motor vehicle with a commercial registration with the clutch or gears disengaged, or the operation knowingly of a motor vehicle with defective mechanism, shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this section. The operation of a motor vehicle upon any such highway, road or parking area for ten cars or more at a rate of speed greater than eighty-five miles per hour shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this section.

      (b) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than three hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or be both fined and imprisoned for the first offense and for each subsequent offense shall be fined not more than six hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned.

      (1949 Rev., S. 2408; 1961, P.A. 379, S. 3; 1963, P.A. 290; February, 1965, P.A. 224; 1969, P.A. 450, S. 3; 1971, P.A. 31; P.A. 73-253, S. 2; P.A. 77-340, S. 7; P.A. 81-268, S. 1; P.A. 90-213, S. 8; 90-263, S. 67, 74.)

      History: 1961 act amended Subsec. (a) to include parking areas for ten or more cars; 1963 act amended Subsec. (a) to include roads of specially chartered municipal associations; 1965 act added district roads to Subsec. (a); 1969 act prohibited operating vehicle recklessly on private roads with established speed limits; 1971 act replaced "occupant" with "operator" in Subsec. (a) provision re endangerment; P.A. 73-253 prohibited operating vehicle recklessly on school property; P.A. 77-340 replaced reference to Sec. 14-219 in Subsec. (a) with reference to Sec. 14-218a; P.A. 81-268 amended Subsec. (b) by establishing a minimum fine of $100 and increasing the maximum fine from $100 to $300 for first offenses, and increasing the maximum fine for subsequent offenses from $200 to $600; P.A. 90-213 amended Subsec. (a) to add provision that operation of a motor vehicle at a rate of speed greater than 85 miles per hour constitutes a violation of the section; P.A. 90-263 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute phrase "motor vehicle with a commercial registration" for "commercial motor vehicle".

      See Sec. 14-107 re liability of owner, operator or lessee of vehicle.

      See Sec. 14-111(b), (k) re suspension or revocation of operator's license.

      See Sec. 14-111g re operator's retraining program.

      See Sec. 14-112(a) re proof of financial responsibility.

      See Sec. 14-219b re limitation of municipal liability.

      Criminal homicide by reckless driving. 82 C. 671; 83 C. 437; 108 C. 212. Former statute applied. 93 C. 254. Violation does not entitle injured person to recover treble damages. Id., 249. Doing any act prohibited by motor vehicle laws is negligence of itself, and is actionable when proximate cause of injury. 98 C. 495; 99 C. 727. Driving down icy hill in high gear. 105 C. 669. Reckless driving does not lie in speed alone, but in that and other circumstances which together show reckless disregard of consequences. 108 C. 214. Contributory negligence, while not a defense to action for reckless misconduct, is a defense to action for negligence consisting in part of violation of this statute. 116 C. 475; 123 C. 211. Negligence as a prerequisite for finding statute was violated. 117 C. 616. Cited. 119 C. 314. Where complaint had no allegation of reckless driving, court properly omitted reading portion of statute referring to it. 123 C. 177. Operating recklessly is operating without regard for safety of others. Id., 212. If speed in passing vehicle was not such as to endanger any of its occupants, it did not constitute reckless driving. 124 C. 270. Where jury was cautioned that plaintiff was limited to negligence specified in complaint, it was not prejudicial to read inapplicable portion of statute. 125 C. 512. Violation of this statute not necessarily established by fact only that defendant was driving under influence of liquor; or only that car was going at high rate of speed. 132 C. 227. Excessive speed passing trolley car may be reckless driving. Id., 248. Cited. 139 C. 719; 149 C. 385. The allegations of plaintiff's complaint that defendant was negligent because of actions including violations of this statute were not sufficient to permit recovery upon the ground of reckless and wanton misconduct by the defendant. 159 C. 91. Cited. 162 C. 565. Plaintiff's waiver of representation by counsel at hearing where his license was suspended for contributing to accidental death precludes later claim of denial of procedural due process. 168 C. 94. Police officer's failure to enforce this statute discussed. 187 C. 147 (Diss. Op.). Cited. 202 C. 629. Cited. 203 C. 305. Cited. 208 C. 94. Cited. 226 C. 191. Cited. 230 C. 427. Cited. 240 C. 489.

      Cited. 9 CA 686. Cited. 12 CA 306. Cited. 14 CA 347. Cited. 27 CA 225; Id., 377. Cited. 32 CA 1. Cited. 33 CA 49. Cited. 36 CA 710. Cited. 38 CA 8; judgment reversed, see 236 C. 18; Id., 85. Cited. 41 CA 664. Evidence is sufficient to prove defendant operated motor vehicle recklessly or at such a rate of speed as to endanger the life of another when state proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that defendant ignored posted warning signs, drove well in excess of the posted speed limit and operated vehicle in such a reckless manner as to endanger the lives of the passengers. 51 CA 463.

      Operating recklessly within the meaning of this section requires a conscious choice of action either with knowledge of the serious danger to others involved in it or with knowledge of facts which would disclose this danger to a reasonable man. There must be something more than a failure to use reasonable care, something more than gross negligence. 22 CS 391. Neither speed nor driving under the influence of liquor would alone be sufficient for a conviction for reckless driving, but such circumstances in conjunction with other circumstances can be taken into consideration in determining whether a defendant showed a reckless disregard of consequences. Id., 400. Nature of reckless misconduct discussed. 24 CS 108. Cited. Id., 156. Cited. 26 CS 184. The misconduct of the plaintiff was simple negligence and not the exacerbated type which is reckless misconduct. 31 CS 325. Cited. 37 CS 661. Cited. 38 CS 549.

      Evidence of injuries received in auto accident relevant in proving offense. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 446. Reckless driving does not lie in speed alone but in speed and other circumstances which, together, show a reckless disregard of circumstances. Id., 501, 502. Cited. Id., 634. To establish violation of first sentence of statute reckless or wanton misconduct must be shown. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 25. Guilt might be established under second sentence of statute by evidence which would prove only that life was endangered. Id., 26, 27. Where only evidence relative to defendant's operational conduct is an estimate of his speed at a point 600 feet before accident occurred, evidence held insufficient to warrant conclusion of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Id., 28. Cited. Id., 294, 295. Presumption raised by section 14-107 that proof of registration number of motor vehicle shall be prima facie evidence that owner was operator thereof is not violative of due process since there is a rational and reasonable connection between the facts proved and the ultimate fact presumed. Id., 462, 463. Cited. Id., 380. Cited. 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 499 (fn); Id., 541. Cited. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 298.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 198 C. 43. Cited. 236 C. 18.

      Cited. 40 CA 643. Conviction of reckless driving not inconsistent with acquittal on charge of risk of injury to a child under Sec. 53-21(a)(1) because each offense contains different elements and a conviction on one is not inconsistent with an acquittal on the other. 122 CA 631.

      Defendant who, following another car, bumped it from the rear more than once could reasonably be found guilty of reckless driving under this section. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 509, 510.

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