This question is inspired by my GPS being overly literal-minded, and complaining about the fact that the airplane I was riding in was going somewhat faster than the speed limit for the road it was flying over.

Say your airplane really did get pulled over for going 471 miles per hour in a 45 zone. What penalty would you be facing?

  • 2
    What vehicle would law enforcement be using to pull you over at that speed ? Under what circumstances would this even plausible?
    – davidgo
    May 6, 2017 at 4:03
  • 1
    In the UK, over 100mph on the motorway is an automatic ban, and you will go to court. 200 mph is realistically possible, in that case I suppose a court could come up with all kinds of things like calling it attempted murder, or have you submitted to a mental institution.
    – gnasher729
    May 6, 2017 at 12:46
  • 1
    JUh oh police fighter jets are coming.
    – user8858
    Sep 18, 2017 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


According to Virginia law,

Every person convicted of reckless driving under the provisions of this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

That speed easily qualifies as reckless driving:

A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

The punishment for a class 1 misdemeanor is "confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both."

But wait! An airplane is heavy, so this may also apply:

If it is found by the judge of a court of proper jurisdiction that the violation of any provision of this title (i) was a serious traffic violation as defined in § 46.2-341.20 and (ii) that such violation was committed while operating a vehicle or combination of vehicles used to transport property that either: (a) has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds or (b) has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds inclusive of a towed vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, the judge may assess, in addition to any other penalty assessed, a further monetary penalty not exceeding $500.

By the way, I couldn't find a general reckless endangerment statute (unrelated to specific objects like firearms or specific results like injury or death) in Virginia law. The closest thing I could find was disorderly conduct, which is also a class 1 misdemeanor. It's possible I just don't know where to look.

  • If a road has a maximum speed limit in excess of 80 mph, does that mean that one would be guilty of reckless driving merely by going the speed limit?
    – Vikki
    May 22, 2021 at 23:14
  • 1
    @Vikki, the maximum permissible speed limit in Virginia is 70 mph. That said, they did raise the threshold from 80 mph to 85 mph in 2020.
    – Mark
    Jan 18 at 21:49

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