Vermont Reckless Driving

In Vermont, reckless driving can result in up to $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. Penalties for grossly negligent operation are much harsher.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
In Vermont, reckless driving is known as negligent operation and is divided into two categories—ordinary negligent operation, and grossly negligent operation of a vehicle. Depending on the severity of the violation, you can face up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for an ordinary violation, and up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000 for a gross violation of the Vermont reckless driving laws.
A reckless driving or negligent operation charge is a serious matter in Vermont. Such a charge can encompass a wide variety of violations and carry severe penalties.
That’s why the
car insurance
broker and comparison shopping app
Jerry
has put together everything a Vermont driver needs to know about reckless driving laws, how to stay on the right side of them, and how to find cheap
car insurance in Vermont
even with a less-than-ideal record.
icon
Make safe driving pay
Get rewarded for safe driving. Earn points and unlock benefits. Totally free.
Start earning now

How does Vermont define reckless driving?

In Vermont, reckless driving or the negligent operation of a vehicle is defined as the operation of a motor vehicle “on a public highway in a negligent manner.”
The difference between an ordinary negligent violation and a grossly negligent violation are as follows:
  • Ordinary: where a person fails to use reasonable care when driving a vehicle
  • Grossly: where a person shows severe, reckless, or careless misconduct while operating a vehicle
If you are stopped for reckless driving, a police officer will determine whether your conduct qualifies as ordinary negligence or gross negligence. The penalties for each type of negligent operation are different and will be explained below.

What are the penalties for reckless driving in Vermont?

In Vermont, negligent operation can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the incident.

Ordinary negligent operation

If convicted for ordinary negligent operation, the penalties are as follows:
  • 1st ordinary negligent violation: up to 1 year in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines
  • 2nd and additional ordinary negligent violations: up to 2 years in jail and/or up to $3,000 in fines
An ordinary negligence violation that results in serious injuries or death are penalized as follows:
  • Up to 2 years in jail and/or a maximum of $3,000 in fines
  • A separate violation conviction for each person injured or killed is possible

Grossly negligent operation

If convicted of grossly negligent operation, the penalties are as follows:
  • 1st grossly negligent violation: up to 2 years in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines
  • 2nd and additional grossly negligent violations: up to 4 years in jail and/or up to $10,000 in fines
  • Violators may also be subject to a $50 surcharge
A grossly negligent violation resulting in serious bodily injury or death can be penalized as follows:
  • Up to 15 years in jail and up to $15,000 in fines
  • A separate violation conviction for each person injured or killed is possible
  • Violators may also be subject to a $50 surcharge

How can I remove a reckless driving charge from my record?

In Vermont,
driver's license points
remain on your record for two years from the date of conviction. 
In some cases, points may be waived under the following conditions:
  • You have not accumulated any points for 5 years prior to your conviction
  • You have not had 3 points on your Vermont driving record for the 10 years prior to receiving the violation
  • You have no traffic offenses warranting more than 3 points on your driving record
  • You do not operate a commercial vehicle
  • You did not cause bodily injury or property damage to another person
MORE: How to get car insurance with a bad driving record

Will reckless driving make my insurance go up?

A reckless driving or negligent operation violation can make your car insurance premium soar when your policy comes up for renewal.
In Vermont, a negligent operation violation can cause your premium to spike by as much as 61%, or about $655 at the renewal period following a negligent operation conviction.
In order to prevent this from happening, using
safe driving tips
is the best way to steer clear of any big rate hikes. If you can, taking a defensive driving course is another way to ensure you develop the safe habits necessary to avoid any risky driving behavior. You’ll not only become a better driver, but you’ll keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe.

How to find affordable car insurance in Vermont

Even if you’re convicted of negligent operation in Vermont, this doesn’t mean you’ll pay outrageous
car insurance
rates forever.
With
Jerry
, you’ll be able to find great and affordable insurance rates with a good or not-so-good driving record. Sign-up takes a mere 45 seconds, and then this car super app gets to work comparing quotes from more than 50 top insurance companies for you. 
Once you make your pick, Jerry does all the administrative heavy lifting in signing you up for your new policy and helping you cancel your old one. Best of all, Jerry will automatically search for better rates on your behalf before each renewal period!
“This was so easy! Signing up with
Jerry
saved me $499 on my semi-annual insurance. As if it was nothing!” —Kache P.
rating reverse-full
"I’m earning
awesome rewards
every week, just for driving safe!”

FAQs

Yes, you can be jailed for reckless driving in Vermont. Depending on the severity of the violation, you could face prison time, ranging from up to 1 year to up to 15 years behind bars.
In Vermont, the minimum penalty you could face for ordinary negligent operation is up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings