As we reported on Monday, SB1339, the vulnerable road user bill, has been referred to House Courts of Justice Committee, which meets again this Wednesday. If your delegate is on this committee, please contact them and ask them to support SB1339.
Why do we need to pass this bill? Without having committed another offense, such as running a red light or a stop sign, or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drivers who are not paying attention and hit a cyclist are often not charged with anything, even when it results in serious injury or death. The Dan Hersh case in Virginia Beach is a good example:
“Hersh, an avid cyclist on his Sunday morning ride, was apparently following traffic laws by pedaling east in the right travel lane – not the turn lane – on Shore Drive near Starfish Road in the early light shortly before 6 a.m., when a Ford Explorer struck him from behind. He was wearing a helmet and a bright yellow windbreaker with reflective strips, Bryant said.
“In terms of his safety equipment, there certainly was no fault on his part,” he said.
The driver of the Explorer told police she never saw Hersh, and authorities found no evidence to support potential charges to allege that she hit him willfully or through negligent or reckless driving, Bryant said.”
SB1339 would make it a ticketable offense to drive in a careless or distracted manner that results in injury to a vulnerable road user, such as a cyclist or pedestrian.
If your delegate is on the House Courts of Justice Committee, please contact them now — before Wednesday’s meeting — and ask them to support SB1339.
Please forward this to your bike club mailing lists, and share it in social media.