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Virginia Beach Drivers ARE Killing Without Consequence

WKTR-TV3 asks: “Are Virginia Beach drivers killing without consequence?” Yes, they are:

“City records show that nearly 40 Virginia Beach drivers have killed bicyclists and pedestrians in the past 10 years and faced not even a traffic ticket. Seven more faced charges for driving away after the accidents, but nothing for the crashes themselves. Only two motorists faced reckless-driving charges for killing pedestrians. The last time that happened was 10 years ago.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Bryant claims that the law doesn’t support prosecuting these cases. A report by the Virginia Transportation Research Council points out “due care” statutes that are in the Uniform Vehicle Code, but not in the Code of Virginia; and that Virginia is one of only 4 states that don’t explicitly require drivers to exercise due care around cyclists and pedestrians. Thanks to Bruce Drees for finding this, and posting it at The Hampton Roads Cyclist, where he concludes:

“…law enforcement shifts the blame to the legislature for not enacting sufficient legal protections. Yet advocates seeking legislative remedies have been rebuffed on the premise that the existing reckless driving law is sufficient and that it’s the enforcement types who are not doing their jobs.”

and,

“Can we get a little help here?”

Please share this story, and leave some good comments at WKTR.

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3 comments… add one

  • There is something wrong with the chief Prosecutor in Virginia Beach. He is not doing his job (I’m a lawyer too) and the voters should turn him or her out at the next election.

  • I can’t say this really surprises me. The roads here are not conducive to cycling, and even the multi-use trails are a little scary at road crossings. We moved here after 15 yrs in Portland and Eugene, OR, and it’s been a big change. The sad part is that Va Beach could be a great area for cycling, with it’s mild climate and flat terrain.

  • This is the exact sort of inequity that drives me insane. Bicyclists and pedestrians should be afforded MORE protection than motorists not less. You can’t change driving habits without appropriate consequences.

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