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Thread: Hit by car on Columbia Pike,driver at fault/ticketed.Officer changed fault on report.

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I somewhat disagree with this. As a former runner, I could run a steady 9 mph, somewhat faster downhill and when doing intervals. A runner is a pedestrian I believe. There is no such thing as "against the flow of traffic" when a pedestrian. An attentive driver should "expect" that. The OP was moving at a similar speed and had the walk signal.
    If the driver had hit me, running at 9-10 mph, would you assign fault evenly, too? What if I were jogging with a jogging stroller and a baby?
    My understanding is that Virginia is a contributory negligence state, so even if the OP is shown to be 1% at fault, he can't collect from the other party (who probably doesn't have money anyway being uninsured).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I somewhat disagree with this. As a former runner, I could run a steady 9 mph, somewhat faster downhill and when doing intervals. A runner is a pedestrian I believe. There is no such thing as "against the flow of traffic" when a pedestrian. An attentive driver should "expect" that. The OP was moving at a similar speed and had the walk signal.
    If the driver had hit me, running at 9-10 mph, would you assign fault evenly, too? What if I were jogging with a jogging stroller and a baby?
    Haha Steve O will humblebrag in ANY THREAD HE PLEASES.

    OP: Definitely look up Bruce Deming and best of luck.

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    I know practically nothing about the law, but it seems if your lawyer is demonstrably underperforming, that itself would be a breach of the contract. Contracts are supposed to protect both parties in the agreement, not entrap one without recourse.

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    Sorry to hear that this happened to you. I have the same commute.

    Why do you think the officer changed the citation? Something made him do it: his supervisor, an incentive, his quotas (Shh!), your ability to pay a ticket? There's something there.

    It doesn't seem to me like it's just a case of a cop with no sympathy for cyclists; he actually cited the driver at first and then, it seems, someone overruled him when he got back to precinct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I somewhat disagree with this. As a former runner, I could run a steady 9 mph
    "could", sure. But for a runner 10-15 mph isn't "average" (to use the OP's phrase) -- it's KOM pace. Average runners are more in the 5-8 mph range, especially for base mileage.

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    My point was not to quibble over 8 mph v 9 mph. It was in response to the suggestion that a driver should not be expected to yield right of way to a pedestrian who is moving more than 3-4 mph. I wholeheartedly disagree. If the crosswalk has a walk signal and the car has a red light, the driver must ascertain that it is safe to proceed right on red prior to proceeding. Period.

    And actually, it's irrelevant in this case, since the driver admitted he wasn't even looking anyway.

    And to be fair, the poster did not claim what I stated above but rather made the point that he thought a judge might take that point of view. Sadly, that is plausible.

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    Virginia law is a little ambiguous on whether a bicyclists is a pedestrian or a vehicle when in a crosswalk area.

    Bicycles are vehicles when on roads. Bicycles are pedestrians when on sidewalks.

    There is a difference between who has the right of way when roads go over a sidewalk and when sidewalks go over a road.

    If a car drives out of a driveway and across the sidewalk into a road, the driver must yield to vehicles and pedestrians. A car exiting a driveway into the street is expected to wait until all the traffic is clear before proceeding. If a driver stops to let a driver out it is considered a traffic infraction of "stopping on a highway".

    So when a bicycist enters a street via a sidewalk and gets hit by a car, if the bicyclist is a vehicle it has violated rules because a vehicle should not be impeded the passage of vehicles on a highway by entering from a side driveway. If you view a bicycle as a pedestrian the cars must stop once the pedestrian has started across the crosswalk.

    When ambiguities occur, I think the rule should be resolved in the favor of the most vulnerable. So bicyclists in a crosswalk should be treated as pedestrians. However, the only way to be legally secure as a pedestrian instead of a vehicle, a rider must get off the bike and walk across the road to the other side.

    It is not clear enough to prosecute drivers for hitting cyclists who drive out in front of a moving car until the ambiguity is resolved by judge or legislation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarBikeCar View Post
    However, the only way to be legally secure as a pedestrian instead of a vehicle, a rider must get off the bike and walk across the road to the other side.
    Va. Code 46.2-904 "A person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, motorized skateboard or foot-scooter, motor-driven cycle, or electric power-assisted bicycle on a sidewalk or shared-use path or across a roadway on a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances."

    Clearly there is no legal requirement that bike must be walked across a crosswalk in order to be treated as a pedestrian. There is no ambiguity in the law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post
    Va. Code 46.2-904 "

    Clearly there is no legal requirement that bike must be walked across a crosswalk in order to be treated as a pedestrian. There is no ambiguity in the law.
    I don't disagree. However in Loudoun a cyclist got hit in the crosswalk riding to school and the driver was not charged. A child was hit by a car in a crosswalk and again no charges. Being in the crosswalk (especially without a walk light) does not give a pedestrian or cyclist much legal protection. Police say if the car isn't speeding then the pedestrian/cyclist is at fault for entering the crosswalk if the highway was not clear of approaching traffic, especially if there is no walk light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    Sorry to hear that this happened to you. I have the same commute.

    Why do you think the officer changed the citation? Something made him do it: his supervisor, an incentive, his quotas (Shh!), your ability to pay a ticket? There's something there.

    It doesn't seem to me like it's just a case of a cop with no sympathy for cyclists; he actually cited the driver at first and then, it seems, someone overruled him when he got back to precinct.
    This is really what I would like to get to the bottom of. I am completely confused as to why he changed it. And I am not sure how to go about finding this out. I suppose I could try and call his supervisor, but I'm not sure if there is a process to do so. When I emailed the officer about what happened, he never got back to me. It basically took my wife CC'ing his supervisor to get a response, and a pretty defensive one at that. It's really frustrating.

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