A Norfolk, Virginia (VA), bike rider suffered injuries that required hospital treatment when a driver struck him in a crosswalk in the 3600 block of Sewells Point Road on the afternoon of November 15, 2017. The driver than fled the scene.
Norfolk police continued searching for the hit-and-run driver the following day. They are asking anyone who witnessed the collision or who knows the identity of the fleeing driving to share their information by calling the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP, or (888) 562-5887.
Virginia law treats bike riders the same as pedestrians when the rider is using a crosswalk. The relevant statute, section 46.2-924 of the Virginia Code, requires drivers to yield right of way to people who are riding or walking bikes
- At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;
- At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;
- At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.
The speed limit on Sewells Point Road alternates between 25 mph and 35 mph, and the 3600 block runs through a residential part of Norfolk. Drivers should watch for bicycles and pedestrians at all times.
In a booklet titled Sharing the Road in Virginia, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission offers three tips for drivers:
- Always yield to pedestrians and bicyclists who are crossing the road in a crosswalk, especially when turning
- Allow pedestrians time to cross safely
- Don’t drive and use mobile devices
Left unsaid in that list -- possibly because it should not need repeating -- is that any driver who crashes into a bicyclist or pedestrian should stop and, when possible, provide first aid to anyone who suffered injuries. Causing a hit-and-run collision makes a driver subject to a felony conviction. It also leaves victims without possibly lifesaving assistance.
It does appear from news reports that the bike rider struck, injured, and abandoned in Norfolk will recover physically. He may find it difficult to file insurance claims and have his medical bills paid by the driver who harmed him, however. Partnering with a caring and experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer will help the injured man explored options like coverage under the uninsured motorist provisions of his own auto insurance policy.