A crash between a car and a moped near the Virginia Beach-Chesapeake city line sent the rider to the hospital with injuries. The collision also resulted in at least one charge against the driver of the car.
This crash happened at the intersection of Elbow Road and Margaret Drive a little after 10 am on July 22, 2021. According to news reports, the person behind the wheel of the car was attempting to turn left out of Margaret Drive whey they struck and seriously injured the moped rider.
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Police filed a preliminary charge for disregarding a stop sign against the driver. The applicable state statute is section 46.2-821 of the Virginia Code. That law reads, in part,
The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection on a highway controlled by a stop sign shall, immediately before entering such intersection, stop at a clearly marked stop line, or, in the absence of a stop line, stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, in the absence of a marked crosswalk, stop at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. Before proceeding, he shall yield the right-of-way to the driver of any vehicle approaching on such other highway from either direction.
Since the moped rider was traveling along Elbow Road and the car’s driver was facing a stop sign on Margaret Drive, the rider clearly had right of way. Also, another state law authorizes moped riders to use surface roads and state highways with posted speed limits of 35 mph or lower. These facts point to the person who was injured in this collision having strong grounds for filing insurance claims against the driver of the car.
A Dangerous Road Demands Drivers’ Respect
Running the stop sign may only be part of the story. The wreck happened the day after several local news outlets ran versions of an article titled “Virginia Beach Will Soon Take the ‘Elbow’ Out of Elbow Road.” CBS affiliate WTKR started its report this way:
It’s a curvy, windy, two-lane road where backups occur daily.
“Elbow Road sees over 10,000 vehicles per day,” said Annette Hare, project manager with the City of Virginia Beach Public Works.
Elbow Road is a heavily-traveled, five-mile road connecting Chesapeake to Virginia Beach near Stumpy Lake.
“The highest priority in our engineering office is to take the ‘elbow’ out of Elbow Road on the east side of North Landing River,” said Hare.
In addition to straightening curves, plans call for widening travel lanes, adding bike lanes and sidewalks, putting in turn lanes and extending shoulders. All those changes to the roadway have promise for improving safety. They will clear lines of sight for drivers entering Elbow Road from parking lots and neighborhoods while also creating space between motor vehicles and pedestrians and bicyclists. The number of crashes will likely decrease once the upgrades are made.
At present, however, drivers who regularly use Elbow Road should understand the dangers and exercise appropriate caution. Taking extra time at stop signs to check and recheck for approaching vehicles before turning should be a habit.