Norfolk, VA Pedestrian Accident Injury Lawyer Reports – Crosswalk Injuries and Pedestrian Rights
The recent death of a man who was killed crossing Northampton Boulevard in Virginia Beach, VA was not an isolated incident.
Over the last year cities such as Norfolk and Virginia Beach where Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has offices, and Hampton and Chesapeake, have seen a steady stream of pedestrian deaths.
Many Hampton Roads cities are not pedestrian friendly. There are few marked crossings and some neighborhoods lack sidewalks. Many fast moving highways are poorly marked.
But pedestrians who are injured do not always know the extent of their rights in Virginia. Just because they are not on a marked crosswalk or an area is badly lit, doesn’t gave drivers a right to ignore pedestrians until it’s too late.
See this video about crosswalk enforcement
Under Virginia law the driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing a highway:
This law applies on a clearly marked crosswalk, whether in the middle or at the end of a block; at any regular pedestrian crossing or any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.
Pedestrians also have rights at intersections or crosswalks where the movement of the traffic is being regulated by law-enforcement officers or traffic control devices.
While pedestrians should not enter or cross an intersection “in disregard of approaching traffic,” drivers entering, crossing, or turning at intersections are expected to “change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously.”
As well as the statute there is common law in Virginia and many other states, establish by cases, that means a pedestrian has a right-of-way at a street corner where a driver has a clear view of the pedestrian.
Sadly too many drivers disregard these laws and a large number of pedestrians have been killed in recent months in Virginia (VA). On Jan. 12, 2012 a pedestrian was killed by a pickup truck on Military Highway in Chesapeake, VA.
In 2011 Hampton police issued advice to pedestrians and drivers after a spate of deaths in that city.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a pedestrian hit by a motorist traveling at about 40 m.p.h. has an 85 percent chance of being killed. When speeds are lower his or her chances of survival are higher. At 30 m.p.h., the likelihood goes down to 45 percent; while at 20 m.p.h., the fatality rate is just five percent.
As experienced Norfolk-based crosswalk accident injury attorneys we are concerned that at a time when the roads are becoming safer, pedestrian deaths appear to be on the increase.