Sunday, May 10, 2009


In Virginia Beach, this is now a positive defense for failure to do ones duty in the public way. Motorists are no longer expected to operate their vehicles in a manner that avoids hitting slower traffic in their lane.

Commonwealth's Attorney Harvey Bryant said members of his office and the Police Department's fatal crash team met Wednesday and determined there was insufficient evidence to file charges in the death of Daniel Wayne Hersh, the 54-year-old civil engineer and ex-SEAL killed on April 19.
Hersh, an avid cyclist on his Sunday morning ride, was apparently following traffic laws by pedaling east in the right travel lane - not the turn lane - on Shore Drive near Starfish Road in the early light shortly before 6 a.m., when a motorist struck him from behind. He was wearing a helmet and a bright yellow windbreaker with reflective strips, Bryant said. (
Witnesses who came upon the wreck said his blinking tail-lights were still on. -ChipSeal)
"In terms of his safety equipment, there certainly was no fault on his part," he said.
The motorist told police she never saw Hersh, and authorities found no evidence to support potential charges to allege that she hit him willfully or through negligent or reckless driving, Bryant told reporters.
The woman was cooperative, and she realized she had hit a bicyclist only after she felt the impact, stopped and saw Hersh's body, according to Bryant.
Investigators took measurements, photographs and video of the scene, all of which supported the woman's statement that she was in her lane and abiding by the 45-mph speed limit.
There were no witnesses, but investigators determined the motorist had not been smoking, and she passed a breath test for alcohol on-scene.
She denied falling asleep, and her cell phone records showed no calls or text messages at the time of the crash.
The woman loaned her vehicle to police, who conducted a re-enactment video along the same stretch at the same time of day.
None of the efforts produced anything that "would lead to a criminal prosecution or would substantiate a criminal prosecution," the CA Bryant said.

The conclusion of the local authorities is that while unfortunate, this wreck was unavoidable. The motorist wasn't drunk, asleep, speeding or using a phone! She was following the letter of the law, how could she be expected to have a duty to use due care? kijdjdjhhf jhshyjsuw shirewr eirijfr ewirhiehrj ieriherhjrieuhyr hrie iehroeiyfuehrioeyh rhehwfhiouwehriehuiew iuhyerioewuhyruhr uweriouewh hjjf
How could it be her fault? It isn't reasonable to expect a motorist to observe a well lit cyclist in your path. It isn't the drivers fault that she was overdriving her headlights. The manufacturer didn't make them bright enough. The speed limit was too high! lodjndjhyhf dhuduejjfdujdjd fjfdhdsjf ejjfjheiweoqowrhjrejh rehieh jeijhrdool jfdoifiodhjndified idfijosrijhfkdjht ieurie nfuirehreoti iutoietfdi jjjdj
The only reasonable conclusion is that this "accident" could have been prevented by an infrastructure change, not an attitude adjustment. It was a technology failure, not the imprudent and reckless behavior of the motorist.

The notion that there is insufficient evidence to charge the motorist with anything is preposterous and an obvious falsehood.kudsfh jufdhie hdush uhyhy udusuhd hduishyh shdhush suhdijshhrjhsuufdhjh shireuir uyrhe8uhrh eyrueuih 8erheue hreiuie
The motorist violated the cyclist's right of way by (at a minimum) following too close. There is plenty of EVIDENCE of that!kjdsyffr dfuwjserj usi eirie iei reiirjh riieirrjr reirejijhrie riejrieujreijr rjeiujr eiriejre riejrier riureje erier reijrjei eiurei jrieuierie eiieirrujur
Failure to observe traffic. The "I didn't see him, officer" is a confession, not an alibi!jdhfksdfhhfhdd jfhjhdkshjjhfuj fjfjkedujiejrujf jufrjrj jujfhd dhdhe dhue uhfh rujjdjd fdufrrujurjeej hhufrej hjdsheihfd urrehreirhhfd hfdeuirr8uhe uhei ur 8erehr uierjh
I wonder, if this driver had been a male, or unattractive, would she have garnered as much sympathy from the authorities? Is this un-named perpetrator politically or socially connected? ljujuujus hhysts ufjdhdysys jdhgdtegdeyd hdydbdjdjdhdhd ujdhstytgdhd djhdhdyd ydhdyshdyd djfkj dhdhdjdhddh uddndhdjjj jjjjjj
I fear that the real reason law enforcement "can't find a reason to charge her" is that it is blatant vehicle-class discrimination. Auto-ism if you will. kinn ujdyh hygsk kufjj jdhsjjdkjhd jhhhjkkjdhfnfnfjdjdjhdl kujhdgd kjuuj ijdhy hyyhyhh hgysgh hdhdhh
While the general public's attitude toward cyclists has deteriorated as car-centrism has been on the rise, we had refuge in the law. We choose not to be alarmed when law enforcement officers (LEO) decline to issue tickets to motorists for violating a cyclists right of way. (Improper passes, right hooks) We are not upset when they decline to cite cyclists for breaking the law, thus treating cyclists like irresponsible children rather than legitimate road users. (Salmon behavior, night trips without lights) klonj juuh hdsju hy uhdgd hdjdhhhhdjdbhcj j jjj jjjj jjdjd djdkkd lljhyhdh hys juj jjhdg isjrhh dhjjs ksjjs jjuikk
There was a time when the privilege of operating a motor vehicle on the public road brought with it a sense of responsibility and ownership for the consequences of your actions. Hitting someone or something was a BIG deal. Reckless behavior was a serious breach of social norms. gejjskk ijdhhjj jjekik kiik kkij judhr hjdsjj yudjdhdh jhhyddbddhjfj kijhsyyh hydhdjd hdhdysj ggs jjikjhidksks
Something has changed, and it is now infecting LEOs, DAs and our courts. Bicyclist's liberty is being encroached upon. Killing a cyclist is not a crime anymore. Killing a cyclist is not an avoidable event anymore. The law is abandoning us and no longer providing a deterrent to recklessness. There is no expectation of motorists using due care! jeejj jje j skk skk keek kkksk kks ekek kk sksks krkr ksks fkrke skkkr ks skker k
The message being sent to motorists is; "It's a sad unavoidable situation. If there is any fault at all, it most certainly is not that of the motorist. Bicyclists have inferior rights to public roads. There can be no expectation that the laws will be applied to protect cyclists." i must put spaces here because this stupid program wo
SIGH. We would be better served by bicycle "advocates" if they would insist on the enforcement and prosecution of EXISTING law, rather than wasting resources and political capital on writing and passing redundant new laws. What is the point of new laws anyway, when they will be ignored also?


  1. And in what way is this different than it was 40 years ago, other than it's more likely to be reported nowadays?

  2. This is just like the case in TN. Infuriating. If she had slammed into a disabled motor vehicle or a slow-moving scooter, I bet she would have been charged.

    Here's the LE bias in action:

    You're absolutely right! Bike advocates have become distracted by feel-good laws while the foundation crumbles under us. Worse, by promoting special facilities, those same advocates have been undermining our legitimacy on the road and reinforcing the very bias which results in this injustice!

    How was your ride home Friday night?

  3. 1969. I was 9 years old. We did not have seat belts. In California, 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, we did not lock the doors to our house, and none of my friends had house keys with them.

    Hitchhiking was commonplace. Me and my two siblings walked 1.2 miles to school. (I just checked with MS Streets and Trips) Unsupervised. Usually separately.

    I remember spending hours at a time at the town plunge (Public swimming pool) unsupervised. in a few years, I would be out of the house running around with my neighborhood friends from sunup till dark.

    It was not unusual for me to be scolded by strangers when I got out of line in public. Kids were expected to respect their elders, and they were expected to look out for kids.

    Driving a car was considered a dangerous enterprise, and by todays standards it was. In town speed limits were slower and obeyed. There were a lot fewer intersections with signals. There were fewer street lights. There were a lot more roadside hazards like trees and ditches. Stopping distances were longer.

    If a person drove a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, it was considered reckless behavior.

  4. Keri, you were right! (Keri is always right by the way.) The wind did lay down!

    It was very pleasant. The full moon made navigation easy, even with the light cloud cover.

    But had it been the most arduous and painful bicycle trip of my life, it would have been worth it to have met with you.

    I am so glad you came to Dallas. I had a super time.

  5. Personal and civic responsibility seems at an all-time low in many aspects of life. We've grown an increasingly me-first culture for ~30 years. The lack of respect for operating a heavy vehicle safely among others is just one symptom.


    I'm so glad the wind laid down for your long ride home. It was a great pleasure to meet you! I'm honored you made the trek. It was so much fun to get to meet everyone (Including Steve on Tuesday).

    I miss Dallas already.