On October 5, 2011, an 8-year-old girl was stuck by a car in the 1800 block Sandbridge Road in front of Red Mill Elementary School in Virginia Beach, VA. According to the Virginian-Pilot, she was on her way to soccer practice and was walking across the road when she was hit. She was then flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital to be treated for life-threatening injuries.
Our deepest sympathies go out to the girl and her family as the go through this trying time. As they were going to soccer practice their lives were immediately altered.
Due to the increased foot and vehicle traffic in a school zone, the chances for accidents with pedestrians increase dramatically. The relevant laws regarding crosswalks in school zones take this fact into consideration, but it is still necessary for you to understand the laws of pedestrians in Virginia. It is also important for drivers to be aware of the increased pedestrian traffic and know when they are required to stop. Virginia Code § 46.2-924 states, in part,
The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway at any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block …” A driver who fails to yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing at any clearly marked crosswalk may be considered negligent per se, and therefore liable.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.