The Virginia Department of Transportation has decided to change a policy, which formerly allowed VDOT vehicles to drive along a pedestrian pathway on the Berkley Bridge. The decision comes in the wake of a bicycle accident. A woman who was riding her bicycle to Downtown Norfolk on a recent Saturday was hit by a sport utility vehicle as she crossed the Berkley Bridge by way of a caged bike/pedestrian lane.
Fortunately, the woman survived the collision. She also had videotaped the entire crash. The struck bicyclist is a bike safety advocate and is frequently posting YouTube videos on the topic. She was actually recording a video at the time of the crash and therefore, she has the incident on film. It could be useful in the event that any kind of court proceedings arise out of the crash.
In response to the collision, VDOT has changed a policy that previously allowed bridge tenders to drive along the sidewalk to report to their job. Now, however, bridge tenders will be forced to walk along the bridge or travel by way of a motorized cart. In the event that a vehicle does need to be used, a spotter will walk ahead of the vehicle in order to look out for potentially unsuspecting pedestrians and cyclists.
Fortunately, the young girl in the motor vehicle accident survived with just a few scrapes and bruises. Also, it is fortunate that VDOT has decided to correct this very relevant safety concern before a more serious and/or injurious accident occurred. Those who are hurt by the Department of Transportation’s negligence in Virginia may have legal recourse to seek restitution regarding any injuries they develop as a result of the accident. Indeed, the woman who was injured in this case may even have a viable claim for damages in court depending on the nature and severity of how badly she was scraped and bruised and whether those injuries will require medical care.
Source: wvec.com, “VDOT changes policy after cyclist and SUV collide on Berkley pedestrian bridge” Anthony Kurzweil, Jun. 16, 2014