More peds hit

Two pedestrians have been struck by vehicles in the last 24 hours according to alerts sent out by emergency officials. On Thursday morning just before 10am, a pedestrian was struck in the 2400 block of Fontaine. And minutes before 3pm today, a pedestrian was struck in front of Beecroft and Bull in the Barracks Road Shopping Center.

34 comments

Is it any shock that someone would get hit at the Barracks Road shopping center? That parking lot is a mess, particularly during the holidays. I'm sure there must be many minor accidents there that don't get reported. I hope this person was not too badly hurt.

Courtney will no doubt find a way to blame the police on these too somehow. Get a friggin life.

Why would Courtney blame these events on the cops? And why does this short news clip bother you so much?

I'm surprised more pedestrians aren't struck. The other day some lady in Fashion Square was walking fast towards the back Sears entrance because of the rain. She walked out from behind a tall SUV and right into my path. I had very little time to react and almost couldn't stop. She's lucky she isn't in the hospital for the holidays with serious injuries. This is the second close call I have had in the last month alone. The first time a pedestrian jogged into a crosswalk in front of me on Market Street at the library. I couldn't stop for her, and she reversed her course at the last possible second. For whatever reason, pedestrians are acting plain stupid nowadays. And this is exactly the reason state law offers drivers some protection in pedestrian-auto mishaps.

Allowing pedestrians (students) to feel safe wandering into traffic while talking on cell phones is not doing them any favors in the long run. It is very nice as a policy and makes the town look "friendly", but when graduates leave and get jobs in other places they find that drivers don't always stop for them. College students look like adults but are not completely grown up. If they have been raised in totally safe environments, without repercussion (fire-burns!), then live in a world where big, deadly autos always see them and brake: They are at risk in the real world.

The problem here is that no one has common sense anymore. No one watches for cars when they're crossing the streets anymore. Most people's attitudes seem to be "Go ahead and hit me! I'll sue you for all your worth!" But when you run out in front of a car, you should expect to be hit!

The other day I was backing out of a parking spot in the Baracks Road lot in front of Barnes and Noble and some lady made it a point to RUN and stand directly behind my truck! I think that should count as attempted sucide and she should be committed.

Hey Sick- if you had been listening to "my humps" you probably would have creamed her!

Seriously though, you made an accurate statement - "For whatever reason, pedestrians are acting plain stupid nowadays."

I honestly believe this is because of all the hype over pedestrian rights and that they have this "oh hell no, he better stop and not hit me because I am a pedestrian" mentality.

Hey peds - get this -- you don't have all the protection you think you do. If you step off of a curb into my path and I can't stop or swerve its your ass -- and your fault. Argue that Kevin.

quote: I honestly believe this is because of all the hype over pedestrian rights and that they have this ââ?¬Å?oh hell no, he better stop and not hit me because I am a pedestrian” mentality.

Bingo! We have a winner, folks!

Had I hit the lady at Sears, I think I would have been covered by state code...

§ 46.2-926. Pedestrians stepping into highway where they cannot be seen.

No pedestrian shall step into a highway open to moving vehicular traffic at any point between intersections where his presence would be obscured from the vision of drivers of approaching vehicles by a vehicle or other obstruction at the curb or side.

(Code 1950, § 46-245; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-232; 1989, c. 727.)

Had I hit the lady on Market Street, I think I also would have been covered by the state code,,,,,

§ 46.2-924. Drivers to stop for pedestrians; installation of certain signs; penalty.

No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.

(This means if I am doing 25 mph (the speed limit), and I am 10 feet from the crosswalk, a pedestrian does not have the right to quickly jog into the crosswalk. I can't stop in 10 feet. The law does not require me to be able to stop in 10 feet, and state law also acknowledges the fact that I can not stop in 10 feet from 25 mph in another code section.)

Baloney! If there are so many pedestrians jumping out in front of cars that can't stop then why aren't the emergency rooms overflowing? I walk and I drive and I know that there are plenty of responsible, cautious people on foot and behind the wheel. There are idiots out there, probably more behind the wheel than on foot, but this discussion completely exagerates reality.

I step out in front of cars all the time. I watch the vehicles and if they have the distance and time to safely stop and if I have the right to cross I do it. Like most pedestrian though, I don't step out in front of cars that can't stop. When I step into the street the drivers stop, well most of them do anyway. A few insist on forcing me to stop and then they cut me off and force me to stand in the street. It doesn't happen often but often enough that I always watch the oncoming traffic in case some fool who's ego is all tied up in their car decides that he can't use his brake or take his foot off the accelerator. Some people want to justify this behavior so they try to believe that all pedestrians are jumping out in front of cars that can't stop even when they are stepping into the street when the cars have the time, distance and obligation to stop. Drivers and pedestrian can get along just fine if people are reasonable and follow the rules.

@Meagan--with the new laws and with our district court's statistics of commitment even before the new laws went into effect, you could easily have gotten this woman committed. Our special justice committed 105 out of 106 folks who came before him in May of 2007 before the broad and easy commitment laws went into effect in July of this year.

105 out of 106 committals sounds like nothing more than a rubber stamp.

No wonder the law had to be changed.

Some people want to justify this behavior so they try to believe that all pedestrians are jumping out in front of cars that can’t stop even when they are stepping into the street when the cars have the time, distance and obligation to stop.

I can assure this "justification" theory of yours is not true in either case I mentioned above. In the Market Street event my daughter was actually injured from being thrown into the seat belt when the girl attempted to jog into the crosswalk. In the Sears event I obviously attempted to stop and did so successfully. Both were totally the fault of a careless and irresponsible pedestrian.

The laws were changed to make it even easier to commit a citizen of Virginia, not harder, SOFLR.

SOTLR,
I have had to slam on my brakes to avoid careening into idiots who stepped out in front of me. It hasn't happened often but it has. It certainly hasn't happened as frequently as near collisions with drivers who did stupid things while I was driving my car. I don't deny that there are fools on foot and I believe that you did encounter some. What I am saying is that most pedestrians, like most drivers are sensible people who look where they're going.

Fostering the myth that all pedestrians are fools emboldens reckless drivers who then threaten law abiding pedestrians. Stupid behaivor from pedestrians and drivers alike is not new. That behaivor is much older than the recent effort to improve pedestrian safety in the city.

Many drivers scream and shout about pedestrians stepping out in front of them when most of the time the pedestrians are in their rights and safe. The drivers can and do stop without any real trouble. They don't want to stop though, so they embellish the description of the incident and make it sound much worse than it really was. Having to slow down and stop for a pedestrian seems to be much more difficult for many people than performing exactly the same maneuver for a red light. Why is this?

quote: The laws were changed to make it even easier to commit a citizen of Virginia, not harder, SOFLR.

Exactly! So the rubber stamp can commit 106 of 106.

My gosh, how did that one slip through the cracks? :)

quote: Having to slow down and stop for a pedestrian seems to be much more difficult for many people than performing exactly the same maneuver for a red light. Why is this?

Good question. I bought my daughter a new SUV. And Most of the last three quarters of this year I have been teaching her how to drive. She's of age and ready to get her driver's license now. The point being, I taught her early on to take notice of all the speeding idiots on dual lane roadways who pass her - and to observe how many of them she catches up with at the next red light. Saving a few seconds by not stopping for a pedestrian, saving a few seconds by flying down the bypass - you don't really get anywhere because of that next red light.

Please, everyone, look out for everybody else. Whether it's my kid or your kid or somebody's mom, let's get all try a little harder. Pedestrians, get off your phone and look before walking. Drivers, get off your phone and slow down a little in parking lots. Let's all take a deep breath and have a good, safe holiday season.

the two biggest problem groups i've seen are joggers and uva students. if i had a nickel for every time i've almost hit somebody b/c they just darted out in front of me, i'd be a rich man. fortunately, i know to keep a sharp eye on folks on the sidewalk, esp. around the university. but i can understand why they do it. the first week i was at uva, i remember at one of our orientations someone saying (and i'll paraphrase), "the crosswalks are great. you don't even have to look. you just step into them and people will stop." they must still be pumping 1st years full of such suicidal info.

quote: ââ?¬Å?the crosswalks are great. you don’t even have to look. you just step into them and people will stop.”

If you stop and think about it, that's pretty much what the local police have led people to believe too in their short TV news clips. Never once have I ever heard the traffic division spokespersons caution people that they need to make sure a vehicle can stop before they step in front of it.

If you're stepping out in front of vehicles because they "can" stop, what makes you think they always "will"?? They could be distracted or even looking right at you without really seeing you. Bad idea.

This is part and parcel of a university town combined with a town with a lot of retirees. Not sure why folks think Stuart would blame the coppers; if she does, she needs a "hickory shampoo" from Cville's finest! The person who opined about "pedestrian rights" has it right: this town is plum goofy. Where in the heck did some concept of "pedestrian rights" surface? Liberals seem to love to throw the word "rights" around, as if the Constitution is a "living, evolving document." We are talking about walking here, folks! Starting with the reporter who wrote the article...Do we really need to be discussing walking as though it is some new, foreign activity for which we need lawmakers and the state to assist us? Holy Jack Lord!

"some fool who’s ego is all tied up in their car"
Pedestrians can also be fools whose egos are tied into their divine rights to cross wherever the hell they want and expect cars to stop. When I drive I do not stop for jaywalkers. When I walk, I jaywalk if it's clear and I won't slow any cars down. It's called the Golden Rule, and since most of us are drivers at times and pedestrians at others, we should all follow it. I think more pedestrians are guilty of breaking this rule.
I am not sure of the law, but it is inconsiderate,-no, arrogant- to step in front of a car and make it stop when there's no crosswalk. "My time is more important than yours."
UVA students at the McCormick-Alderman light/intersection are the worst for this. The don't walk sign is on, the cars' light is green, and they walk in front of cars, presumably because they're speeeeshul.
Another angle: it also wastes the driver's fuel, because he has to stop, then re-accelerate. Ergo, jaywalking is bad for the environment. How can a UVA student or C-villian support something that's bad for the environment?

Dan,
I watch the cars. I've been walking for many years and I've never been hit. I wait for cars when it's their turn and I walk when it's mine. I also drive quite a bit around town. I yield to pedestrians and I expect them to yield to me. They almost always do. Rarely does some fool do something stupid but I just let it slide becuase it isn't worth getting angry about. I've never hit anyone. Drivers see stop signs, red lights and other cars. They see me too. There are rules and common prctices, like jaywalking when it's safe that almost all pedestrians practice. Much of what has been said on this thread is an exaggeration of reality.

There are places where it is the pedestrians right to cross even though there is no crosswalk. Of course most people don't know this so self preservation dictates extra caution. The corner of East Jefferson and Meade is a good example. There's no crosswalk there but it is completly legal for a pedestrian to cross there just as if there were two painted lines on the street. Hopefully, with the new pool at Meade Park the city will put in a crosswalk there.

Again, if so many pedestrians are stepping out in front of cars that can't stop why aren't there more patients in the ER?

It's really not a big deal for drivers and pedestrians to get along but frantic exaggeration of the situation doesn't help.

Cordially,
Kevin Cox

Kevin, if you purchase a scanner and listen to the police, fire and rescue frequencies in this city, you will suddenly realize there's a lot more pedestrians being struck than you read about in the media or see on the TV news. Some require medical attention at an ER, some don't.

And just a bit of trivia again... one of the biggest scandals in this city and county involved a UVa student pedestrian who was allegedly struck in Crozet and dragged under a small sports car all the way to Charlottesville.

I don't believe that case had anything to do with any pedestrian. The whole thing was a set up to hide a murder. The body was brought into Charlottesville and then put under a parked car. How does a body get dragged under an MG all the way to Charlottesville from Crozet and not have any abrasions on it?

I tell you what, you buy me a scanner and I'll listen to it.

I see drivers who don't want to stop for me stop anyway because they are not sure if I am going to stop or not. One advantage a pedestrian has is that they can stop on a dime. When drivers do stop I often smile and say thank you and some respond in kind. Others glare angrily from their stopped vehicles. I step out when I can tell that drivers have plenty of time and distance to stop and they stop safely. Maybe not happily but still safely. If a car is too close I wait. Still, I have to act like I am not going to stop walking to get many of those who do have time, distance and the obligation to stop to do what the law requires and actually stop their vehicles. The drivers impatience is ridiculous too, because stopping only takes a little time and so little gas that it's not worth commenting on, and as you pointed out, there's always another stop light ahead.
Cordially,
Kevin Cox

I try to abide by the general rule that whenever I am in a position of greater power over someone else (like, when I'm driving a big steel car and there's a pedestrian or a biker), I have a responsibility to watch out so that I don't injure the weaker party. That means I slow way down if there's a biker in front of me and I wait until I can safely pass him or her, even if that means I'm going slower than the speed limit. It also means that if I see someone who looks like he/she wants to enter a right-of-way crosswalk, I slow down to give the person a chance to cross. I try not to encourage jaywalkers, so I don't slow down for them, but I do keep my eye on them and get ready to brake in case they do dart out. I don't talk on my cell phone when I drive and I drive the speed limit. To me these are all just basic parts of being an ethical, responsible driver.

I have no problem stopping for someone walking in a crosswalk given they have the signal to walk. There are rules to crossing a street and a responsibility that comes with being a pedestrian. I think it's nice that you don't talk on your cell phone while driving but what about pedestrians who talk on their cell phones while walking into traffic? It happens more often than you may think.

Common sense and the education of a 3 year old would tell you how stupid pedestrians are these days. What ever happened to "look both ways before crossing the street"? On a lot of the roads in Charlottesville (the entire downtown area really) it's easier for a pedestrian to see an oncoming vehicle than it is for an oncoming vehicle to see a pedestrian. Cars have headlights... people don't. Pedestrians in dark clothing at night crossing where there are dim or no street lights have to be aware of the fact that oncoming traffic may not see them darting across the street.

I'm not saying all pedestrians are morons but I see a good handfull everyday. Until recently, I didn't have a car and I had to walk everywhere I needed to go. By paying attention to my surroundings and thinking like the people behind the wheel of oncomming cars, I've managed to stay alive.

I really think it's just common sense...

Thats the problem. There isn't any common sense anymore.

Cecil,
I wish all drivers had your attitude. It's the way I try to drive, too. Incidentally, "jaywalking" is not necessarily illegal in Virgina. There are places where it is legal to "jaywalk" and the pedestrians have the right of way if the cars have the time and distance to make a safe stop.

Megan,
I'm a little perplexed by the first sentence in your post. Do you know that pedestrians may have the right of way at crosswalks where there is not a signal? Do you know that a pedestrian sometimes has the right of way, even if there is no crosswalk or signal?

If you had the time and distance would you slow down and stop at an intersection for a pedestrian standing off the sidewalk in the street, preparing to cross where there is neither a crosswalk nor a signal or would you keep on driving? At many intersections without a crosswalk few drivers who can stop will stop for a pedestrian trying to cross. Do you know what the law says about that situation?

I agree with you about common sense. Common sense is what protects many people since neither drivers nor pedestrians fully understand the rules.

Cordially,
Kevin Cox

quote: "I tell you what, you buy me a scanner and I’ll listen to it."

Kevin, unfortunately, the scanners capable of monitoring the new city and county trunking system run about $350 to $400 now. If you buy one I will program it for you free. They are somewhat difficult to program on the trunking systems.

Megan, what ABOUT pedestrians who talk on their cell phones while walking? Yeah, I know it happens a lot; I drive on Grounds and they're all doing it, all the time--so what? The fact remains that I'm in the big steel potentially lethal car and they're walking; even if they're being stupid and careless, I still have the responsibility to drive my big steel potentially lethal car as carefully as I can, with an eye out for others at all times. Basic ethics don't go out the window just because the weaker party is being stupid.

quote: "Basic ethics don’t go out the window just because the weaker party is being stupid."

If you strike a pedestrian, ethics plays no role in the aftermath, their stupidty does. It's called contributory negligence.

Sick, I'm not interested in legality. I'm talking about my sense that when you're in a position to really harm other people (whether because you are armed and someone else is not, you're in a car and someone else is not, you're big and someone else is small, you're rich and someone else is poor), you have a greater moral and ethical responsibility to use your power very carefully.

What I want to know is what about all of the %^#$ stupid people in this town who JOG IN the STREET? Not on the sidewalk, not even in a bike path. ON THE STREET. You know, if you want to have rights as pedestrians, don't jog on the street. Do you know how often I am in town and I will readily put down my window and tell that person, young or old, of any color, to get the $%^$ off the sidewalk because it isn't our fault if we hit you? Seriously folks, including students, need to stop being ignorant/arrogant/mix of the two.

Besides "those people" we also have an issue here of people working out at night or on a cloudy / foggy / rainy day wearing BLACK. Okay, no even a reflective band on an arm or having on reflective strips on their shoes? Come ON people.