Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cyclist for Commonwealth Attorney

Oh, no way...I never thought I'd see a Commonwealth Attorney candidate actually post on his campaign bio:

Athletics Mark lead the University of Virginia Cycling Team to back-to-back national championships. Mark excelled in professional stage races from California to Virginia. His successes in America allowed Mark the opportunity to compete in Europe, where he again showed himself to be a rising star in American cycling.


dokein said...


Seen the latest Pilot article on Bryant's comments about the crash that killed Daniel. Only a dozen comments on the web page so far, but the day is young.

dokein said...

Agh, got my names mixed up. Not Bryant, he's the incumbent that Hardman is running against. Bryants comments on the case are substantially less inspiring.

Anonymous said...

§ 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule.

Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.

§ 46.2-868. Reckless driving; penalties.

B. Every person convicted of reckless driving under the provisions of this article who, when he committed the offense...(ii) as the sole and proximate result of his reckless driving, caused the death of another, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

§ 46.2-816. Following too closely.

The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of both vehicles and the traffic on, and conditions of, the highway at the time.

§ 46.2-800. Riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, or mopeds; riding or driving animals.

Every person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, or an animal or driving an animal on a highway shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter and shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, unless the context of the provision clearly indicates otherwise.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to the friends and family of Daniel Hersh. I empathize with the tremendous loss that you have and will continue to experience. Although I was not fortunate to meet Daniel, I understand that he was a father and a veteran in the prime of life. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

On the day an SUV struck Daniel from behind, he was riding on the right side of the road and was wearing a bright yellow windbreaker with reflective stripes. Despite his abundance of caution, the Commonwealth´s Attorney has chosen not to charge the driver of the SUV.

People may dispute what could have been done to avoid this death - a dedicated bicycle lane on Shore Drive or a city-wide awareness program. All options are worth considering. The Commonwealth's Attorney, however, does not have to wait for these options.

The Commonwealth's Attorney already has the best tool available to respond to this tragedy - the criminal laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Instead, Virginia Beach Commonwealth Attorney Harvey Bryant has made the decision to turn this tragedy into a travesty. It is unacceptable that Mr. Bryant has refused to so much as charge the driver who killed Daniel with a misdemeanor.

As the Commonwealth's Attorney of Virginia Beach, subsequent to the November 3rd election, I will push the Mayor and City Council to make the streets more cyclist-friendly. I will collaborate with the Department of Motor Vehicles and local driving schools to stress the need to share the road with cyclists. Most importantly, I will prosecute to the full extent of the law those that disregard the life of those who travel the roads on two wheels instead of four.

As a former cyclist who competed professionally in the States and Europe, I understand the danger faced while riding the roads. Acknowledgement of that danger, however, does not diminish the rights of cyclists or the duty of a chief prosecutor to pursue justice against drivers who injure or kill cyclists.

Two of my close friends, both competitive cyclists, have been struck from behind at speeds exceeding 60 mph. Both were left for dead but managed to escape with their lives. Daniel was not so fortunate.

On July 11, 2009, I will join other cyclists on a tribute ride for Daniel Hersh on Shore Drive. I ask everyone who values the sanctity of life to join me.

Mark Hardman said...

This code section reads in the conjunctive and is inapplicable under the evidence currently available.

§ 46.2-868. Reckless driving; penalties.

B. Every person convicted of reckless driving under the provisions of this article who, when he committed the offense...(ii) as the sole and proximate result of his reckless driving, caused the death of another, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

FotoByWes said...


Could you translate lawyer-speak into common English? What exactly do you mean when you say, "This code section reads in the conjunctive"?

It would appear from most comments that a great many people do not understand the finer points of the law.


Mark Hardman said...

In order for reckless driving to be classified as a Class 6 felony, the code requires lack of a license and a fatal accident.

An operator who drives recklessly, with a license, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor regardless of whether a fatal accident occurs.

A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail. Although a prosecutor may argue for a period of active incarceration, it is likely that a person without a criminal history would receive some period of suspended jail time, conditioned on supervised or unsupervised probation.