Cyclist gets four-digit abusive rider fee for traffic infraction
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) -- Kajuan Cornish didn't know he was such a danger on his bicycle, and now he's facing hefty fees that could have paid for him to have a car.
One day after Gov. Timothy M. Kaine admitted the state's so-called abusive driver fees had failed and called for them to be repealed, Cornish was ordered to pay a fee of $1,050 for recklessly operating his 18-speed Huffy in an intersection during rush hour.
"A bike with pedals -- a 4-year-old can ride a bike," Cornish said Thursday. "I could see it happen if I'm riding the wrong way down the expressway -- that's dumb."
Cornish, 19, doesn't drive and was convicted of reckless driving in Newport News traffic court for a ticket he received after riding his bike across Warwick Boulevard.
Cornish was returning to work when he received the summons.
Officer George Evans said drivers had to slow down to avoid hitting Cornish when he crossed the intersection and that he would have written a warning if not the ticket.
"If he gets hit, then we have a mess," Evans said, adding that as a citizen, he thinks the abusive driver fees are too high, but also out of his control.
The fees were instituted last year against drivers with egregious traffic offenses.
Cornish is due back in court to appeal in February.
"I'm stuck," he said. "I'm trying to be Christian about it, but it's frustrating."