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  1. #1
    Gitchur SUV Away From Me
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    Cyclist Rear-Ended, Killed

    When you read this article

    http://www.capegazette.com/storiescu...ist042905.html

    the whole emphasis is on educating cyclists to ride safer.

    "Police said {the motorist, Megan Seek, age 18** Seek did not see the bicycle. The front of the Skylark struck the rear of the bicycle, ejecting Reteruk who struck the hood and windshield of Seek’s car."

    We don't know all the facts BUT why is it if a car rear-ends another car, the presumption of guilt is on the rear vehicle, BUT when a car rear-ends a bicycle, there is no presumption of guilt on the car?

  2. #2
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesV
    We don't know all the facts BUT why is it if a car rear-ends another car, the presumption of guilt is on the rear vehicle, BUT when a car rear-ends a bicycle, there is no presumption of guilt on the car?
    Yeah, it's ******** the way they act as if the cyclist must have been doing something wrong. The article seems to have made no attempt to establish whether the cyclist was in fact riding safely. Was she using lights?? It doesn't even say.
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  3. #3
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    I have riden my bike along that stretch of Rt 1. It is strip-mall/outlet hell. Six lanes of traffic plus turn lanes. All of the MD/Del resorts have a ton of young Eastern Block Euro workers.

  4. #4
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    The article does not mention if the cyclist had lights or was highly visible. It could be that the driver was absolved of blame because the cyclist was not visible. Even in automobile rear-endings, there are mitigating circumstances. Also, the article does not state that the driver was not presumed to be at fault. It only stated that the police said the driver did not see the cyclist.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  5. #5
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Yeah, it's ******** the way they act as if the cyclist must have been doing something wrong. The article seems to have made no attempt to establish whether the cyclist was in fact riding safely. Was she using lights?? It doesn't even say.
    But lots on inappropriate innuedeo about all these other guest worker cyclists who don't follow the rules, no lights, wrong way. Sets the stage, the presumption that she must have been doing something wrong. Also the comment about her not wearing a helmet. Since when did helmets stop cars from rear ending cyclists?

    Were there skid marks? A driver in a car with headlights can see something far enough in front of them lit up or not to hit the brakes and skid.

    A very sad event.

    Al

  6. #6
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    But lots on inappropriate innuedeo about all these other guest worker cyclists who don't follow the rules, no lights, wrong way. Sets the stage, the presumption that she must have been doing something wrong. Also the comment about her not wearing a helmet. Since when did helmets stop cars from rear ending cyclists?

    Were there skid marks? A driver in a car with headlights can see something far enough in front of them lit up or not to hit the brakes and skid.

    A very sad event.

    Al
    All good points.

    I think they just mentioned the helmet part because, had she been wearing one, it could have saved her life (then again, maybe not in this case).

    The article says she was "rear-ended" but it sounds more like she was basically sideswiped as the driver moved right. Not altogether clear to me.
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  7. #7
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    The article does not mention if the cyclist had lights or was highly visible. It could be that the driver was absolved of blame because the cyclist was not visible. Even in automobile rear-endings, there are mitigating circumstances. Also, the article does not state that the driver was not presumed to be at fault. It only stated that the police said the driver did not see the cyclist.
    To quote the cycling lawyer. When the driver admits to not seeing the cyclist, they are admitting guilt.

  8. #8
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    But lots on inappropriate innuedeo about all these other guest worker cyclists who don't follow the rules, no lights, wrong way. Sets the stage, the presumption that she must have been doing something wrong. Also the comment about her not wearing a helmet. Since when did helmets stop cars from rear ending cyclists?
    Wait. Hold on. I perceived the intent of the original post to criticise the law or rather interpretation of the law. Personally, I don't think there was enough information given to criticise. It's also obvious that the media is fairly clueless and somewhat biased. Which one are we complaining about in this case?
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    Wait. Hold on. I perceived the intent of the original post to criticise the law or rather interpretation of the law. Personally, I don't think there was enough information given to criticise. It's also obvious that the media is fairly clueless and somewhat biased. Which one are we complaining about in this case?
    Both need criticism. I was criticising the media in my post.

    Al

  10. #10
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    NO LIGHTS, I'll bet.
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  11. #11
    Gitchur SUV Away From Me
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    The article does not mention if the cyclist had lights or was highly visible. It could be that the driver was absolved of blame because the cyclist was not visible. Even in automobile rear-endings, there are mitigating circumstances. Also, the article does not state that the driver was not presumed to be at fault. It only stated that the police said the driver did not see the cyclist.
    Well, I said we don't have all the facts. However, this article "smells" like the usual media-and-law enforcement bias against finding motorists at fault when there is a collision with a cyclist. It's not true of all reporters and all officers, of course, but we've all seen plenty of examples to know it remains a national problem.

    You say that the driver was absolved because the cyclist was not visible. Visibility is not a legal requirement. Requirements differ from state to state, but having an operational headlight and a rear reflector are generally required, but this is not the same as being visible.

    It is possible the cyclist was at fault. If she was next to the curb and proceeded straight from a right turn only lane and the car right-hooked her, then of course the motorist would be blameless.

  12. #12
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesV
    You say that the driver was absolved because the cyclist was not visible.
    Actually, I said "could be". I don't think we can say if she was charged with anything or not since the article is unclear about that. And I also don't believe that the cyclist not being visible is immediate grounds for dismissal of guilt either. There are so many things that were not said in that article that I am not willing to draw much conclusions. The one thing I think we can gather from it however is that the road layout and travel conditions where the collision occurred is quite treacherous. This is based more on testimony from other cyclists and frequent travellers along that route than from the actual details (or rather lack thereof) of the rear-ending.
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  13. #13
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    I thought the article was pretty well balanced. Really sounds to me like the cyclist had no lights. I'm sorry, but I can't blame the motorist if that's the case, and I'm not going to presume otherwise unless specifically stated, because I see so few bikes properly lighted (if at all) even though that's the law here in MI. I'm sure it's the same elsewhere.

  14. #14
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Ridley
    I thought the article was pretty well balanced. Really sounds to me like the cyclist had no lights. I'm sorry, but I can't blame the motorist if that's the case, and I'm not going to presume otherwise unless specifically stated, because I see so few bikes properly lighted (if at all) even though that's the law here in MI. I'm sure it's the same elsewhere.
    What about reflectors, what about not black clothing?

    I often encounter people on bikes with no lighting, dark clothes, no or minimal reflectors, but I still see them well before I would have hit them. Car headlights are very bright and have a good reach and as soon as someone sees a cycist in path, they should be hitting brakes hard, which usually results in a skid mark, even if the cyclist is hit.

    Since we are all only speculating, I'd say it is just as likely that the driver wasn't paying attention as it is that the cyclist did not have lights or reflectors.

    Al

  15. #15
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    It was probably both their faults. But still... a fellow cyclist is down. That's sad.

    Koffee

  16. #16
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    It was probably both their faults. But still... a fellow cyclist is down. That's sad.
    Agreed. A fellow human being is no longer with us. That's sad.
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  17. #17
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    I have riden my bike along that stretch of Rt 1. It is strip-mall/outlet hell. Six lanes of traffic plus turn lanes. All of the MD/Del resorts have a ton of young Eastern Block Euro workers.
    Not pointing any fingers and purely out of curiosity would riding in the 2nd lane from the right be any safer, i.e., not the turning lane thus avoiding right turning traffic?
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  18. #18
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr
    Not pointing any fingers and purely out of curiosity would riding in the 2nd lane from the right be any safer, i.e., not the turning lane thus avoiding right turning traffic?
    If it's a typical right turning lane then the lane pretty much appears off to the right. Vehicles will suddenly come out of the now 2nd. lane (rightmost through-lane) and enter the turning lane. I imagine a cyclist in the right turning lane that was not adequitely lit could appear to "suddenly come out of nowhere" as the car entered the turn lane. Depending on the speed, there might not have been enough time or space to stop in order to avoid a collision. Now it is unclear from the report and we will probably never know if the cyclist meant to actually turn right or go straight on through. I have seen many inexperienced cyclist treat the right turn lane as a shoulder and go straight on through. As such, they're usually in the middle of the lane. If I'm going straight then I will position myself to the right of the rightmost through lane... typically a half handlebar's width left of the rightmost edge of that lane. This gives vehicles wanting to turn right room to my right and signals to vehicles in the through lane that I'm intending to go straight. I am also legally in the proper lane. I also make it a point to make hand motions (back and forth sweep) and if it's at night, I will have on reflective and active lighting (blinkie armband or something similar) to attract their attention and make known I'm there and my intentions.

    If however I was in the process of turning right, depending on the shoulder which from accounts in this case seems to be very minimal, I would stay to the right of the right turn lane (again around half a handlebar's width left of the rightmost edge given reasonable road conditions) thus giving room for right-turning cars to pass to my left. Now I'm not saying that the cyclist who was killed was doing something wrong... again, we don't have enough information to conclude anything. Nor do we know if doing anything differently would have saved her either.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr
    Not pointing any fingers and purely out of curiosity would riding in the 2nd lane from the right be any safer, i.e., not the turning lane thus avoiding right turning traffic?
    Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It depends on the intersection. When you are in the position to make that decision you basically have two choices:

    1. Cross the intersection from the 2nd lane from the right (i.e. the straight lane).
    2. Move onto the sidewalk and walk your bike across the crosswalk like a pedestrian.


    Its a bad idea to go straight from the inside of a right turn lane. If you are turning right (presumably into another bike-lane) then get into the inside of the lane and turn. If you are going straight in ANY case you should be on the outside of whatever lane is turning, so you don't get clipped/run over.

    Don't ever forget that if you feel safer, you can use the sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities if you walk your bike (most cities disallow sidewalk riding).

    And remember, the more eye-contact you have with others on the road the better. Gesture to indicate your intent and there should be no confusion.

    Look up the book The art of urban cycling. It is full of scenarios such as this one and gives good advice based on years of experience.

  20. #20
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Khuon, JakeM thanks for the advice. I pretty much do the VC thing here in the UK.

    If faced with a similar situation, i.e., wide, multi lane road with turning lane, I generally ride in the centre of the lane adjacent to it. Seems safer(more visible) and there's less chance of a cager overtaking to turn immediately afterward(which matches your advise).

    Anyway, I hoped Galen would give more detail on the road traffic volume/speed and also road condition/markings.
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  21. #21
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    What about reflectors, what about not black clothing?

    I often encounter people on bikes with no lighting, dark clothes, no or minimal reflectors, but I still see them well before I would have hit them. Car headlights are very bright and have a good reach and as soon as someone sees a cycist in path, they should be hitting brakes hard, which usually results in a skid mark, even if the cyclist is hit.

    Since we are all only speculating, I'd say it is just as likely that the driver wasn't paying attention as it is that the cyclist did not have lights or reflectors.

    Al
    Note also that rear lights are NOT legally required on bicycles in most states, although rear reflectors are. Forester actually suggests that red blinkies attract drunk drivers, although I do use one or two LED blinkies in addition to a rear reflector or two, plus very light-colored clothing.
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  22. #22
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Isn't relying on skid marks for determining what happened becoming less possible in these days of anti-lock braking systems? Just because there's no skid marks, it doesn't mean the driver wasn't braking. (not talking about this case specifically, just making a general observation)
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  23. #23
    Enjoy
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    If a $10 light, or lighter clothing, or reflectant could save your life, why wait until there's a law about it?

  24. #24
    Gitchur SUV Away From Me
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    Here's Delaware State Police's news release. The wording is somewhat different from that of the newspaper --

    Delaware State Police are investigating a fatal crash involving a bicycle that occurred last night at approximately 10:05 p.m. on State Route 1 just north of State Route 24.

    A 1995 Buick Skylark operated by Megan M. Seek, 18, of Millsboro, was traveling southbound on SR 1 in the right lane. A 10-speed bicycle operated by Katarzyna M. Reteruk, 22, of Poland, was traveling southbound on SR 1 in the right turn lane. Ms. Seek pulled into the right turn lane as she was preparing to turn right onto SR 24 and did not see the bicycle. The front of the Skylark then struck the rear of the bicycle causing Ms. Reteruk to be ejected off of it. Ms. Reteruk struck the hood and windshield of the Skylark before coming to rest in the right lane of SR 1.

    Ms. Reteruk, who was not wearing a helmet, was transported to Beebe Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased at 10:36 p.m.

    Ms. Seek was not injured in the crash.

    Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to call the Delaware State Police Fatal Accident Investigation and Reconstruction Team at (302) 645-8221.

    The crash remains under investigation.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    For all we know, the cyclist was next to the right edge of the road, and was hit from behind. She could have been getting ready to turn right at the intersection. I've seen cars overshoot when they change lanes, going right to the edge of the road.

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