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Old 09-11-07, 07:58 PM   #1
Clarks
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Scare Tactic gone too far?

There was the case last month of the man in Portland who intentionally hit 2 cyclists, there was another case in Salt Lake City where a man intentionally hit a cyclist. Now there's this case where a 43 year old man intentionally hit a black cyclist who was riding on the sidewalk. http://www.whotv.com/global/story.asp?s=7038923

My question is this: do you think these drivers really wanted to hit the cyclists or do you think they were just trying to scare the cyclist and ended up hitting them by accident? THe reason I ask this is I know for sure some guys pass really close and honk just to scare me, they leave no room for error.

The thing that gets me about the driver in Portland who hit the 2 cyclists on purpose is that a nun testified for him, she said he was a good and calm driver and had avoided many accidents. Her testimony was on one of the networks sites.
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Old 09-11-07, 09:35 PM   #2
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It's very difficult to judge intentions; sometimes I'm not even sure why I myself did something. Either way, these drivers should be investigated, and they should be prosecuted if they intentionally or negligently hit the cyclists. Maybe the Portland driver fooled the nun, or maybe he really was gentle when an authority figure like a nun was around, but had no conscience when he was on his own.

It's kind of scary to think there are people like that out there, isn't it?
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Old 09-12-07, 01:20 AM   #3
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The thing that gets me about the driver in Portland who hit the 2 cyclists on purpose is that a nun testified for him, she said he was a good and calm driver and had avoided many accidents. Her testimony was on one of the networks sites.
Every inmate serving a sentence for homicide wasn't a murder at one time either.
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Old 09-12-07, 04:02 PM   #4
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In the earlier case, I wonder how the nun knew that he had "avoided many accidents"?

If it is true that he had, then he could not possibly be a good driver, since the essence of good driving that you very rarely have to avoid an accident.
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Old 09-12-07, 04:09 PM   #5
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In the earlier case, I wonder how the nun knew that he had "avoided many accidents"?

If it is true that he had, then he could not possibly be a good driver, since the essence of good driving that you very rarely have to avoid an accident.
I think I'd modify what you said just a bit. A good driver rarely avoids an accident in a way that anyone else could notice.

The avoidance happens by backing off early, not forcing things. A good lawyer might be able to turn her testimony to the drivers harm. He barely avoids a lot of accidents because he helps create the dangerous situation over and over.
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Old 09-12-07, 05:21 PM   #6
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Scare tactics are always taking things to far. You're not supposed to be intimidating other road users of any kind period.
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Old 09-12-07, 06:14 PM   #7
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My question is this: do you think these drivers really wanted to hit the cyclists or do you think they were just trying to scare the cyclist and ended up hitting them by accident? THe reason I ask this is I know for sure some guys pass really close and honk just to scare me, they leave no room for error.
I think in most cases the cyclist is simply not noticed largely because he is riding as much "out of the way" as he can, rather than in a way to be conspicuous and grab the attention of drivers.

The guys who are honking and passing really close are obviously aware of you and are unlikely to hit you.
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Old 09-12-07, 06:37 PM   #8
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I don't know about the others, but the one in Salt Lake City definitely intended to run over the cyclist.
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Old 09-12-07, 06:39 PM   #9
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The guys who are honking and passing really close are obviously aware of you and are unlikely to hit you.
I think you overestimate how well some people know the boundaries of their vehicles and the space needed by a cyclist following their line.

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Old 09-12-07, 07:39 PM   #10
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According to what the police say the motorist told them in Portland, he deliberately hit the first cyclist because he was apparently frustrated that cyclists (in general) don't share the road. The police spokesman implied that the motorist's interpretation of "share the road" was for cyclists to never be in his way when he is driving. The second cyclist was hit because he was in the pathway of the motorist when he tried to flee after hitting the first cyclist.
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Old 09-12-07, 09:14 PM   #11
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My question is this: do you think these drivers really wanted to hit the cyclists or do you think they were just trying to scare the cyclist and ended up hitting them by accident?
I'm not sure that it matters. Let's say it was a gun instead of a car. Would the courts go for the statement "Your honor, I didn't mean to actually shoot the guy when I aimed the gun at him and shot him." This "scaring the guy" mindset makes for good television drama, but in real life I think it's dumb, and shows criminal intent. I don't know how the courts have ruled on this, but I'm sure it's come up before. And if it worked, then every defense attorney would be using it today.
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