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  1. #1
    Rabbit Habbit! Jerry in So IL's Avatar
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    14 Year Old Killed in Hit and Run....

    Good kid, died early Friday morning from injuries.

    LEO buddy of mine was first responder. ******* was found later after making a "beer run"! Paper didn't say so, but LEOs are sure he was drinking.

    This happened about three blocks from my house. There was no school on Friday due to Teacher's Training. The kids were up and out late. This is a little semi rural town, one stoplight. Kids are known to ride late at night to McDs for a soda or cone. No, Neal didn't have lights or a helmet. Nor did he have a full body armor suit.

    http://www.southernillinoisan.com/ar...e/25956196.txt

    Jerry
    I'll be needing that for squirels and such....

  2. #2
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry in So IL View Post
    No, Neal didn't have lights or a helmet. Nor did he have a full body armor suit.
    lol asking for it noob.

    3:30am? That's a wee bit late.

    Alas as is all too common alcohol is involved.

  3. #3
    What is this demonry?! Szczuldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
    lol asking for it noob.

    3:30am? That's a wee bit late.

    Alas as is all too common alcohol is involved.
    thats when he died, and he didn't die on the scene. The article says he was hit late thursday night. People in cars have too much that is distracting them and if a rider doesn't have a powerful light on his rear and front chances are he won't be seen and the suspect can get away by saying that he didn't see the kid. Besides what kind of parents let their 15 year old kid out at night on a bike....

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    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szczuldo View Post
    thats when he died, and he didn't die on the scene. The article says he was hit late thursday night. People in cars have too much that is distracting them and if a rider doesn't have a powerful light on his rear and front chances are he won't be seen and the suspect can get away by saying that he didn't see the kid. Besides what kind of parents let their 15 year old kid out at night on a bike....
    Well I'm figuring he didn't live for 5-6 hours before dying if injuries were that bad, but I'm just speculating, I can be totally wrong.

    And when drunks are involved, anything short of a tank doesn't really help much.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    "I didn't see him" is a confession, not an excuse.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  6. #6
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrock View Post
    "I didn't see him" is a confession, not an excuse.
    +1 if you pay attention, you'll notice something-someone-is there, lights or not. I've driven by plenty of unlit cyclists and never come close to hitting one.

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  7. #7
    Rabbit Habbit! Jerry in So IL's Avatar
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    Since the kids don't "cruise" the town any more, due to high gas prices, the "thing" for them to do is ride their bikes up to McDs and get a soda or ice cream. McDs is open to like 1 am. Its only five blocks, east of the scene where Neal was hit. Its also a very well light area of town, and off the beaten path. Several kids will ride together and around this area of town. Traffic is almost nil.

    Neal was a special needs teen. I knew him a little. I seen him ride around sometimes, at the shool grounds. He was a safe ride from what I've seen.

    Jerry
    I'll be needing that for squirels and such....

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    While riding without lights is seriously unwise, I don't ever recall not seeing a cyclist so riding. I find it very strange that drivers are highly critical of all these cyclists they see riding w/o lights, because it's dangerous, because you can't see them if they're riding....

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atbman View Post
    While riding without lights is seriously unwise, I don't ever recall not seeing a cyclist so riding. I find it very strange that drivers are highly critical of all these cyclists they see riding w/o lights, because it's dangerous, because you can't see them if they're riding....
    It's very simple. You do see them, but late. As the driver of the motor vehicle you shudder to think if you hadn't been able to slam on the brakes or swerve so quickly.
    Two things sustain unlit night time cycling. One is the unlit cyclist staying out of any possible location a car could be at the same time as them. Two, luck.

    Al

  10. #10
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atbman View Post
    While riding without lights is seriously unwise, I don't ever recall not seeing a cyclist so riding. I find it very strange that drivers are highly critical of all these cyclists they see riding w/o lights, because it's dangerous, because you can't see them if they're riding....
    Yeah when I use to run delivery I'd commonly run across cyclists at 10pm or later, sure I would rather they have lights on, but it wasn't like I was going to hit them either.

    Now the wrong way cyclist in broad daylight around a blind corner...

  11. #11
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
    Yeah when I use to run delivery I'd commonly run across cyclists at 10pm or later, sure I would rather they have lights on, but it wasn't like I was going to hit them either.
    That may work if you are approaching a cyclist and ones headlights can illuminate them (reflective material or not)

    But if you are driving a motor vehicle at night and entering a road that has a cyclist approaching from your left or right with no lights and you even fully stop and look both ways before entering you will pull in front of them before you see them.

    Al

  12. #12
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    While this may look obvious, it really isn't. Not all things a driver can hit have lights. How about deer, or wors, moose or elk. Suburban drivers don't have those hazards to cope with, but some other drivers do.

    Someone mentioned helmets, and while helmets would help, they are no guarantee (and I've had a lot of debates on helmets here). With this situation, lights may have helped, but there is a a large chance that this was a drunk driver too. In that case, you really do not know if anything could help.

    I mentioned the case of animals above not being lite, except if you are lucky enough to see the reflection from their retinas in the darkness (and you need to know what it is to make sense of it). But I have seen bicyclists who were unlite in very dark situations, but seeing the lights behind them blink off, and seeing their silouette. These skills, which were taught to me by my Dad at a time when we did not have street lighting, help a lot. Another part of the problem is that our headlights have gotten brighter. People think that is good, but what it does in put a higher contrast between the areas lighted by your lights, and the dark areas. If you are adapted for the high intensity lights, you cannot see beyond them into the darkness as well when they lights are extremely bright. This can make it harder to see other things which are not lite up by your lights. Now, because of this, we on a bicycle need increasingly bright lighting at night to be seen. No one is taught anymore about seeing into the darkness, or looking through brush into their distance and seeing animals, for that matter.

    John
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  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
    While this may look obvious, it really isn't. Not all things a driver can hit have lights. How about deer, or wors, moose or elk. Suburban drivers don't have those hazards to cope with, but some other drivers do.

    Someone mentioned helmets, and while helmets would help, they are no guarantee (and I've had a lot of debates on helmets here). With this situation, lights may have helped, but there is a a large chance that this was a drunk driver too. In that case, you really do not know if anything could help.

    I mentioned the case of animals above not being lite, except if you are lucky enough to see the reflection from their retinas in the darkness (and you need to know what it is to make sense of it). But I have seen bicyclists who were unlite in very dark situations, but seeing the lights behind them blink off, and seeing their silouette. These skills, which were taught to me by my Dad at a time when we did not have street lighting, help a lot. Another part of the problem is that our headlights have gotten brighter. People think that is good, but what it does in put a higher contrast between the areas lighted by your lights, and the dark areas. If you are adapted for the high intensity lights, you cannot see beyond them into the darkness as well when they lights are extremely bright. This can make it harder to see other things which are not lite up by your lights. Now, because of this, we on a bicycle need increasingly bright lighting at night to be seen. No one is taught anymore about seeing into the darkness, or looking through brush into their distance and seeing animals, for that matter.

    John
    Well of course folks have forgotten how to look into dark places... and our headlights are so much brighter... all this is required to motor about in even the most benign places at 50MPH. And we all know that Americans have a need for speed. Even cyclists move fast.

  14. #14
    Philologist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szczuldo View Post
    thats when he died, and he didn't die on the scene. The article says he was hit late thursday night. People in cars have too much that is distracting them and if a rider doesn't have a powerful light on his rear and front chances are he won't be seen and the suspect can get away by saying that he didn't see the kid. Besides what kind of parents let their 15 year old kid out at night on a bike....
    Well, when I was growing up, all normal parents did (at least in the suburbs where I lived). I often was out riding till 9:00 or 10:00 pm when I was 12 years old, and so were most of my friends. We didn't have helmets (no one had heard of such a thing for bikes back then). Sometimes we had lights, sometimes we didn't. (It wasn't that our parents didn't buy them for us; it's just that in the '60s you were lucky if the crummy lights most kids' bikes had would keep working for a month after you bought them. Like the cheap flashlights available at the time, the switches would quit working. Or the battery contacts would get a bit of oxidation on them and stop making good contact. In either case, your light would start flickering, and eventually go out altogether. I couldn't begin to count how many times I opened up the various bike lights I had over the years to scrape the batteries against the contacts, or bend the flimsy metal switch contacts into a better position, to try to make the light stay on. It usually would go out again as soon as I hit a rough spot on the pavement. Even the expensive light I bought at a bike shop when I was 18 only lasted a few months before it developed problems. The generator light I had when I was about 10 was the only one that really worked well, and it make the bike so hard to pedal that I rarely used it.) Yet somehow we all survived. Neither I nor any of my friends, nor (to my knowledge) any of the kids with whom I went to school, ever were hit by cars.

    I'm convinced that drivers simply aren't as careful as they once were. Maybe it's because there are fewer kids on bikes these days and they're not used to seeing them, or maybe it's because there are so many more distractions (Ipods, cell phones, GPS devices, Gameboys, whatever) than there were back then; but there used to be a lot more kids on the streets on bikes than there are now, and unless my neighborhood(s) were atypical, a lot fewer of them got hit by cars.
    Ţćs ofereode, đisses swa mćg. ("That passed away, this also can.")
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  15. #15
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Well of course folks have forgotten how to look into dark places...
    What the heck is that suppose to mean? Am I to creep along a 5 mph? Perhaps I could have an advance team sweeping the path.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ritepath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szczuldo View Post
    thats when he died, and he didn't die on the scene. The article says he was hit late thursday night. People in cars have too much that is distracting them and if a rider doesn't have a powerful light on his rear and front chances are he won't be seen and the suspect can get away by saying that he didn't see the kid. Besides what kind of parents let their 15 year old kid out at night on a bike....
    At 15 (1985) we rode almost every summer night because we'd "camp" out in the camper every night. Once darkness come it was a blank check. We'd ride 20 or more miles with a flashlight strapped to one of our handle bars most of the time. It was rare for everyone to have a light. It's a wonder we didn't die, but then again we kept a keen eye on vehicles. It's what kids do...We spent every summer like this from 11 or so to 17 or so....Life was good in the 80's.
    Last edited by ritepath; 09-22-08 at 05:20 PM.
    Harmony, Spirit, Way

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber View Post
    What the heck is that suppose to mean? Am I to creep along a 5 mph? Perhaps I could have an advance team sweeping the path.
    It was sarcasm... pointing to the fact that once folks drove without the aid of street lights too. But now everything is new and improved, and we are slaves to the latest technology.

  18. #18
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    That may work if you are approaching a cyclist and ones headlights can illuminate them (reflective material or not)

    But if you are driving a motor vehicle at night and entering a road that has a cyclist approaching from your left or right with no lights and you even fully stop and look both ways before entering you will pull in front of them before you see them.

    Al
    Never had the situation happen in such complete blackness that you can't see them, and I'm not even running some of the *******ish like lights some pickup truck drivers have.

    You just need to be somewhat observant.


    I'm just saying I did delivery, one of the most dangerous city driving jobs you can have it seems, and did more night shifts than anyone there. Somehow I was able to always be aware of cyclists coming into intersections, or on completely unlit roads, etc.

    Let alone, are you really trying to tell me a drunk driver was really observant, and that this is an acceptable excuse?

    No, lights are great, I recommend them, nay... should think they are required for riding on the road at night, alas it is not a good excuse for killing someone.
    Last edited by StrangeWill; 09-22-08 at 06:54 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
    While this may look obvious, it really isn't. Not all things a driver can hit have lights. How about deer, or wors, moose or elk. Suburban drivers don't have those hazards to cope with, but some other drivers do.

    Someone mentioned helmets, and while helmets would help, they are no guarantee (and I've had a lot of debates on helmets here). With this situation, lights may have helped, but there is a a large chance that this was a drunk driver too. In that case, you really do not know if anything could help.

    I mentioned the case of animals above not being lite, except if you are lucky enough to see the reflection from their retinas in the darkness (and you need to know what it is to make sense of it). But I have seen bicyclists who were unlite in very dark situations, but seeing the lights behind them blink off, and seeing their silouette. These skills, which were taught to me by my Dad at a time when we did not have street lighting, help a lot. Another part of the problem is that our headlights have gotten brighter. People think that is good, but what it does in put a higher contrast between the areas lighted by your lights, and the dark areas. If you are adapted for the high intensity lights, you cannot see beyond them into the darkness as well when they lights are extremely bright. This can make it harder to see other things which are not lite up by your lights. Now, because of this, we on a bicycle need increasingly bright lighting at night to be seen. No one is taught anymore about seeing into the darkness, or looking through brush into their distance and seeing animals, for that matter.

    John
    What hasn't been mentioned is that the windows on vehicles are tinted now, making it much harder to see at night if something isn't lit up by headlights. I don't even think we could find a car with a clear windshield if our lives depended on it. The more we tint our windows, the brighter lights we need to see ahead.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  20. #20
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    It is deeply sad news when any human life is lost. For the driver to also flee the scene is beyond comprehension. Alcohol + transportation is the most easily preventable source of injury, yet some studpid (I could think of less kind words) people just don't care. Thankfully growing up in the high school in the late 1980's, even the "cool" party kids realized it was a good idea to have a designated driver. Sadly some adults (or kids) still don't get that concept. If you want to get drunk either stay put, or get someone else to drive.

    I will however state that as a daily/year round bike commuter, I get extreamly anoyed with all the kids (and some adults) that have no clue or don't want to have a clue about how to behave on the road. Yes, there are plenty of drivers that need a serious atutude adjustment and need to learn to share the road, but cyclists need to behave in a consistant manor as well. It doesn't help that kids will be kids. I am sure there were things I did as a kid that didn't seem like a problem, but if I were to look at the behavior today I'd have a minor stroke. Sadly sometimes it only takes one stupid mistake to get killed.

    What is also sad is that if both adults and kids would just use a little comon sense I bet you could reduce the number of cycling deaths by at least 25%. An it doens't take anything complicated:

    - Ride with traffic, especially on narrow roads. I live on a road that is narrow and has a 4 foot ditch on either side. Every day there are kids and adults walking, running, and cycling along this road. I regularly have to come to a complete stop so as not to run into cylists riding against traffic. If they were to ride with traffic I would be able to slow down and hang back till the opposite side of the road is clear. When riding against traffic all of a sudden we are approaching each other much faster.

    - Ride a straight line. I can't tell you how often I've nearly hit or been hit by swerving teenagers on bikes either while riding my bike or driving my car. They will be riding along, and all of a sudden they will swerve to go where ever they feel like. I know they don't mean to be "bad" cyclists. They just don't respect how easy it is to get seriously hurt if you pull out in front of someone at the last second without looking. I always slow down when I see kids ahead, but when they cross the road in front of you with barely yards to clear... that is just not good. Just a week ago I almost saw 2 kids get themselves get his this way. One friend crossed the road right in front of a car. For good measures his buddy ended up doing the same thing not 10 seconds later infront of an other car. They actually looked suprised when they were buzed by the cars. It appeared that they were so busy chatting that they had no clue about the traffic around them.

    - If you ride at night, at the VERY least make sure you wear something bright and make sure you have all your reflectors. In NY state you are required by LAW to have active lighting, but it is increadible rare to see someone bothering to make themselves visible. Just the other night I was coming home at 11:30 PM, it was misty as well. On the same narrow road near my house I just mentioned above I noticed some kids walking home on the other side of the road. Pretty much all of there were wearing dark clothing . Not more than a quarter mile up the rode I thought I noticed something up ahead on my side of the road, but I could not see clearly as there was on coming traffic. I slowed down, and sure enough there was an other teenage Nina on a BMX bike. He was lucky that I pretty much expected someone to be on the road as we were closing in fast and there was on coming traffic and no way for me to move out of his way. I came to a complete stop and still he kept getting closer. No lights, no reflectors, and a dark sweat shirt .

    I understand that the kids like to walk over to the neighborhood convenience store to by a pop/soda and hang out. We have not trouble with the kids, but I fear for their life every day when I see some of them out there after sun down. I am just waiting for someone to get seriously hurt on this short streach of road. I just don't understand why they don't fill in the ditches and widen the road by about 2 feet on each side. That would make it infinitly safer for everyone on the road.

    I would think that some basic traffic education starting in Kindergarden and going throughout elementary school (like they do in Holland) might help kids understand how to behave on a road on foot, on a bike, or in a car. Hopefully they would also be able to pass the informationa long to the parents. The fewer ignorant road users we have the better change we have of everyone getting home safely. Certainly you can't prevent all accidents, but the fewer of these sad postings we have to read about the better it is for everyone.

    Happy safe riding,
    André

  21. #21
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
    I would think that some basic traffic education starting in Kindergarden and going throughout elementary school (like they do in Holland) might help kids understand how to behave on a road on foot, on a bike, or in a car. Hopefully they would also be able to pass the information along to the parents. The fewer ignorant road users we have the better change we have of everyone getting home safely. Certainly you can't prevent all accidents, but the fewer of these sad postings we have to read about the better it is for everyone.

    Happy safe riding,
    André
    While I agree with your entire post... I think this small bit here is the real key to improving road safety for all users. For the life of me I cannot figure out why we have X number of years of math, science, english, and history and yet contend with about 6 weeks of road use lessons.

    We lose far more people annually in road deaths than we did in 9/11... yet I've yet to hear any president declare a war on poor road use habits.

    Maybe this should be our one great campaign... to get "road education" moved into the school curricula as it is in many European countries.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    While I agree with your entire post... I think this small bit here is the real key to improving road safety for all users. For the life of me I cannot figure out why we have X number of years of math, science, english, and history and yet contend with about 6 weeks of road use lessons.

    We lose far more people annually in road deaths than we did in 9/11... yet I've yet to hear any president declare a war on poor road use habits.

    Maybe this should be our one great campaign... to get "road education" moved into the school curricula as it is in many European countries.
    You can't prevent horrible behavious like drinking and driving (as Europe is certainly still stuggling with that as much as the USA), but you can certainly prevent a lot of plain stupid road behavior.

    My family moved the USA after I completed 4th grade and I still remember my traffic work-books. They were actually one of the more enjoyable parts of the school week. I also remember my sister being in 6th grade and having to pass a bike riding exam so she could participate in their class field trip that year (35 mile bike ride to an island where they'd stay for a week and then ride back).

    When I was visiting Holland this past Summer I saw LOADS of cyclists everywhere. What was stiking is that you don't see people riding on the wrong side of the road, you don't see Ninjas after dark, and by in large they behave predictable. I would hope that if you start them out young, they hopefully become more responsible cyclists throughout their life.

    I was also suprised how nicely traffic flowed on the MUPs throughout the Dunes along the North Western coast of Holland. You had some slow walkers, serious hikers, leasurely cyclists, and road bike riding club riders all on 10 to 15 ft wide MUPS. Walkers stayed to the side or moved over nicely if you have them a quick "ding" from your bell. An after riders over-took slower riders the same way. It was wonderous to behold in person.

    I sure hope we can get through to the kids before they do something stupid and get themselved killed. Weather it is on a bike, or making a dumb mistake as they learn to drive.

    Happy riding,
    André

  23. #23
    Hypocritical Cyclist scottbot84's Avatar
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    I saw this on the news not too long ago. I do think there is a need for rider education, but I think that will be a long time coming. Thats all I have to say on that.

    This is the second fatality I've heard of in my area. The first I heard about happened at about 3am also.

    The Cyclist was also riding the wrong way in the rain.

    Would be nice if the police dept here had signs that said "Start seeing bicycles" instead of motorcycles.

    On a better note I have seen a few buses in certain cities around the state (Champaign,IL) with the message "Share the Road" and bicycles all over.
    Avoid bombs, package searches, fear of public transport, or claustrophobia- ride a bike.
    ~David Byrne
    My Cycling Log
    #4884

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