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Old 03-25-05, 08:27 AM   #1
tippy
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Child dies in crash

http://www.flatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dl...503250338/1006

Two girls get hit by car riding bikes to school. One dies. No helmets worn. Happened at a sidewalk crossing with lots of morning traffic.

Sad to see this happen to anyone.

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Old 03-25-05, 08:32 AM   #2
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not a surprise though
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Old 03-25-05, 09:10 AM   #3
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Yes a sad story. They were biking through a crosswalk and from my skimming of the article it appears they used the signal. Sounds like they would have been hit if they had been pedestrians going through that crosswalk. Young children and adults get hit while going through crosswalks several times a year here. A crossing guard and aggressive enforcement of the laws already on the books, which I am sure is already sufficient, would help.
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Old 03-25-05, 09:23 AM   #4
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This sounds like a typical case of a distracted, inattentive motorist. As long as our legal system continues to take its current "well shucks, accidents happen" attitude, there will be no true accountability for drivers. If my reading of the sketchy story is correct, the motorist did run a red light or perhaps turned right on red without properly yielding to the girls, and should be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Some community service and a lengthy license suspension would be in order, but I anticipate probation instead, particularly since this happened in Florida, one of the deadliest states in the Union (or Confederacy, for that matter ) for pedestrians and bicyclists.
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Old 03-25-05, 10:23 AM   #5
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She died of a head injury and no helmet was being worn. Would it have helped? I don't know. Would it have hurt? Not likely. It's a shame.

That's about all that needs to be said about that.

The one car-bike accident I winessed in which a child was hit, the child (a young teen) was completely at fault. That being said, the students need to complete a bicycle safety course before they are allowed to ride to school. Simple. We had to take one! Most children are completely oblivious that any safety rules apply to them, and that's just being a kid. If education saves one child it's worth the money. Shoot, I do it for free every year with Scouts.

Also, as for crossing guards, up to how far away from schools do we need to place them? Two blocks, two miles? Where do we determine that it's just not worth it?

Of course I'm playing devils advocate. It's very easy for us on this forum to assume the car is a fault, considering our perspective. I would be very interested at reading the final report on this accident.

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Old 03-25-05, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
If my reading of the sketchy story is correct, the motorist did run a red light or perhaps turned right on red without properly yielding to the girls, and should be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
In New York City, the driver would have been found guilty because it is illegal to turn right on a red light. In fact, turning right on red is the same as cutting a red light! This law prevents thousands of accidents and saves countless lives in the city. If this traffic law had been standard accross the nation, these poor girls would be alive today.
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Old 03-25-05, 10:44 AM   #7
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It´s just the cost of doing business. Its far more important that people get to work on time.

No amount of helmet wearing or crossing guards or vehicular cycling or accident investigation reports or anything else will stop these deaths.

You just have to hope that its someone else´s kids tomorrow.

Usually it will be so that´s OK.. isn´t it?.
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Old 03-25-05, 10:59 AM   #8
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This is off topic, but there's something bothering me here...

When I originaly logged on this morning, I accidently logged in under my son's account. My post originally responded to another member's post. When I realized I was not "eubi", I logged out so you could flame the proper person.

When I logged in as eubi and returned to this thread, the post I had originally responded to was gone. I have no ignore list. Moderator did you take it off? I thought he had a good point, even though I didn't agree with it and was ready to drive a truck through his logic...
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Old 03-25-05, 11:05 AM   #9
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What was the good point?

How could you drive a truck though the logic of a good point?

What's so tragic about this death is it was so preventable and predictable. Children of that age have an inability to handle common traffic problems. They need supervision and guidence on the way to school. They had none. Every year collisions like this happen with similar results. They can be prevented. This wasn't because someone thought adult guidence to school wasn't necessary.

That said, accidents happen every day to everyone and nothing will stop 'em all. I would hope people feel children deserve a little extra care and attention from adults to avoid accidents from happening to them until they develop enough maturity to handle risks on their own. 9 and 10 years olds don't have that maturity.

Last edited by closetbiker; 03-25-05 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 03-25-05, 11:21 AM   #10
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OK, closetbiker is back! Where did you go? Why is your first post missing?

I was just wondering if you read the article. Your post led me to believe you didn't.

I don't want to debate helmets. It's an endless thread where neither your nor my mind will be changed. We'll just have to agree to disagree and let everyone else make up their minds.
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Old 03-25-05, 11:26 AM   #11
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Turning right on red is legal here in California only after you come to a full stop. However daily, I see cars making right turns on red after bairly slowing down.
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Old 03-25-05, 12:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
This sounds like a typical case of a distracted, inattentive motorist. As long as our legal system continues to take its current "well shucks, accidents happen" attitude, there will be no true accountability for drivers. If my reading of the sketchy story is correct, the motorist did run a red light or perhaps turned right on red without properly yielding to the girls, and should be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Some community service and a lengthy license suspension would be in order, but I anticipate probation instead, particularly since this happened in Florida, one of the deadliest states in the Union (or Confederacy, for that matter ) for pedestrians and bicyclists.

It probably was a distracted motorist, and I'm not going to downplay the tragedy of this accident, but accidents do happen. Instead of assigning absolute and total blame and punishment on the driver (or whoever commited the sin of making a mistake), it would be better to focus on ways to lessen the probability of things like this occuring.

I like the NYC traffic rule. But, more importantly, I think that at 9 and 10 the girls were too young to be riding unsupervised.

At a more basic level, things like this would not be so common if there were better urban planning and if walkability and multimode transport were an integral part of street design.
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Old 03-25-05, 12:46 PM   #13
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From FL Law: "Parents or guardians must not knowingly allow a child or minor ward to violate any provision of this section."

So from this, the parents could be held accountable under the law for allowing the children to ride without helmets. Should they be... I don't know. Seems like losing a child or having one in the hospital is punsihment enough. Hopefully others will learn from this.
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Old 03-25-05, 12:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H23
But, more importantly, I think that at 9 and 10 the girls were too young to be riding unsupervised.
I have mixed feelings about that. I was begging my mother to let me walk the half mile to school when I was 7 or 8. She finally did let me start walking to school with my two younger sisters when I was 8 or 9 near the end of my third grade year. I had classmates who walked alone as well. In particular I remember a female classmate who walked with her little sister.

Now I must admit that was 20 years ago, on quieter streets and in a fairly nice neighborhood. There are dangers from child predators that we are more aware of these days that I definitely think any parent should take into consideration. But as far as the technicalities of walking or biking at a slow sidewalk pace to school, I don't see why any 9 or 10 year old shouldn't be able to handle that. I knew enough at 8 to only cross at the corners and to look both ways for traffic before crossing and that's exactly what my sisters and I did. There were no lights on my route and no crossing guard in one of the two route options. Perhaps if there had been a road as busy as the one these girls were crossing, my parents would have made me wait longer for that little bit of independence.
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Old 03-25-05, 01:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplebiker
I have mixed feelings about that. I was begging my mother to let me walk the half mile to school when I was 7 or 8. She finally did let me start walking to school with my two younger sisters when I was 8 or 9 near the end of my third grade year. I had classmates who walked alone as well. In particular I remember a female classmate who walked with her little sister.
....
I had the same type of experiences. I was allowed to walk to school alone in first grade (in the 70's). But the whole landscape was different. I was in an old-city environment, walking through alleys and residential streets. There were no 5-lane each way roads where I lived. It sad, but people expect kids to be driven to school these days.
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Old 03-25-05, 01:20 PM   #16
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She died of head injuries. These were probably caused by being knocked off her bicycle and hitting her head on the road when she fell. This is the sort of injury where a bike helmet gives good protection. It is also safer to walk across pedestrian crossings at intersections, because a rolling bicycle can move into the driver's field of view too quickly to react in time.
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Old 03-25-05, 01:26 PM   #17
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What they really need cameras anywhere and stiff fines.

Motorist also deserves to go to jail. Accident my ****ing ass. More like IRRESPONSIBLE.
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Old 03-25-05, 01:31 PM   #18
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She died of head injuries. These were probably caused by being knocked off her bicycle and hitting her head on the road when she fell. This is the sort of injury where a bike helmet gives good protection. It is also safer to walk across pedestrian crossings at intersections, because a rolling bicycle can move into the driver's field of view too quickly to react in time.
It is safer to walk across intersections than ride. It's also better to look before you cross for motorists not paying attention and going through the intesection without stopping.

Many more pedestrians are regularily hit in intersection crosswalks by motorists and they too, die from head injuries. Is the problem any greater for cyclists?
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Old 03-25-05, 03:15 PM   #19
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I find that drivers give me more room when, as I walk through crosswalks, my house/car keys are in the hand facing the stopped cars held at drivers' eye height.
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Old 03-25-05, 03:30 PM   #20
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There was another incident in Florida, I think last September, where a driver ran a red light and struck and killed two pedestrians, sisters age 5 and 2. The driver has since turned herself in to face vehicular manslaughter charges. This may turn out that it might not be vehicular manslaughter, simply because under Florida law running a red light is not considered reckless driving and in order to be vehicular manslaughter reckless driving has to be proven.

The thing I don't understand at all is why isn't there an automatic, on the spot, vehicular manslaughter charge for cases like these and any time a driver does something illegal that kills somebody.

The vast majority of motor vehicle incidents are not accidents at all. They happen because one or more drivers were negligent.
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Old 03-25-05, 08:13 PM   #21
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How the **** is running a red light not reckless driving? That makes absolutely no sense to me.
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Old 03-25-05, 08:41 PM   #22
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I nearly was tagged crossing a street in a crosswalk two days ago. The driver was too busy looking for a break in traffic to notice that I had a walk signal. As an adult I could see that he wasn't aware I was about to cross. Sure enough, as I started to walk across he started to take his right. I was close enough to sharply hit his car with my hand.

I'm pretty sure from the face he made that he had wet himself.

If I was a kid my inherent trust in adults and the walk signal probably would have been an accident.

In some cities here, flags are provided at each side of the street. When you cross, you grab a flag. Seems to be a good idea, and relatively a cheap solution to the problem. Perhaps it should be mandatory near schools where guards can't be posted. Or heck, give all the kids walking or biking to school lanyards with whistles. Instruct them to blow like crazy when crossing or if they feel they're in danger.

Look at any intersection where right on red is legal and most people treat it as a yield.
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Old 03-25-05, 09:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplebiker
There are dangers from child predators that we are more aware of these days that I definitely think any parent should take into consideration. But as far as the technicalities of walking or biking at a slow sidewalk pace to school, I don't see why any 9 or 10 year old shouldn't be able to handle that.
The chances of an abduction from child predators (not a family member) are extremely slim in comparrison to an accident happening to a child from a motor vehicle.

There are deaths of children every year caused by cars. Abductions from stangers are rare. Both threats should be enough to compell adults to take the time to go with their children to school. Walk, or ride your bike with them so they learn what to look out for and how to ride properly. Just putting a helmet on their heads and sending them on their way just doesn't cut it. That, all too often, ends in deaths.
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Old 03-26-05, 05:12 PM   #24
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In Denmark,the law requires the city council and the local police to make routes to school safe for 7-year olds to walk/cycle to school on their own.

How civilised is a country that doesn't?
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Old 03-26-05, 06:59 PM   #25
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In Denmark,the law requires the city council and the local police to make routes to school safe for 7-year olds to walk/cycle to school on their own.

How civilised is a country that doesn't?

I'm not sure we can use that logic in this case. Using the word "civilized" and mentioning U.S. drivers in the same sentence is grammatically incorrect.
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