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  1. #1
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    Driver who killed cyclist charged with criminal vehicular homicide: cell phone use

    He was trying to do banking on his cell phone and struck a woman pulling her two children in a bike trailer, killing her and injuring them.

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    The condition of bail, that the killer not use his phone while driving, is a bit much to take. How about he not be allowed to drive? He was already giving the chance to prove he was capable of doing the right thing while behind the wheel. He failed and an innocent person is dead because of his selfish behavior.

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    Ohh, this infuriates me. Not only should he of had his DL taken away he should of been forced to forfeit his dam phone too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
    Ohh, this infuriates me. Not only should he of had his DL taken away he should of been forced to forfeit his dam phone too!
    This is really sad - for the family and the children who will now grow up without a mother.

    I do feel a little for the guy because he made a terrible mistake and I'm sure he will be burdened with guilt and be sufficiently punished for his crime. That he stopped immediately and did not hide his crime showed it was a mistake, one which should never have happened in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
    Ohh, this infuriates me. Not only should he of had his DL taken away he should of been forced to forfeit his dam phone too!
    I agree he should have had his license suspended immediately and automatically, and I can't understand why this doesn't happen to all drivers involved in serious accidents until the police investigation or court trial finishes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    An interesting article and discussion on it: Steen MN vs Drenthe NL | streets.mn

    How practical is it to run a bike path along roads like she was on?
    "Trying to cure traffic congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." - ATL Urbanist

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    The condition of bail, that the killer not use his phone while driving, is a bit much to take. How about he not be allowed to drive? He was already giving the chance to prove he was capable of doing the right thing while behind the wheel. He failed and an innocent person is dead because of his selfish behavior.
    Innocent until proven guilty becomes the issue. I'm not sure about where this took place, but here in NJ you have no right to operate a motor vehicle. We routinely had the drivers license of a person suspended. If the facts were such that the suspension was not warranted, we would call and ask for the reinstatement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
    Ohh, this infuriates me. Not only should he of had his DL taken away he should of been forced to forfeit his dam phone too!
    We would have taken it as evidence. He could have easily gone and purchased another, but we tried.
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."
    ― Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticMN View Post
    He was trying to do banking on his cell phone and struck a woman pulling her two children in a bike trailer, killing her and injuring them.
    I cannot fathom their loss.
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."
    ― Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    How practical is it to run a bike path along roads like she was on?
    I think its a nice idea, but probably not cost effective considering the route where this took place had a shoulder where the woman was riding.
    MN270_Steen_.jpg

    The issue is the driver not paying attention to driving.
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    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Nothing but pure irresponsibility.

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    Police should be empowered to sieze and destroy not every cell phone that they see a driver using, but any cell phone in a car that is within reach of a driver. Cops should be equipped with a modified version of Vise Grip Locking C Clamp #20 , refitted with diamond-treaded, meat tenderizer type jaw pads. That'd crush any cell phone in existence with pretty minimal hand effort I should think.

  12. #12
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    I just looked at the map and 270 is perfectly straight. That guy should lose his DL. Hey, I lost mine for 30 days when I was 16, going home from work, no drinking, and was t-boned by a 20-something that actually saw me coming.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
    Police should be empowered to sieze and destroy not every cell phone that they see a driver using, but any cell phone in a car that is within reach of a driver. Cops should be equipped with a modified version of Vise Grip Locking C Clamp #20 , refitted with diamond-treaded, meat tenderizer type jaw pads. That'd crush any cell phone in existence with pretty minimal hand effort I should think.
    Either you are over reacting emotionally or you're a trolling idiot. (I can't believe I actually called someone here the "i" word.) There goes the battery in flames from instant short circuit and sharp fragments of plastic and glass all over the place. What kind of police state do you want to live in that gives anyone the right to destroy personal property at a whim. Can you imagine a cop destroying or confiscating some ladies makeup case because she has it in her purse? How about your water bottle or coffee from Mcdonalds. LOL. Give me a break.

    We have made huge advances dealing with drunken driving, no open bottles, almost going overboard with the "W" plates, and even that won't stop the addicted drunks from getting behind the wheel. Extremely sever court ordered penalties, hiked insurance rates, etc are the only real deterrent and that gets out of control also.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
    Either you are over reacting emotionally or you're a trolling idiot. (I can't believe I actually called someone here the "i" word.)

    We have made huge advances dealing with drunken driving, no open bottles, almost going overboard with the "W" plates, and even that won't stop the addicted drunks from getting behind the wheel. Extremely sever court ordered penalties, hiked insurance rates, etc are the only real deterrent and that gets out of control also.

    Your first statement made me laugh, your second is directly on point.
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    This is really sad - for the family and the children who will now grow up without a mother.

    I do feel a little for the guy because he made a terrible mistake and I'm sure he will be burdened with guilt and be sufficiently punished for his crime. That he stopped immediately and did not hide his crime showed it was a mistake, one which should never have happened in the first place.
    Quote Originally Posted by yugyug View Post
    I agree he should have had his license suspended immediately and automatically, and I can't understand why this doesn't happen to all drivers involved in serious accidents until the police investigation or court trial finishes.

    Give you two some slack because from your online statements you aren't in North America. Here most people like this one don't feel guilt for what they have done. They are upset because they got caught. "Gee, I've been doing this forever. If that cyclist and her kids hadn't been there none of this would have happened. I mean, who tows kids behind a bike along a street anyway?"

    And, no we don't want any cop seizing property or denying freedom to anyone except under very specific and limited rules. That is one of the reasons we are here instead of in the old countries where individual people not of the ruling class had essentially no rights. We want due process that involves a third party. Even then we operate under the innocent until proven guilty rule; or we are supposed to. As the Innocence Project is discovering there are many actually innocent people who are punished for crimes they did not commit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Here most people like this one don't feel guilt for what they have done. They are upset because they got caught. "Gee, I've been doing this forever. If that cyclist and her kids hadn't been there none of this would have happened. I mean, who tows kids behind a bike along a street anyway?"
    We don't find ourselves in full agreement often, but I think you've just nailed it here.

  17. #17
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post
    I think its a nice idea, but probably not cost effective considering the route where this took place had a shoulder where the woman was riding. The issue is the driver not paying attention to driving.
    Is the shoulder paved or gravel? And what difference does having a shoulder make with regard to a segregated path?
    "Trying to cure traffic congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." - ATL Urbanist

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    Is the shoulder paved or gravel? And what difference does having a shoulder make with regard to a segregated path?
    Two lane, small towns, wide paved shoulders, straight as an arrow. The difference would be physically isolated from traffic or nothing but a painted white line. Or did I misunderstand you?

    Can you imagine putting segregated bike paths, let's say in South Dakota, so we can get from Minnesota to Montana without being on the highway? The issue not clearly understood by those in smaller countries is we have a lot of space and low population areas.

    Maybe our cell phones should be off when in the car, and the proof being if we get stopped, the officer can call our phone. If it doesn't light up, then it's off. More proof? Turn it on and repeat. The officer does not even have to touch the phone. Of course that completely blows most of our navigation apps our the door, so never mind. Bad idea. We would not even be able to have a regular GPS in our car then.
    Last edited by RoadTire; 07-06-14 at 08:21 AM.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post

    And, no we don't want any cop seizing property or denying freedom to anyone except under very specific and limited rules. That is one of the reasons we are here instead of in the old countries where individual people not of the ruling class had essentially no rights.
    Having a driver's license is not a right, its a privilege. And they are cancelled and suspended all the time without a court process.

    Well maybe its a little different in the US, but in Australia we have a demerit points system and if you lose all your points your license is suspended automatically. Police can issue demerit point-taking fines automatically, even if more serious offences get charged later. You also get such fines for speed/red light camera infringements etc. Yes, you can challenge the fine that caused the final loss of points and thus the suspension in court - that would be your due process - but nonetheless your license is suspended until the case is resolved in your favour or your suspension period is up (guess which would commonly occur first?)

    What I am proposing is little different to that.

  20. #20
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    Is the shoulder paved or gravel? And what difference does having a shoulder make with regard to a segregated path?
    According to the original article cited: "When police examined the scene, they found the bike stroller wheels as far over to the right side of the road as possible, half onto the gravel, as if Boeve had tried to squeeze out of the way of the flatbed pickup."

    So to answer your 1st question the shoulder was gravel. However to answer the second question I would have to say it depends. When you mention "segregated" are you referring to a paved shoulder with a bike designation thus making it a bike lane or are you referencing the paths in the article you posted?

    Either way I don't think it would be cost effective for a town like Steen Minnesota (Population 180) to have paved bike shoulder (or "segregated path") between their and Luverne Minnesota (Population 4680) which is approximately 13 miles away. This is the information I found for the approximate cost for a bike lane. If you could provide a link to the costs the for the "segregated path" you have in mind it would be helpful.

    The problem with a bike lane is it would not prevent a tragedy like this from happening. However once your provide more information regarding the "segregated" bike path you have in mind It can be compared to the cost effectiveness of the bike lane.

    Regardless of the cost the woman was killed by a distracted driver. Even if your "segregated" path idea goes through someone's cornfield it still may not prevent something like this from happening.
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    I'm responding in sadder-but-wiser mode. So, tell me why a cell phone within reach of a driver should be any different from an open bottle of liquor. IMHO, all of the distractions you mention are an extreme example of someone swinging their automotive fist and having no concern for whatever nose gets in the way. What could possibly be a difference between two items (bottle of booze, cell phone) that have a similar ability to reduce the ability of the driver to control their vehicle. Call me an idiot, I don't care, but I've ridden bikes and driven both for over forty years and can tell you driver behavior has changed. The law needs to treat drivers as less than human--and piss on the Constitution if need be.
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
    Either you are over reacting emotionally or you're a trolling idiot. (I can't believe I actually called someone here the "i" word.) There goes the battery in flames from instant short circuit and sharp fragments of plastic and glass all over the place. What kind of police state do you want to live in that gives anyone the right to destroy personal property at a whim. Can you imagine a cop destroying or confiscating some ladies makeup case because she has it in her purse? How about your water bottle or coffee from Mcdonalds. LOL. Give me a break.

    We have made huge advances dealing with drunken driving, no open bottles, almost going overboard with the "W" plates, and even that won't stop the addicted drunks from getting behind the wheel. Extremely sever court ordered penalties, hiked insurance rates, etc are the only real deterrent and that gets out of control also.

  22. #22
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
    I'm responding in sadder-but-wiser mode.
    [Skip]
    The law needs to treat drivers as less than human--and piss on the Constitution if need be.
    Sadder? - True;
    Wiser? - Hardly.

  23. #23
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    I don't use my phone while driving, it's a $1000 fine if you have a CDL, but I do use it as my GPS which is far safer than a map, written directions, of fumbling around lost.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    In any "accident" which this does not seem to be, if some one is killed, their DL should be removed until the trial. No exceptions!!!!

    Further the law need to be changed so that if it can be proved that a driver that injures or kills someone while on a cell phone, the penality should be doubled.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Here most people like this one don't feel guilt for what they have done. They are upset because they got caught. "Gee, I've been doing this forever. If that cyclist and her kids hadn't been there none of this would have happened. I mean, who tows kids behind a bike along a street anyway?"
    What struck me about this event was that the pickup driver didn't try and defend himself or deny anything. To the contrary, he clearly stated that he was looking at and listening to his phone instead of paying attention to the road. He is taking responsibility for what he did - and we see far to little of that today.
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