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  1. #1
    Gordon P
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    $2000 fine for killing two cyclists!!!!!!!!!!

    Well I am outraged at the outcome of this case.

    Driver guilty in accident that killed 2 cyclists
    Last Updated Apr 14 2005 09:24 AM MDT
    CBC News
    BANFF – A truck driver has been found guilty of careless driving after he hit and killed two American cyclists near Lake Louise almost two years ago.

    Witnesses testified that Peter Kukucka gradually veered off the right-hand side of the road and hit a 55-year-old man and 53-year-old woman who were riding a tandem bike.

    Kukucka said he was being crowded off the road by another vehicle on his left, but witnesses didn't remember seeing it. The driver also said he hadn't seen the cyclists and didn't know he'd hit them until informed by the RCMP.

    "These were experienced cyclists, as all the evidence showed," Kathryn Stoltenberg-Allen, whose brother died in the accident, said. "They were right where they were supposed to be."

    The judge said Kukucka, as a professional driver, needed to be aware of everything around him and found him guilty of careless driving. He was fined $2,000.

    Here is the original thread on this sad topic.
    Tandem cyclists killed near Banff

  2. #2
    Gordon P
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    Here is the man to contact if you feel $2000 Canadian is not a just fine for killing two cyclists.

    Justice and Attorney General
    Ron Stevens
    calgary.glenmore@assembly.ab.ca

    Legislature Office
    #208 Legislature Building
    10800 - 97 Avenue
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    T5K 2B6
    Phone: (780) 427-2339
    Fax: (780) 422-6621

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Looks like Canadians have the same problem as USA . . .

  4. #4
    Senior Member midgie's Avatar
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    Being that he was ticketed and found guilty of careless driving, the family should be able to bring forth a civil suit.

    $2000, unbeleivable
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  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
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    No justice... take two lives=$2000; punch some golfer in the face... $100,000.

    What was the judge thinking? Was the judge thinking?

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...o_kgtv/2671220

  6. #6
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon P
    "These were experienced cyclists, as all the evidence showed," Kathryn Stoltenberg-Allen, whose brother died in the accident, said. "They were right where they were supposed to be."
    Right where they were supposed to be? According to whom?

    According to the article, "The victims were struck as they rode west on the north shoulder...".

    Yes, many experienced riders ride on shoulders. Tragically. This is a 70kph (43 mph) road. I, for one, wouldn't be caught dead riding on the shoulder.

    All rural road cyclists should know:

    1) Drivers tend not to be aware of stuff to the right of the right edge stripe of the rightmost lane of the roadway, be it a bike lane or shoulder stripe.

    2) Drivers tend to drift, particularly to the right.


    As I've pointed out repeatedly in the past, and as once again another tragic incident illustrates, to a cyclist riding in a shoulder or bike lane, it can be a deadly combination.

    Disagree? Consider the negligence perspective... Which constitutes more negligence, A or B?

    A)
    1. A driver not consciously noticing a cyclist riding up ahead in the shoulder or bike lane, outside of the driver's lane.
    2. A driver inadverdently and briefly drifting a bit out of his lane into the adjacent shoulder or bike lane, hitting, tragically, the cyclist who happens to be riding there.

    B)
    1. A driver not consciously noticing a cyclist riding up ahead in the driver's lane, in his path.
    2. The driver colliding into the rear of the cyclist.


    Now consider which is more likely to happen, A or B?
    Now consider which is safer: riding in a shoulder or bike lane where you are likely to not be noticed, or riding in the regular travel lane where you are much more likely to be noticed?

    Here's the thing, a shoulder or bike lane may seem safer because the whole point is that you don't even need to be noticed in order not to be hit... as long as the drivers stay in their lane.
    The problem is that you're very likely to not be noticed, and, sooner or later, a passing driver is likely to drift.

    On the other hand, if you're riding in the path of the motorists, you must be noticed in order to not be hit. But, where are driver's primarily looking? To see what's ahead in their path.

  7. #7
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    I agree with your reasoning, but either way, Serge, the driver should at least be charged with vehicular manslaughter, as the cyclists were in a legal position on the street. Even though drivers are lazy, they shouldn't be. If the motorist had killed two people who were on the shoulder due to a broken down car, would there be as little penalty?

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    A)
    1. A driver not consciously noticing a cyclist riding up ahead in the shoulder or bike lane, outside of the driver's lane.
    2. A driver inadverdently and briefly drifting a bit out of his lane into the adjacent shoulder or bike lane, hitting, tragically, the cyclist who happens to be riding there.

    B)
    1. A driver not consciously noticing a cyclist riding up ahead in the driver's lane, in his path.
    2. The driver colliding into the rear of the cyclist.


    Now consider which is more likely to happen, A or B?
    Gee, had friends that were rear ended on an isolated road by an Arizona Hiway Patrol about 15 years ago... they were in their Izuzu and right where they were supposed to be... the AHP spaced out and plowed right into them.

    Big visible vehicle, right where they were supposed to be... plowed into by a professional...

    I don't think either A or B has any greater likelihood of occuring... if the motorist is half asleep.

    In this particular case, the real tragedy is failing to recognize that human life is worth more than $1000. I hope they have family that can pursue a civil case.

  9. #9
    Gordon P
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    The driver also took out a signpost before he realised something was wrong, so he must have fallen asleep at the wheel. This area is very popular with both tourists and cyclists and I have heard that it has a wide shoulder.

  10. #10
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    Well this is a tricky one.

    The driver claims there was a car crowding him off the road... I don't doubt it.

    I was driving home from school one day on the freeway and I was in the middle lane. I could see brake-lights up ahead in my lane so I picked an opening in the left (far-left) lane and moved over. I kept my speed and began to pass a big white pickup trick (Ford F250ish) in my 1988 Toyota Corolla (Small small car). I was about parallel with the driver of the truck when all of a sudden I found myself driving in the dirt/asphalt strip to the left of the freeway, with a concrete barrier not 1 foot from my left fender and my left tires on the dirt and my right tires on the 2 foot of asphalt on my side of the far-left lane.

    The guy in the white truck had moved over RIGHT ON TOP of me and I *reflexively* moved out of his way to avoid a high-speed accident. This all took place at about 70mph. It was surreal how I didn't even think of moving over - I just did it.

    The moral of my story is... if there really was another car forcing the trucker off the road, then I couldn't say that he should bear the brunt of (and responsibility for) killing the two bikers.

    Naturally there aren't very many pedestrians or bikers in the middle of the freeway between the concrete barrier and the actual road... but if there had been I don't know how my experience would have played out. The white truck that took my lane might have sideswiped me, and perhaps caused a massive pile-up, or perhaps would have driven me off into the dirt like I already described, forcing me to hit the civs. In either case I don't think I should/would have been held responsible for that... the white truck wasn't paying attention and was 100% at fault, not me.

    If there was no "other car" (one armed man?) then the truck driver shouldn't be allowed to drive and perhaps should face manslaughter charges and I agree, $2000 surely isn't enough.

    But what if there was another car?

    Also, think about the psychological impact this must be having on this guy... Having killed 2 people... In some cases that would be punishment enough.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon P
    The driver also took out a signpost before he realised something was wrong, so he must have fallen asleep at the wheel. This area is very popular with both tourists and cyclists and I have heard that it has a wide shoulder.
    I hadn't read that when I posted what I just posted.

  12. #12
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    Were there skidmarks? Did he hit his brakes or what? Also how far was the signpost from the bikers? When I stop to think about it, if things went down for the trucker the way they went down in my experience, I could have easily taken out a sign or two (and some peds) before being able to stop, depending on where I was forced off the road in relation to the peds.

  13. #13
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    So on 70kph+, one lane each directly with a wide shoulder, we shouldn't ride on the shoulder?

    Have I gone completley stupid or are we advocating something that is equal to that stupidity?

  14. #14
    Gordon P
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    Jakemoffatt, I read a few articles on this incident and each one seems to have different “facts”, if I have time tonight I will see if I can find a few of the links for you.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    On the other hand, if you're riding in the path of the motorists, you must be noticed in order to not be hit. But, where are driver's primarily looking? To see what's ahead in their path.

    Assuming they are "good" drivers and aren't fiddling with a cell phone, adjusting the radio, reprimanding children behind them, rubber necking at the scenery, falling asleep ..... etc. . There are just as many arguments for the shoulder as there are for the lane on highways. With the exception of debris of course. This sounds like a situation where a driver goofed up and I don't think they could have avoided it unless they were driving in the leftmost part of the lane (which is not VC) as the truck was veering right.
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  16. #16
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    So on 70kph+, one lane each directly with a wide shoulder, we shouldn't ride on the shoulder?

    Have I gone completley stupid or are we advocating something that is equal to that stupidity?
    Do what you think is safe.

    All I can tell you is that I, for one, will not be caught dead riding in the shoulder of such a road...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Do what you think is safe.

    All I can tell you is that I, for one, will not be caught dead riding in the shoulder of such a road...
    Would you take a different route?

  18. #18
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Cn$2000 = Us$1600
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    No justice... take two lives=$2000; punch some golfer in the face... $100,000.

    What was the judge thinking? Was the judge thinking?

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...o_kgtv/2671220
    A couple of things. First, the American and Canadian judicial systems are quite different. So to equate the the story of the golfer and the truck driver is like comparing apples to oranges.

    Second, the reason for the low fine amount is the Crown proceeded by way of a summary conviction charge, under a Provincial Statute - the Traffic Safety Act as opposed to an indictable conviction charge by way of the Criminal Code. The judge basically gave the driver the maximum penalty allowable under the TSA except for not suspending his driver's licence. According to today's paper, the driver is still taking psychological counselling and has never gone back to driving a "big rig". He instead is employed driving a gravel truck.

    It's really not the judge who you should be upset with here but the Crown Prosecutors' Office for deciding to prosecute on the lesser charge. This seems to be a common theme here with at least two other similar cases heard recently. One where a truck driver rear-ended a car with four nuns, killing three of them and another where a woman mows down two pedestrians in a marked crosswalk, killing both. In each case, the accused's were found guilty under the lesser charges under the Traffic Safety Act.

    Just some background on our judicial system here; however, it doesn't lessen the level of pain caused to the victim's families. As someone said earlier, yes we do have our share of problems with the courts here as do the Americans.
    [

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    OK rockymtn girl... I got your point, but as you point out, the prosecutor's office has done a dismal job of it...

    And that should change.

  21. #21
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Do what you think is safe.

    All I can tell you is that I, for one, will not be caught dead riding in the shoulder of such a road...
    Let's look at this from an EC perspective... OK, you are riding down the road... we don't know if up hill, down hill or flat... let's just choose flat and put you at about 22MPH. You are in the right tire track. You hear the truck, you look in your mirror, and you see the truck approach...

    Does the driver wave, do you wave? Perhaps you hear the truck slow down a bit... you take that as an indication that the driver saw you and you pull over to the right, as it is a nice wide road, and you see no reason to slow the driver down further, after all, he has seen you, as evidenced by slowing.

    The driver moves to pass you... slowly accelerating... He only slowed down a few KPH anyway... Just as he is alongside, a motorist from the other side of the road veers over the line. The truck driver reacts instinctively to the oncoming threat by swerving away... Squish... you are still dead. The driver still hit you, as he was reacting to the motorist in the other lane who was a threat to him.

    How did any form of riding anywhere in a "safe and predictable manner" on that road prevent this accident?

    Explain it any other way.

    A bunch of us made assumptions here... tired driver... didn't see the cyclists... who knows. But in the scenario I just painted... supported by the story, this was not preventable by the cyclist.

  22. #22
    Velocipedic Practitioner
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    1) Drivers tend not to be aware of stuff to the right of the right edge stripe of the rightmost lane of the roadway, be it a bike lane or shoulder stripe.

    I can not believe a motorist's vision stops at the right white line. As the anti-bike lane people are often quick to point out, it's only a painted stripe. It's not like there is anything there to block one's view. If the shoulder stripe was not there and the cyclists were riding in the exact same position, they would have been riding "vehicularly" and still very much subject to being struck.

    I do not see how anyone can make the claim that simply by riding on the shoulder, the cyclists were somehow partially at fault. Give me a break!

    Now back to the gist of the thread. I know of a cyclist who was riding properly ("vehicularly", as some like to say) in the lane approaching a curve in the road. An oncoming pickup driver decided to shave off a part of the curve and crossed over the center line and ran directly into the cyclist, killing her. Clearly the motorist had violated safe operating procedure which resulted in a death due to his negligence. What actually happened? The motorist was given little more than a hand slap, and even that was due to persistent efforts of the deceased cyclist's family and friends. The prosecutor was hesitant to charge the motorist with a crime for an "accident," even one that could easily have been avoided. As a sympathetic policeman friend explained to me later, the problem is proving "intent" to cause harm, so it is hard to prosecute a more serious charge. To me, fellow cyclists, THAT is the problem with the way the criminal codes are generally written. Apparently the term "involuntary manslaughter" doesn't hold the same meaning to all.
    Other forms of transportation grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. - Iris Murdoch

  23. #23
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleK
    Now back to the gist of the thread. I know of a cyclist who was riding properly ("vehicularly", as some like to say) in the lane approaching a curve in the road. An oncoming pickup driver decided to shave off a part of the curve and crossed over the center line and ran directly into the cyclist, killing her. Clearly the motorist had violated safe operating procedure which resulted in a death due to his negligence. What actually happened? The motorist was given little more than a hand slap, and even that was due to persistent efforts of the deceased cyclist's family and friends. The prosecutor was hesitant to charge the motorist with a crime for an "accident," even one that could easily have been avoided. As a sympathetic policeman friend explained to me later, the problem is proving "intent" to cause harm, so it is hard to prosecute a more serious charge. To me, fellow cyclists, THAT is the problem with the way the criminal codes are generally written. Apparently the term "involuntary manslaughter" doesn't hold the same meaning to all.
    I understand that both these cases were accidents, to the extent that nobody meant to hurt anybody, nobody was trying to intimidate cyclists. But in both cases there was obviously irresponsible negligent behavior on the part of the drivers who killed the cyclists. Is there some kind of crime of "negligent manslaughter" or something like that which can be used to prosecute such crimes? I'm thinking that a prosecutor could find a driver guilty of negligent behavior resulting in death without any malicious intent.
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  24. #24
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    I've also had a speeding tractor-trailer with a spaced-out driver plow into the back of me while I was driving my car on the highway... with more traffic in front of me.

    The lane positioning reasoning is garbage.

  25. #25
    Shiftless bum cavit8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    I understand that both these cases were accidents,
    Perhaps a minor point to some, but maybe worth mentioning:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

    Given the circumstances, it would be interesting to check his log and see how long he'd been on the road.
    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    truneo that tuned park internal nipple wrench work ??

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