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Driver Hits Biker, Gets a Suspended License

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Driver Hits Biker, Gets a Suspended License

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Old 02-12-19, 10:31 AM
  #26  
parkbrav
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Article says it WAS a civil case, whatever that means in Massachusetts. I read that entire article to myself in a JFK / Mayor Quimby accent. Pretty wicked story.
In terms of the civil offense issue, it strikes me as a rather small civil penalty

In terms of the assumption of risk issue raised by another commentator, bicycles are recognized as vehicles under the law and lawfully operate on the roads. Share the road, and all that.

I feel horrible for the cyclist and her family, this is just so tragic beyond words
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Old 02-12-19, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris0516 View Post
A cycling fatality will almost always be perceived to be the cyclist's fault.
Do you know why this is? Because to a non-cyclist, someone "playing with children's toys" on the freeway seems practically suicidal. Or at least a blatant display of disregard for one's own safety. Many would even say we had it coming for taking the risk, and in the process slowing down the motoring public and making OUR safety THEIR problem, not to mention THEIR inconvenience suffered while trying not to kill us.

Would you like to add anything? I sure could.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Do you know why this is? Because to a non-cyclist, someone "playing with children's toys" on the freeway seems practically suicidal. Or at least a blatant display of disregard for one's own safety. Many would even say we had it coming for taking the risk, and in the process slowing down the motoring public and making OUR safety THEIR problem, not to mention THEIR inconvenience suffered while trying not to kill us.

Would you like to add anything? I sure could.
Well, could we re-direct this conversation back to the tragedy that happened in Maine?
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Old 02-12-19, 10:59 AM
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I think the fact that the deceased was a Medical Doctor (and also wearing a helmet) blows up the "marginalized victim" angle. What I think goes on in the minds of those involved in the application of Justice is a calculation. The offender, if barred from driving for life, or if imprisoned for many years, will immediately cease to purchase gasoline, pay insurance, tolls, buy convenience foods ... the total losses to GDP could easily be in the hundreds of millions if truly proportionate Justice was meted out far and wide to those who are careless behind the wheel. If I was the judge that driver would be given a choice: suffer the lifetime revocation of their drivers license OR serve a ten year prison term for 2nd Degree Manslaughter. You have thousands and thousands of people who will never see the light of day again that did nothing worse than have a 'Dime Bag' of weed in a zero tolerance jurisdiction. We don't need autonomous vehicles we need Autonomous Jurisprudence.
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Old 02-12-19, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
It proves nothing of the sort.
It actually does. And not just a 'tiny set of circumstances' actually. In the U.S. at least, a helmet is NOT going to do the job for ... ... (WAG) >25% of accident scenarios.
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Old 02-12-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
Well, could we re-direct this conversation back to the tragedy that happened in Maine?
Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
"...the decision does not adequately deliver justice and does not promote safe behavior on Maine roadways,” Jim Tasse, advocacy director for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, said in the release.
^^This was quoted from your OP.

And the following paragraph describes why the non-cycling public doesn't care and may even find joy in the thought of "one less cyclist in the way - maybe the rest will learn from this". It is relevant to the OP. Motorists look out for their "own kind" because next time it could be them running over some fool "playing" on the roadway.

Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Do you know why this is? Because to a non-cyclist, someone "playing with children's toys" on the freeway seems practically suicidal. Or at least a blatant display of disregard for one's own safety. Many would even say we had it coming for taking the risk, and in the process slowing down the motoring public and making OUR safety THEIR problem, not to mention THEIR inconvenience suffered while trying not to kill us.

Would you like to add anything? I sure could.
Have we as cyclists "learned" anything from this death? Or the previous one? Or the group before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that? Or the one before that?

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Old 02-12-19, 04:55 PM
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I've haven't learned a damn thing about anything on this thread, other then some think helmets have no effect whatsoever regardless what EMT people with experience in the field will tell you, so I did learn something but I'll keep what I've learned to myself.
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Old 02-12-19, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
It actually does. And not just a 'tiny set of circumstances' actually. In the U.S. at least, a helmet is NOT going to do the job for ... ... (WAG) >25% of accident scenarios.
The anecdote under discussion is indeed a single circumstance. There's no need to create "statistics" to prove his helmet was not of benefit.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:19 PM
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Sad that a person lost their life because of our obsession with cars and no choice for an alternative form of transit. It seems like we have become a " car society"...
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Old 02-12-19, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
I've haven't learned a damn thing about anything on this thread, other then some think helmets have no effect whatsoever regardless what EMT people with experience in the field will tell you, so I did learn something but I'll keep what I've learned to myself.
I didn't realize that EMT personnel are experts in helmet engineering and design or helmet testing. Wow! Maybe they can help me out with my retirement investments and what brand of paint I should use on my home.

EMTs, as awesome as they are, have zero credibility regarding helmet effectiveness. None. Nada. Strictly their OPINION based on absolutely nothing scientific. Anecdotal evidence is not science. Search the Web for science. I have. There isn't any. So how on Earth does an EMT, Doctor, Fireman, or dog catcher know anything about helmets?
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Old 02-12-19, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I didn't realize that EMT personnel are experts in helmet engineering and design or helmet testing. Wow! Maybe they can help me out with my retirement investments and what brand of paint I should use on my home.

EMTs, as awesome as they are, have zero credibility regarding helmet effectiveness. None. Nada. Strictly their OPINION based on absolutely nothing scientific. Anecdotal evidence is not science. Search the Web for science. I have. There isn't any. So how on Earth does an EMT, Doctor, Fireman, or dog catcher know anything about helmets?
I suspect that they mean that EMT's are the one's most likely to see people in the early throes of a pavement overdose and thus most inclined to opine on the benefits of wearing helmets. I think this is very true in the case of motorcyclists. Surely the EMT's are kept far more busy dealing with motorcyclist head trauma than cyclist head trauma but I could be wrong. It's a big country with lots of people with varying amounts of cycling acumen (and luck). What I know, however, is that for a good part of my life bicycle helmets did not even exist. And for a good while longer even though they did, I did not avail myself of their benefits. I can't be the only one.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
The anecdote under discussion is indeed a single circumstance. There's no need to create "statistics" to prove his helmet was not of benefit.
Her helmet, and no, there is no need for statistics. Her helmet clearly failed her. We should totally blow this thing out of the water and find out how many of the >800 cyclists that ... DNF last year. How many were wearing helmets? The answer ought to be informative.
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Old 02-13-19, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I didn't realize that EMT personnel are experts in helmet engineering and design or helmet testing. Wow! Maybe they can help me out with my retirement investments and what brand of paint I should use on my home.

EMTs, as awesome as they are, have zero credibility regarding helmet effectiveness. None. Nada. Strictly their OPINION based on absolutely nothing scientific. Anecdotal evidence is not science. Search the Web for science. I have. There isn't any. So how on Earth does an EMT, Doctor, Fireman, or dog catcher know anything about helmets?
I see, and you're the expert? if so please show your evidence of your expertise, while I wait forever for that to happen I'll will show you what real experts say. You need to get more research in, there is evidence and research all over the internet that helmets do save lives, do they save lives all the time? NO, of course not, neither do seat belts and airbags but either or both do save lives, so for you to say that helmets don't save lives or minimize the potential for a serious head trauma is the same thing as saying seat belts and airbags don't don't work either. Whether or not you thing that EMT's aren't experts they do have a lot of experience with head trauma with cyclists and motorcyclists, how much experience do you have? oh, that's right ZERO!

https://helmets.org/stats.htm
https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/46/1/278/2617198
A very interesting read: https://www.bicycling.com/news/a24110027/bike-helmet-safety/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_byc&utm_medium=email&date=102318

It's extremely dangerous and reckless for someone on these forums to tell people that helmets don't do a darn thing, I wish these people would get banned from forums but you have the right to freedom of speech even if that freedom might lead to someone getting seriously hurt or killed.
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Old 02-13-19, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I didn't realize that EMT personnel are experts in helmet engineering and design or helmet testing. Wow! Maybe they can help me out with my retirement investments and what brand of paint I should use on my home.

EMTs, as awesome as they are, have zero credibility regarding helmet effectiveness. None. Nada. Strictly their OPINION based on absolutely nothing scientific. Anecdotal evidence is not science. Search the Web for science. I have. There isn't any. So how on Earth does an EMT, Doctor, Fireman, or dog catcher know anything about helmets?
Ok, now I really must object. This thread is NOT a helmet thread. This is a thread about how an avid cyclist lost her life and how the driver who is responsible got off with a slap on the wrist. Now, Mr. Bikes, I don't like how you have been changing the subject at every turn, and I have to ask you to be more respectful and adhere more closely to the subject of this thread. If you don't like it, start your own thread, or go join the helmet thread.
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Old 02-13-19, 09:20 AM
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Well I think if the victim was in a car, the killer-driver would have got jail-time. This is my observation from many other stories.
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Old 02-13-19, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
Ok, now I really must object. This thread is NOT a helmet thread. This is a thread about how an avid cyclist lost her life and how the driver who is responsible got off with a slap on the wrist.
Helmets were mentioned in the OP, which I took to INSINUATE that the driver was somehow MORE at fault because, certainly, he must have been driving 100mph to kill someone wearing a magic safety helmet. Don't want a helmet thread to develop, don't mention helmets.

Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
I see, and you're the expert?
No. There are no experts. Only testimonials, assumptions, and worthless statistics based on random events without any scientific controls.

It's extremely dangerous and reckless for someone on these forums to tell people that helmets don't do a darn thing,
I'm saying no such thing. I'm saying: "Nobody knows", and you can quote me on that.

If a helmet makes you feel good by all means wear one. If you don't care, you shouldn't be forced to wear a helmet, and certainly shouldn't be coerced by people who don't know jack, like me, and everyone else on every helmet thread here.

BTW...I wear a helmet 99% of the time. It provides shade that stays on my head in the wind, and a spot to hang my rear-view mirror - which actually DOES decrease the chances of me getting blown up by a passing motorist IN MY OPINION. No studies exist there either except that every other vehicle allowed on the road must have AT LEAST TWO of them. I do not rely on a hat to keep me safe. I rely on my judgement, skill, and ability to focus.

I believe that it's extremely dangerous and reckless for someone on these forums to tell people a hat will make them SAFE or protect them from injury when nobody knows. It is misleading information either way. A tiny polystyrene cooler atop the head does not seem like much magic while being clobbered by a 3000lb slab of steel moving a high speed. Perhaps less helmet and better judgement about how and where we ride would save a few lives? This is difficult to study as well because the cyclists not getting clobbered don't file reports.

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Old 02-13-19, 11:32 AM
  #42  
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Re: EMTs and helmets:

EMTs see only the aftermath. They see people with traumatic brain Injury or serious head injury---but have no real idea what happened. Therefore they cannot assess whether wearing a helmet would have made a difference.

Also ... why don't cyclists recommend wearing full-face motorcycle helmets and neck supports? I am certain (the helmet debate being a fact-free zone) that a lot of the cyclists who died wearing helmets would have survived had they had adequate head protection. If safety is all that matters, why not?
@parkbrav : one of the problems with the way driver/cyclist interactions are understood by the mostly car-bound masses, is that things like whether a person was wearing a helmet, are used a s an excuse for crippling or killing cyclists. The mention of a helmet in the original article opened the door to that portion of the discussion.

The issue there is the implication that a cyclist not wearing a helmet was riding recklessly---wholly without evidence. Helmets are not required by law, and a person is Not automatically riding recklessly because s/he is not wearing a helmet. A cyclist might be observing to the letter every rule of the road and still deemed okay to kill because said cyclist was not wearing a helmet?

Even more outrageous, the driver was breaking multiple laws.

What angers me here most is the "sun in the eyes" excuse. Driving with impaired vision is no different than any other kind of impaired driving. The law specifies this---but the law is not enforced. Add to that, the driver was speeding and drove too close to the cyclist---that is Three laws the driver broke, resulting int he death of a human being.

If while cycling I plowed into a person on an MUP and killed her, would I get a small fine and the three-month ban from the MUP?
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Old 02-13-19, 12:19 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
If while cycling I plowed into a person on an MUP and killed her, would I get a small fine and the three-month ban from the MUP?
Only if they could prove you hit him/her on purpose, or have a long history of being a menace on your bicycle would the law go beyond "accident" and maybe some traffic violation. Same with motorists who don't leave the scene. It's really difficult to throw the book at any person with a clean record (maybe a speeding ticket or two which is the status-quo) . Even 20mph over the speed limit is a misdemeanor in every USA state (I might be wrong there). There must be proof of excessive speeding for it to add to a sentence. The 3-Foot Rule is not a felony to break. It's just another traffic law / moving violation.

For someone to get a "negligent homicide" tacked onto an auto accident - I have no clue just how negligent the driver would have to be. Like letting his 10-year old son drive him home from the bar, or something like that.
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Old 02-13-19, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Helmets were mentioned in the OP, which I took to INSINUATE that the driver was somehow MORE at fault because, certainly, he must have been driving 100mph to kill someone wearing a magic safety helmet. Don't want a helmet thread to develop, don't mention helmets.
Well, I AM the OP and there is no such insinuation. I really think you have represented your opinions and that it's time to allow others to do the same.

Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Only if they could prove you hit him/her on purpose, or have a long history of being a menace on your bicycle would the law go beyond "accident" and maybe some traffic violation. Same with motorists who don't leave the scene. It's really difficult to throw the book at any person with a clean record (maybe a speeding ticket or two which is the status-quo) . Even 20mph over the speed limit is a misdemeanor in every USA state (I might be wrong there). There must be proof of excessive speeding for it to add to a sentence. The 3-Foot Rule is not a felony to break. It's just another traffic law / moving violation.

For someone to get a "negligent homicide" tacked onto an auto accident - I have no clue just how negligent the driver would have to be. Like letting his 10-year old son drive him home from the bar, or something like that.
Are you a lawyer and is this assertion a statement of the law?

I am shocked at the apparent lack of sympathy for this poor cyclist.

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Old 02-13-19, 12:49 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Even 20mph over the speed limit is a misdemeanor in every USA state (I might be wrong there).
Dude, have you ever heard of “Google”?

To be charged with reckless driving in the State of North Carolina, you do not have to be driving erratically. There are two different ways to meet the criteria of reckless driving:

(North Carolina Reckless Driving Laws - NC Reckless Driving Penalties - North Carolina Traffic Defense Lawyer)

Driving “carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard” of the rights and safety of others, or

Driving without due caution and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.

Ref: Reckless Driving, NCGS 20-140

How fast is “in a manner to endanger”?

According to North Carolina Courts, if you are caught driving at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit where the speed limit is less than 55 miles per hour you can be charged with reckless driving.

However, as the speed limit increases, the threshold decreases. This means that if the speed limit is under 70 miles per hour and you are caught doing over 75 miles per hours, you can be charged with reckless driving.

If you go 75 in a 65 mph zone, you may get pulled over and charged with reckless driving.

While you may have thought reckless driving was a simple traffic ticket or citation, in North Carolina, reckless driving is actually a criminal charge. Reckless driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Define reckless driving (https://quizlet.com/127453531/motor-...-flash-cards/_

- Endanger life, limb, or property

- not under proper control

- operate with faulty breaks

- passing on or at crest of hill or curve (driving view must be obstructed)

- Drivers view obstructed

- drivers control impaired

- passing two abreast

- driving two abreast in the same lane (motorcycles)

- passing at railroad grade crossing

- driver approaching a clearly marked school bus stopped on road must stop until buss in is motion but may pass on physical divided highway

- failure to give proper signals

- driving to fast for highway and traffic conditions (rain, snow, heavy traffic)

- over 20 mph over speed limit and anything over 80 regardless

- failure to yield right of way

- reckless driving private property (donuts)

- racing

(https://www.drivinglaws.org/resource...iving-laws.htm)

In California, a person can be convicted of “reckless driving” for driving a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Generally, the term “willful” refers to conduct that is purposeful or intentional, rather than accidental. And “wanton disregard” basically means the person understood the conduct was risky but decided to do it anyway.

California Vehicle Code section 23105 allows a judge to impose more severe penalties for reckless driving offenses …. it can be punished as a misdemeanor or a felony.

If you exceed a speed of 80 mph in Virginia, you can be charged with reckless driving. Is it also considered reckless driving to exceed the speed limit by 20 mph or more. Therefore, if you are driving 75 mph in a 55 mph speed zone, then you may be charged with reckless driving.

(What is Considered Reckless Driving Speeding in VA? | Bob Battle Law)

Virginia's Reckless Driving Speeding law is found at Virginia Code § 46.2-862. It states:
§ 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.

A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of 20 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of 80 miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

In Virginia, reckless driving is considered a serious criminal offense. As a class 1 misdemeanor, a conviction of this will leave you with a permanent criminal record.

Under Maine’s laws, all crimes other than murder are classified as Class A, B, or C crimes (felonies) or Class D or E crimes (misdemeanors). (https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.co...-sentences.htm)

(https://www.drivinglaws.org/resource...penalties.html)

The consequences of a Maine driving to endanger conviction depend on the circumstances. But the possible penalties are:

Standard driving to endanger. Most driving to endanger violations are class E crimes. Convicted motorists are looking at up to six months in jail, a maximum $1,000 in fines, and a license suspension of 30 to 180 days.

Aggravated driving to endanger. An offender who causes “serious bodily injury” to another person can be convicted of aggravated driving to endanger, a class C crime. The offender faces up to five years behind bars, a maximum $5,000 in fines, and a license suspension of 180 days to two years.


I did two minutes of research and found that in two of four states going 20 over a posted limit can be ruled a felony, particularly if bodily injury is involved.
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Old 02-13-19, 12:58 PM
  #46  
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To the OP:
@parkbrav , I am bowing out of this thread because it has gotten so far off track and I don't want to be a contributor to this (any more.)

I think most of us find the outcome to be an outrage---a cyclist who was doing everything right got run down and killed.

I see no way hitting a cyclist could not be ruled 'negligence" because drivers should take especial care when passing cyclists. Intent is not an issue---a driver has to have control of his/her vehicle under All Circumstances or is driving illegally ... and this driver was also speeding, and driving in an admittedly unsafe fashion (impaired visibility.)

I see driving a car as similar to firing a gun---if the operator does not act at all times as though s/he was handling a potentially dangerous object, s/he is acting negligently. if i shoot a gun in my back yard a kill a person a mile away, my intent doesn't prevent a charge of manslaughter, and also criminal negligence--which is usually second degree manslaughter.

Driving is exactly as dangerous as firing a gun, in that there are about 30-40,000 deaths by each cause each year.

Killing a person with a car should be no different than killing a person with a gun.
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Old 02-13-19, 01:02 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Dude, have you ever heard of “Google”?
Yes, but not selectively. I looked at a bunch of Google.

The speed has to be "proven" by forensic evidence, or witnessed by a police officer. In all of the states I checked, 20 over is a misdemeanor unless you are doing a bunch of other stuff wrong, as your lengthy post showed.
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Old 02-13-19, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Driving is exactly as dangerous as firing a gun, in that there are about 30-40,000 deaths by each cause each year.
Humans make honest mistakes behind the wheel. This is what insurance and civil courts are for.

Next time you ride your bike, people will be making mistakes all around you. Act accordingly. Many lives would also be saved by not taking a position in front of the barrel willingly. Accidents happen.
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Old 02-13-19, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
To the OP:
@parkbrav , I am bowing out of this thread because it has gotten so far off track and I don't want to be a contributor to this (any more.)

I think most of us find the outcome to be an outrage---a cyclist who was doing everything right got run down and killed.

I see no way hitting a cyclist could not be ruled 'negligence" because drivers should take especial care when passing cyclists. Intent is not an issue---a driver has to have control of his/her vehicle under All Circumstances or is driving illegally ... and this driver was also speeding, and driving in an admittedly unsafe fashion (impaired visibility.)

I see driving a car as similar to firing a gun---if the operator does not act at all times as though s/he was handling a potentially dangerous object, s/he is acting negligently. if i shoot a gun in my back yard a kill a person a mile away, my intent doesn't prevent a charge of manslaughter, and also criminal negligence--which is usually second degree manslaughter.

Driving is exactly as dangerous as firing a gun, in that there are about 30-40,000 deaths by each cause each year.

Killing a person with a car should be no different than killing a person with a gun.

You are absolutely correct. The issue is the law regarding vehicular accidents is too lenient. You're only have the book thrown at you if you're drunk, or street racing. Luckily distracted driver by phone is drawing more harsh penalties. Any other form of negligence is generally acceptable.

You could wake up, have a car with frost all over it. Say only clear a 5" by 5" patch and then decide to drive. You hit and kill a kid waiting for a bus because your view was obstructed. You'd be let off pretty easy. Probably a ticket, maybe suspension. If you were drinking, no doubt prison time.

And that's the issue. There are a lot of people who rationalize certain forms of negligence because it's common. Negligence, is carelessness. They don't care about the fact they put other's safety on the line because it's inconvenient. And society has accepted that.

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Old 02-13-19, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Humans make honest mistakes behind the wheel. This is what insurance and civil courts are for.

Next time you ride your bike, people will be making mistakes all around you. Act accordingly. Many lives would also be saved by not taking a position in front of the barrel willingly. Accidents happen.
I fail to see how honest and careless are synonyms.
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