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Driver Hits Biker, Gets a Suspended License

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Driver Hits Biker, Gets a Suspended License

Old 02-09-19, 03:40 PM
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parkbrav
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Driver Hits Biker, Gets a Suspended License

Driver who hit and killed a female cyclist (also a medical Doctor) gets his license suspended for 3 months and a $1000 fine

https://www.pressherald.com/2019/02/...-for-3-months/

* Driver was driving in the direction of sunshine, said sunshine got in his eyes
* state law requires drivers who get sunshine in their eyes to at least slow down
* Doctor cyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash
* Driver was slightly speeding and did not give cyclist the requisite 3 feet

“While the Coalition certainly appreciates that it is hard for the state and the court to arrive at appropriate penalties for a case like this, from our perspective, the decision does not adequately deliver justice and does not promote safe behaviour on Maine roadways,” Jim Tasse, advocacy director for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, said in the release. “When a driver can’t see, Maine law requires the driver to slow down and/or stop his vehicle.”
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Old 02-10-19, 08:54 AM
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Wow --------------- license suspended for 3 months and a thousand dollar fine for killing someone. But if you do it with a gun or a knife, you get at least 30 years in prison. Why the difference?
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Old 02-10-19, 09:52 AM
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Rip.
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Old 02-10-19, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Wow --------------- license suspended for 3 months and a thousand dollar fine for killing someone. But if you do it with a gun or a knife, you get at least 30 years in prison. Why the difference?
Must be the whole "Wow, I drive a car on that road every day, that coulda been ME" factor. I guess if you ever wanna kill your worst enemy, run 'em over with a car (preferably a 4 x 4) you'll only get a $1000 fine.
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Old 02-10-19, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Wow --------------- license suspended for 3 months and a thousand dollar fine for killing someone. But if you do it with a gun or a knife, you get at least 30 years in prison. Why the difference?
Intent. Is there any evidence the driver wanted, let alone planned, to kill the cyclist?
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Old 02-10-19, 01:22 PM
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I'm not understanding why the profession of the deceased matters or the fact that they were wearing a helmet. Even if they were a fast food worker riding a BSO in flip flops they don't deserve to be killed by a driver who is still on the gas even though they can't see properly.
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Old 02-10-19, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I'm not understanding why the profession of the deceased matters or the fact that they were wearing a helmet. Even if they were a fast food worker riding a BSO in flip flops they don't deserve to be killed by a driver who is still on the gas even though they can't see properly.
I agree it shouldn't matter, but the reason it "does" matter (in some people's eyes, including jurors) is that it adds credibility to the assertion that the bicyclist probably wasn't doing anything wrong or taking any risks.
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Old 02-10-19, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I'm not understanding why the profession of the deceased matters or the fact that they were wearing a helmet. Even if they were a fast food worker riding a BSO in flip flops they don't deserve to be killed by a driver who is still on the gas even though they can't see properly.
Also some might think that the senseless killing of a doctor is a more egregious act than that of someone with less, er, education. Society does tend to assign value to lives of individuals based on various factors. Call it racism, sexism, ageism, or whatever. As if killing a doctor should warrant a more severe punishment than someone with less, er, education.
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Old 02-10-19, 06:53 PM
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Just my opinion: since the criminal justice system in Maine essentially slapped the hand for a criminally negligent homicide, I hope there is some justice for the family in a civil suit.
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Old 02-11-19, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Just my opinion: since the criminal justice system in Maine essentially slapped the hand for a criminally negligent homicide, I hope there is some justice for the family in a civil suit.
Presumably the unnamed driver is getting a ride to work from someone. A real punishment would have been to order him to cycle to work for the next three months. You know, those winters up in Maine can be pretty harsh
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Old 02-11-19, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
Driver who hit and killed a female cyclist (also a medical Doctor) gets his license suspended for 3 months and a $1000 fine

https://www.pressherald.com/2019/02/...-for-3-months/
* Driver was driving in the direction of sunshine, said sunshine got in his eyes
Impossible, depending on who you ask around here.

* state law requires drivers who get sunshine in their eyes to at least slow down
Certainly every one of them slows down to adjust for conditions. Motorists are known for following the law to the letter.

* Doctor cyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash
So much for the Helmet Thread. More proof that there is a very tiny set of circumstances where a helmet will do much / any good.

* Driver was slightly speeding and did not give cyclist the requisite 3 feet
Three INCHES would have been nice. They ALL speed. This is not news.

“When a driver can’t see, Maine law requires the driver to slow down and/or stop his vehicle.”


There is only ONE fool-proof tactic for avoiding a smackdown while cycling around motor vehicles. Hint: NOT depending on motorists to do the right thing.
It's on us, not them. We pick our poison and take our chances out there.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 02-11-19 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 02-11-19, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Just my opinion: since the criminal justice system in Maine essentially slapped the hand for a criminally negligent homicide, I hope there is some justice for the family in a civil suit.
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.

A Somerville man behind the wheel when his pickup truck struck and killed a local doctor riding her bicycle in 2016 near her home in Windsor pleaded guilty late last month to a traffic infraction. The civil case was resolved in an agreement late last month between James M. Mayo, 23, and state prosecutors, with Mayo pleading to the civil charge of committing a traffic infraction causing death. He lost his license for three months and was assessed a $1,000 fine.
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Old 02-11-19, 02:46 PM
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Perhaps I'm splitting hairs but it looks like this death was made into a DMV-Traffic Court case?

A civil case would be a Wrongful Death lawsuit by the family for damages. The lawful presumption is the driver did not take proper precautions to drive safely.
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Old 02-11-19, 03:00 PM
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The Bicycle Coalition of Maine issued a news release this week expressing disappointment in the plea agreement and warning that the punishment “does very little to deter unsafe driving and perhaps may even encourage it in the future.”

I don't even know what to say about this. "Histrionic cyclists" is what most non-cyclists would say I bet.

It is a dangerous world on our nation's highways for every road user. When you venture out onto those roadways you ACCEPT those dangers by proceeding. Getting hit by a car under "honest" circumstances does not make the motorist a murderer or a negligent person. There are parameters established for true accidents. Accidents WILL happen out there. If we are not willing to surround ourselves with a steel exoskeleton then we are at greater risk of DEATH than those who drive metal boxes filled with air bags. Had she been driving a Suburban no doubt she would be alive today under the same accident circumstances. SHE made the decision to venture out "naked to the world" and at great risk. Sad she got killed but you can't blame the law abiding motorist 100% for the cyclists risky life choices. And the court agrees.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I don't even know what to say about this. "Histrionic cyclists" is what most non-cyclists would say I bet.

It is a dangerous world on our nation's highways for every road user. When you venture out onto those roadways you ACCEPT those dangers by proceeding. Getting hit by a car under "honest" circumstances does not make the motorist a murderer or a negligent person. There are parameters established for true accidents. Accidents WILL happen out there. If we are not willing to surround ourselves with a steel exoskeleton then we are at greater risk of DEATH than those who drive metal boxes filled with air bags. Had she been driving a Suburban no doubt she would be alive today under the same accident circumstances. SHE made the decision to venture out "naked to the world" and at great risk. Sad she got killed but you can't blame the law abiding motorist 100% for the cyclists risky life choices. And the court agrees.
Wow Joey. You just about nailed it. I don't know that I will say that again this year. A minor quibble, however, the motorist in this case cannot fairly be considered "law abiding". But we take your point nonetheless. I had a pretty serious motorcycle accident many years ago that I survived more or less intact. A year later my cousin smacked into the back of a parked 18 wheeler and was rendered a near vegetable. This caused some in his immediate family to think it was me who deserved the cousins fate and he who should have emerged more or less unscathed because he was driving a sensible car and not a $#%# motorcycle ... ... the bad blood spread to other family creating a rift that remains till this very day over 40 years later ... do you think in the minds of the average American that there is much difference between a bicycle and a motorcycle? I'm beginning to wonder.
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Old 02-12-19, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Wow --------------- license suspended for 3 months and a thousand dollar fine for killing someone. But if you do it with a gun or a knife, you get at least 30 years in prison. Why the difference?
Because the life of a cyclist is marginalized. First, courtesy of bias promoted by state governments in the application of the laws. Then courtesy of the weak sentences given out by the court system Then by the individual police departments who only give it full investigation. When a cyclist is killed riding on the road, or kills a pedestrian who was really at fault. Yet LEO's refuse to acknowledge that possibility. Lastly, The mooring public. Because they know. A cycling fatality will almost always be perceived to be the cyclist's fault.


Is it a conspiracy, no. But it is blatant ignorance at every level.
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Old 02-12-19, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Wow --------------- license suspended for 3 months and a thousand dollar fine for killing someone. But if you do it with a gun or a knife, you get at least 30 years in prison. Why the difference?
Because the life of a cyclist is marginalized. First, courtesy of bias promoted by state governments in the application of the laws. Then courtesy of the weak sentences given out by the court system Then by the individual police departments who only give it full investigation. When a cyclist is killed riding on the road, or kills a pedestrian who was really at fault. Yet LEO's refuse to acknowledge that possibility. Lastly, The motoring public. Because they know. A cycling fatality will almost always be perceived to be the cyclist's fault.

Is it a conspiracy, no. But it is blatant ignorance at every level.
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Old 02-12-19, 04:53 AM
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So what you're saying that everyone involved in the process, police, courts, judges, and the motoring public all operate on the unspoken assumption that, "Hey, lets get real here, we all know that loser on the bike was at fault just by being there, so lets go through the motions of investigating, before we ultimately find the automobile driver innocent."?

Since no one ever comes out and actually says this, there's no actual plan in place, so you couldn't call it a conspiracy. Other than a conspiracy of dunces, I suppose. It's undeniable that something similar to this happens, given case after case after case, from around the civilized world, where you see pretty much the same thing play out again and again.

Maybe in a way, it's simply a breakdown of how the justice system *should* operate, and represents a tyranny of the majority (car drivers) more than anything else.

Last edited by Lemond1985; 02-12-19 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Wow --------------- license suspended for 3 months and a thousand dollar fine for killing someone. But if you do it with a gun or a knife, you get at least 30 years in prison. Why the difference?
Really you had to ask that question? The difference is killing a person with a gun is purposeful and thus murder, but it isn't aways purposeful, when a gun is accidently fired and kills someone that person isn't put in jail either and the bike thing was an accident. What you're saying is that anyone that has a car accident and kills someone regardless if in another car, on a bike, or ped, should be put in prison for 30 years, that means adding about another million people a year to our prison system...yeah that's fair, over a 30 year period you could see an additional 30 million people in prison! Does that sound crazy to you? Now I would agree with you if that driver was drunk but in todays world a drunk driver won't get 30 years. Regardless it was an accident the guy stopped and didn't run, no witnesses said he did it on purpose. The 3 foot law is not set in stone either, if another car is approaching and there wasn't enough room to move over combined with not seeing the cyclist in time to slow down you can pass within 3 feet under certain circumstances. Here are those rules state by state: http://www.ncsl.org/research/transpo...icyclists.aspx Maine's rules are this: Title 29-A, §2070: Passing another vehicle The Bicycle Coalition is a far left organization that always is going to be over dramatic about stuff concerning cyclists, regardless, an accident is an accident and you can't send everyone to jail for 30 years because of something like that. I'm sorry to say this but from a criminal standpoint the penalty was fair, but the case hasn't gone to civil court yet (I think the article said the civil case was settled but I think that was in error I think it meant the legal case was settled because civil court has nothing to do with handing out violations and taking away a license), and in that situation the civil court will rule a much higher amount of money payout, probably in the millions of dollars if the injured party wants to take it that far, or they may settle out of court for the max insurance payout the driver had on his auto policy. Problem is going for millions is if the motorist only makes say $45,000 a year where do they expect to get that money? they can't, they may detach his a percentage of wages for life but that won't come close to amount they won. And if the motorist was on disability or social security as their only source of income they can't even take a percentage of that. You can read an attorney's answer to this question here: https://www.quora.com/What-happens-i...o-money-to-pay

Read this about what it takes to get a settlement and what to expect: https://lawsuitinfocenter.com/car-ac...nt-settlement/

I know people are going to scream at me about what I've said but you all need to be rational and not get so emotional, the driver wasn't drunk, he didn't flee the scene, he cooperated with the police in every way, and according to the definition provided in the web site I gave it won't be classified as a wrongful death, but it could be if the attorney can win that argument, it was a tragic accident indeed but an accident nonetheless.

Due to the sensitive nature of what I've said, I will not respond to any rebuttals nor argue about it to anyone's response because I don't want to get banned for causing strife, and arguing about this isn't going to do a bit of good since no one here on this forum is invovled in the case and would know how it's going to play out. So as far as this thread is concerned I'm out of it because I know how some of you will get about my response.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:29 AM
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I don't think there is anything specific to cycling here. Deaths from traffic accidents seldom draw criminal penalties unless alcohol or extreme reckless behavior is involved. Doesn't matter if the victim is a cyclist, pedestrian or another driver.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post

So much for the Helmet Thread. More proof that there is a very tiny set of circumstances where a helmet will do much / any good.
It proves nothing of the sort.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
I don't think there is anything specific to cycling here. Deaths from traffic accidents seldom draw criminal penalties unless alcohol or extreme reckless behavior is involved. Doesn't matter if the victim is a cyclist, pedestrian or another driver.
I think that's largely because it's so easy to claim something was purely accidental after the fact, when you were alone inside your vehicle when it happened, and the only other witness is dead. So if you ever wanna kill someone, use your car to do it.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Wow --------------- license suspended for 3 months and a thousand dollar fine for killing someone. But if you do it with a gun or a knife, you get at least 30 years in prison. Why the difference?
Intent vs. negligence.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
It proves nothing of the sort.
Ding Ding Ding! You got it!

Nothing helmet related proves anything. Cyclists not wearing helmets often survive and cyclists wearing helmets often perish.

Had the Doctor NOT been wearing a helmet there would have been a chorus of "If only she had been wearing a helmet!" around this place. "This proves that helmets save lives!" *burp*

You can search the Web for weeks and you will find ZERO conclusive evidence that helmets benefit anyone but helmet manufacturers. I believe a helmet my save you some stitches in your scalp, but you can't prove this either. Random statistics obtained under uncontrolled circumstances mean nothing. Helmet manufacturers wouldn't want the truth getting out anyway, which is why they don't sponsor MEANINGFUL studies, if such a thing is even possible.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 02-12-19 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris0516 View Post
Because the life of a cyclist is marginalized. First, courtesy of bias promoted by state governments in the application of the laws. Then courtesy of the weak sentences given out by the court system Then by the individual police departments who only give it full investigation. When a cyclist is killed riding on the road, or kills a pedestrian who was really at fault. Yet LEO's refuse to acknowledge that possibility. Lastly, The mooring public. Because they know. A cycling fatality will almost always be perceived to be the cyclist's fault.


Is it a conspiracy, no. But it is blatant ignorance at every level.
Correct, blatant ignorance is the operative term for the emotional responses posted on this and similar threads on BF.
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