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Kill a cyclist, pay a fine.

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Kill a cyclist, pay a fine.

Old 10-02-19, 07:56 AM
  #1  
Notso_fastLane
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Kill a cyclist, pay a fine.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...iowa/87132140/

The driver admitted to texting while driving, killed the cyclist.

She gets $1000 fine and her license suspended for a whole 180 days.

Practically state sanctioned murder.
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Old 10-02-19, 09:33 AM
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It sounds like the laws need to catch up with what is happening on the streets.

Reckless behavior that takes a life can be charged as involuntary manslaughter. Yet, perhaps that is not the answer for an accident either.

We live in a country that seems to think driving a car is "necessary", yet the courts also consider it to be a "privilege".

At minimum, a person that can't drive safely shouldn't be allowed to drive.
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Old 10-02-19, 09:39 AM
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Ridiculously bad law.
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Old 10-02-19, 09:59 AM
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The fine in California is only $220 for killing or injuring a bicyclist while violating the "3 foot law".

Vehicle Code Section 21760

(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Three Feet for Safety Act.

(b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the requirements of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the highway.

(c) A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.

(d) If the driver of a motor vehicle is unable to comply with subdivision (c), due to traffic or roadway conditions, the driver shall slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle, taking into account the size and speed of the motor vehicle and bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and surface and width of the highway.

(e) (1) A violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) is an infraction punishable by a fine of thirty-five dollars ($35).

(2) If a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle, and the driver of the motor vehicle is found to be in violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d), a two-hundred-twenty-dollar ($220) fine shall be imposed on that driver.

(f) This section shall become operative on September 16, 2014.
That'll get the attention of those bad drivers.
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Old 10-02-19, 07:01 PM
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Why is that not manslaughter?
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Old 10-02-19, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
The fine in California is only $220 for killing or injuring a bicyclist while violating the "3 foot law".



That'll get the attention of those bad drivers.
Hmmm... what is the Jaywalking fine (without causing an accident)?
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Old 10-03-19, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
The fine in California is only $220 for killing or injuring a bicyclist while violating the "3 foot law".



That'll get the attention of those bad drivers.
Violate the 4' law in PA and you'll get socked with a $25 fine even if you hit someone.
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Old 10-03-19, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SactoDoug View Post
Why is that not manslaughter?
My quick review of Iowa law suggests that she could have been charged with homicide by vehicle. Seems she was charged under a specific law addressing causing death while texting and received the maximum sentence under Iowa law.
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Old 10-03-19, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
My quick review of Iowa law suggests that she could have been charged with homicide by vehicle. Seems she was charged under a specific law addressing causing death while texting and received the maximum sentence under Iowa law.
That's what makes this such a bad law--it's too situationally specific and the penalty is disproportionate to the level of criminal negligence. The way it reads, it seems to carve out a particular form of criminally negligent homicide with a vehicle for a lesser penalty than others. Very strange.
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Old 10-03-19, 06:45 AM
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Maybe it's considered good public policy to insulate motorists from liability, so as not to interfere with the flow of commerce / pursuit of happiness. Who really cares about a few squished MAMILs, in the greater scheme of things? The business of America is business.
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Old 10-03-19, 09:22 AM
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I'm pondering a lot of questions:

The reason why these overly gentle penalties are so distressing is that they are nowhere near the level at which they would deter the behaviour. Is this because the logic is that incident was likely to be unintended and occured only through circumstance? Is there a penalty difference between these "circumstances" that matters? For instance, some circumstances are clearly under the control of the driver (e.g. texting, speeding) and some may not (e.g. debris on road that prompts a cyclist to avoid). There are clear levels where the driver's behaviour is criminal, even if the incident was unintentional. Driving under the influence is the best example.

The big question is what level of penalty will reliably act as a deterrent? Big fines, loss of license, and jail time don't appear to have a big deterrent impact on DUIs.

Enforcement could act as a deterrent, but only if it actually happened. I've not yet heard of a driver being charged with texting while driving unless there was an incident.

Pardon my train of thought rambling.
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Old 10-03-19, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
I've not yet heard of a driver being charged with texting while driving unless there was an incident.
Here you go:

"In light of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, California Highway Patrol along with some help from Redding police, made their presence known on Lake Boulevard in Redding as officers watched the ongoing traffic, issuing ticket after ticket as people were pulled over for texting and driving."

Law enforcement cracks down on texting and driving for Distracted Driving Awareness month
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Old 10-03-19, 10:12 AM
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If as reported, that sounds fairly biased and a failure to consider the essential facts. As though involvement of a cyclist makes everything a lesser problem.

Try driving through an intersection against a red light, kill someone, and you're strung up by your toes.

But, apparently, do much the same thing when a cyclist is the one killed ... get a fine + 180 days suspended license.

The person's still dead. Same as a 3yr old child in a neighborhood, or a nun in a crosswalk.

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Old 10-03-19, 10:54 AM
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Sadly for a long time I have said if you are so deranged you want someone dead, buy them a bike and run over them. In almost all cases you will not get much more than a slap on the wrist!!!!!!!
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Old 10-03-19, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...iowa/87132140/

The driver admitted to texting while driving, killed the cyclist.

She gets $1000 fine and her license suspended for a whole 180 days.
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Old 10-03-19, 11:48 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
I'm pondering a lot of questions:

The reason why these overly gentle penalties are so distressing is that they are nowhere near the level at which they would deter the behaviour. Is this because the logic is that incident was likely to be unintended and occured only through circumstance? Is there a penalty difference between these "circumstances" that matters? For instance, some circumstances are clearly under the control of the driver (e.g. texting, speeding) and some may not (e.g. debris on road that prompts a cyclist to avoid). There are clear levels where the driver's behaviour is criminal, even if the incident was unintentional. Driving under the influence is the best example.

The big question is what level of penalty will reliably act as a deterrent? Big fines, loss of license, and jail time don't appear to have a big deterrent impact on DUIs.

Enforcement could act as a deterrent, but only if it actually happened. I've not yet heard of a driver being charged with texting while driving unless there was an incident.

Pardon my train of thought rambling.
I watched a large part of the Amber Guyger Murder Trial. During the sentencing phase, the maximum fine for Murder in Texas was $10,000.

The Prosecution even suggested that the jury set the fine low, and the jury did give her $0 fine (with 10 years (5 at parole)).

The argument of the prosecution was that the state takes that $10K (which would have been much less than conducting the investigation and trial), but NONE of it goes to the family.

In that case, it is quite possible that there will follow a civil lawsuit against Amber Guyger and the DPD which could be substantial. And, simply having the murder conviction will limit the defense options in the trial.

Likewise, with vehicular homicide, the state will take the fines. But, any conviction for criminal charges would necessarily make the prosecution of a civil case much easier.

In fact, the case may well be presented to a jury that "guilt has already been established, and the jury is simply establishing civil liability".

One of the things I disagree with our current insurance system is that personal liability is often set to ZERO, and the insurance covers all civil liability.

Although, insurance may be limited to say ($100K or $200K or similar). But, liability may exceed those limits, perhaps intentionally.

Nonetheless, settlements are often such that the person driving the car receives minimal personal damages.
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Old 10-03-19, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I watched a large part of the Amber Guyger Murder Trial. During the sentencing phase, the maximum fine for Murder in Texas was $10,000.

The Prosecution even suggested that the jury set the fine low, and the jury did give her $0 fine (with 10 years (5 at parole)).

The argument of the prosecution was that the state takes that $10K (which would have been much less than conducting the investigation and trial), but NONE of it goes to the family.

In that case, it is quite possible that there will follow a civil lawsuit against Amber Guyger and the DPD which could be substantial. And, simply having the murder conviction will limit the defense options in the trial.

Likewise, with vehicular homicide, the state will take the fines. But, any conviction for criminal charges would necessarily make the prosecution of a civil case much easier.

In fact, the case may well be presented to a jury that "guilt has already been established, and the jury is simply establishing civil liability".

One of the things I disagree with our current insurance system is that personal liability is often set to ZERO, and the insurance covers all civil liability.

Although, insurance may be limited to say ($100K or $200K or similar). But, liability may exceed those limits, perhaps intentionally.

Nonetheless, settlements are often such that the person driving the car receives minimal personal damages.
Good point and this is why we need a tort system. However, I can only make sense of the last part if you mean "criminal" rather than "personal" liability and I don't believe liability insurance covers fines for criminal acts or intentional torts.

At least as I understand the term, "personal liability" in the case of a negligent driver is that person's liability for civil penalties, as distinct from liability for a commercial driver's employer or the manufacturer of the vehicle.
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Old 10-03-19, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Sadly for a long time I have said if you are so deranged you want someone dead, buy them a bike and run over them. In almost all cases you will not get much more than a slap on the wrist!!!!!!!
Yes it is sad that you keep posting this same trite clich, it doesn't become true because you keep repeating it. But don't feel sad, you aren't the the only poster who has a favorite pathetic broken record to play on A&S.
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Old 10-03-19, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Good point and this is why we need a tort system. However, I can only make sense of the last part if you mean "criminal" rather than "personal" liability and I don't believe liability insurance covers fines for criminal acts or intentional torts.

At least as I understand the term, "personal liability" in the case of a negligent driver is that person's liability for civil penalties, as distinct from liability for a commercial driver's employer or the manufacturer of the vehicle.
Generally insurance shouldn't cover crimes. But, auto insurance seems to be one of those exceptions that the insurance companies seem to be expected to pay for damages up to the limits of the policy.

I don't think I've heard of insurance companies denying claims for individuals that are speeding, running red lights, or even intoxicated.

In fact, if that would be the case, they should necessarily decrease rates for people with DUIs and speeding tickets.
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Old 10-03-19, 12:50 PM
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You know, one point about this.

Insurance seems to cover civil liability, but not criminal liability.

So, fine a person $10,000, and that person pays the fine, not insurance.
Sue a person $10,000, and the insurance covers the liability (if applicable).
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Old 10-03-19, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Generally insurance shouldn't cover crimes. But, auto insurance seems to be one of those exceptions that the insurance companies seem to be expected to pay for damages up to the limits of the policy.


I don't think I've heard of insurance companies denying claims for individuals that are speeding, running red lights, or even intoxicated.


In fact, if that would be the case, they should necessarily decrease rates for people with DUIs and speeding tickets.

All I know for sure is that insurance doesn't cover fines and that if speeding were exclusionary, no car insurer would ever pay out. However, I think it's a matter of degree. For example, I know from the medical world that malpractice insurance excludes gross negligence and intentional torts, with what the lawyers call mens rea. I bet there are similar exceptions for automotive and umbrella policies, which an insurer could invoke if you got sued for something really bad. Maybe there's a real expert here who can educate us.
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Old 10-03-19, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
All I know for sure is that insurance doesn't cover fines and that if speeding were exclusionary, no car insurer would ever pay out. However, I think it's a matter of degree. For example, I know from the medical world that malpractice insurance excludes gross negligence and intentional torts, with what the lawyers call mens rea. I bet there are similar exceptions for automotive and umbrella policies, which an insurer could invoke if you got sued for something really bad. Maybe there's a real expert here who can educate us.
Obviously insurance companies don't like to cover intentional damages. For example, there are stories of intentionally damaging classic vehicles that couldn't be sold for the appraised value. Life insurance for suicide?

But, the vast number of auto accidents have some kind of negligent act by the driver (whether it is maintenance or driver errors or driver inattention), but are still generally covered up to the limits on the policy.

You are right that insurance DOESN'T cover fines.

In fact, perhaps one could change money collected from fines for torts against individuals to have a portion of the fine given to the individual without reducing overall civil liability.
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Old 10-03-19, 03:24 PM
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Insurance companies no most insurance companies will cover the claim And then non

[QUOTE=CliffordK;21148786]Generally insurance shouldn't cover crimes. But, auto insurance seems to be one of those exceptions that the insurance companies seem to be expected to pay for damages up to the limits of the policy.no most insurance companies will cover the claimAnd thennonrenew your policy or cancel outrightor your policy will be surchargedand then good luck getting cheap insurance I don't think I've heard of insurance companies denying claims for individuals that are speeding, running red lights, or even intoxicated.In fact, if that would be the case, they should necessarily decrease rates for people with DUIs and speeding tickets.[/QUOT
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Old 10-03-19, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...iowa/87132140/

The driver admitted to texting while driving, killed the cyclist.

She gets $1000 fine and her license suspended for a whole 180 days.

Practically state sanctioned murder.
Doesn't rule out a civil suit.
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Old 10-03-19, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
My quick review of Iowa law suggests that she could have been charged with homicide by vehicle. Seems she was charged under a specific law addressing causing death while texting and received the maximum sentence under Iowa law.
I am thinking the DA under charged her. It is not unusual for a person to be charged with multiple crimes and letting the jury decide which one fits such as charging someone with murder 1 and 2 at the same time.

I blame the DA for this travesty of justice. Taking a life by such gross negligence deserves a much more severe penalty.
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