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Arizona Cyclists Struck by RV Driver

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Arizona Cyclists Struck by RV Driver

Old 08-30-23, 06:15 PM
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Arizona Cyclists Struck by RV Driver

https://azdailysun.com/news/local/rv...f45cdbad0.html

Archived version if you get a paywall: https://archive.is/rioXZ

The driver of the RV, who stopped shortly after the incident, was not detained but cited for failing to give cyclists enough room while passing, said Lt. Adam Simonsen with the sheriff’s department.

The citation is a civil violation and carries a fine of up to $500. According to Simonsen, there is no evidence the driver had broken any other laws or was under the influence.
Another slap on the wrist. He likely won't suffer financially from the civil claims since his insurance will foot the bill. At worst his insurance provider will drop him.
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Old 08-30-23, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas
https://azdailysun.com/news/local/rv...f45cdbad0.html

Archived version if you get a paywall: https://archive.is/rioXZ



Another slap on the wrist. He likely won't suffer financially from the civil claims since his insurance will foot the bill. At worst his insurance provider will drop him.
Only if he has a LOT of insurance. He struck and injured multiple cyclists.
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Old 08-30-23, 11:11 PM
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I've ridden Lake Mary Road several times. I've personally never had any incidents using this highway, but it can be busy in the summer. It would be nice if it had more oxygen, though.

It's one lane in each direction, plus a shoulder in each direction, but they're not extremely wide shoulders. The grades are such that riders can get going downhill at 30+ mph as described in the article. At those speeds, trying to keep a group entirely on the shoulder could be risky. Arizona has no mandatory bike lane or shoulder use law (except for fully controlled access freeways), and a rider in the travel lane riding alongside another cyclist fully occupying the shoulder could arguably be determined to be "as far right as practicable" in accordance with ARS 28-815.

From the video, the RV driver would seem to have exhibited at minimum simple negligence in failing to pass the bicyclists with sufficient space as defined in ARS 28-735. From the article, it seems the driver may have been cited for 28-735 violations. Now the bad part: 28-735.C says the fines do "not apply to a bicyclist who is injured in a vehicular traffic lane when a designated bicycle lane or path is present and passable." So if the driver was cited solely under 28-735, there's a chance of no civil penalty at all. But other violations could be written, such as for ARS 28-701.A (Basic Speed Rule). But all that is up to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

Arizona has no caps on damages in civil claims, so every injured or affected rider could possibly file tort claims against the driver for whatever amount they thought appropriate, including punitive damages for alleged reckless negligence. The video linked in the article could be an important piece of evidence in such litigation. But the defendant and its insurers could aggressively defend the case, claiming comparative negligence on the part of the bicyclists and hoping for a sympathetic jury.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and this is is not legal advice. I'm familiar with this roadway on both two and four wheels and have a working knowledge of traffic law in a professional engineering capacity.
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Old 09-01-23, 12:17 AM
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Be helpful to know if the driver was an old geezer. Crazy how he made no attempt to go wide. Looks like the Blue Ridge Volvo crash.
Riders look rather complacent though.
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Old 09-01-23, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
Be helpful to know if the driver was an old geezer.
Perhaps some others with a similar sense of curiosity might like to know the race, gender or nationality of the driver in order to help confirm their assumptions.
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Old 09-01-23, 10:00 AM
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Without my helmet mounted rear view mirror I would be that guy a dozen times or more already.

Keep in mind that MANY people driving big RVs RENT THEM. No extra driver training required, at least in my state. Could have been that driver's first day behind the wheel and God only knows how many meds and what visual acuity the old goats have.

But hey...some people love surprises! The world will certainly deliver on that wish. Too cool for mirrors. No problem.
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Old 09-01-23, 10:21 AM
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I think if I encountered 30 cyclists and I was driving anything, I would pull off and wait. The only problem is, another group of 50 might be riding by when I decided to continue. Getting behind a Harley/motorcycle group is the same, delay the trip until later.
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Old 09-01-23, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Perhaps some others with a similar sense of curiosity might like to know the race, gender or nationality of the driver in order to help confirm their assumptions.
Race, gender, or nationality might be relevant if they adversely affected one's motor skills the way advanced age does.
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Old 09-01-23, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas
Race, gender, or nationality might be relevant if they adversely affected one's motor skills the way advanced age does.
Explain how information about the age of the driver in this incident will "help" or be "relevant" to the victim or anyone else to include curious or biased BF folks. Are you prepared to extrapolate some bicycling safety or advocacy advice about drivers' age from this incident ?

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 09-01-23 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 09-01-23, 01:32 PM
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A friend of mine was riding a few miles behind the group that was run down. He said the RV also buzzed him. It was intentional.
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Old 09-01-23, 01:38 PM
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I noticed a couple of things watching the video. The group was moving along at a pretty good clip and the rider who was struck was farther out in the traffic lane than any other rider I could see, making the group look rather disorganized. I see this sometimes on group rides, one rider who is uncomfortable following directly behind the wheel in front effectively spreading the group farther out into the road than necessary. Next, the RV passed much too close to the group, failing to move out into the other lane to provide sufficient space for passing. I also noticed that during the time the video was filmed there were no cars in the other lane passing in the opposite direction, and centre line allowed the RV to move out there. The road was straight, visibility was good. Lastly, that RV was probably exceeding the speed limit. It passed the group very quickly greatly increasing the impact to the rider who was struck
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Old 09-01-23, 01:44 PM
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That was a straight up punishment pass.
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Old 09-01-23, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax
That was a straight up punishment pass.
No, it was attempted vehicular manslaughter.

I have a feeling the driver may soon be going through some things.
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Old 09-01-23, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi
No, it was attempted vehicular manslaughter.

I have a feeling the driver may soon be going through some things.
One would hope. Question is will a prosocuter seeing the video come to a conculsion that this crash was intentional on the part of the RV driver. It really looks like he made zero attempt to either move left to avoid, or slow down. It really comes off as intentional.
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Old 09-01-23, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
One would hope. Question is will a prosocuter seeing the video come to a conculsion that this crash was intentional on the part of the RV driver. It really looks like he made zero attempt to either move left to avoid, or slow down. It really comes off as intentional.
I can't say too much, and am not privy to the details, because it's not my place, and it's an ongoing investigation.

I do feel confident that the driver will pay dearly, not only civilly, but perhaps criminally.

He ran over the wrong people.
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Old 09-01-23, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi
He ran over the wrong people.
People with connections?
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Old 09-01-23, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi
No, it was attempted vehicular manslaughter.

I have a feeling the driver may soon be going through some things.
I hope you aren't serious. That guy will pay a fine and NOT lose his license. That's how it works in the USA. Don't believe it? Let's revisit this thread after the guy who hit those people gets off basically scott free. The hardest thing in the world to prove, is intent.
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Old 09-01-23, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi
He ran over the wrong people.
Originally Posted by JW Fas
People with connections?
Is there ever a right person to run over?

I mean, other than in certain horror movies...

And come to think of it, maybe coming up with additional examples might not be productive, or incur the Wrath of Mods. I'll just leave it be...
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Old 09-01-23, 06:55 PM
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I cannot believe this is a bike forum.

The cyclists did nothing wrong.
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Old 09-01-23, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi
I cannot believe this is a bike forum.
The cyclists did nothing wrong.
There's a parallel discussion regarding this crash over at azbikelaw.org, and some of comments (possibly by bicyclists) seem to assign some fault to the riders involved. These are the kinds of people that a defense firm would probably like to have on a jury.
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Old 09-01-23, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi
I cannot believe this is a bike forum.

The cyclists did nothing wrong.
Dunno. If a cyclist goes down and you can't avoid him sounds like following too close or speed too high. Since we like to cite the basic speed law here. That said driving an RV that you probably aren't behind the wheel of daily a reasonable person would allow more room on a pass, since you do have a duty to pass safely. I don't see a bike lane, I see a shoulder and the travel lane appears to be "substandard width" as regards mandatory FRAP. Of course strictly for self-preservation on a road with large vehicles/RV, the shoulder looks mighty inviting to me. A reason to avoid group rides, they seem to create a "safety in numbers" attitude.

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Old 09-02-23, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by scott967
...A reason to avoid group rides, they seem to create a "safety in numbers" attitude....
scott s.
I never join pacelines with amateurs and/or people I don't know very well, including their habits, tendencies, and skill levels. Even then, it is generally a bad idea on an open course. Too easy to get fixated on the wheel ahead of me, can't see road surfaces, and dare not look backwards. My mirror field of view could also be obscured by the riders behind me. It is a terrible idea under most "live" circumstances. Hell, even the pros pile up for no good reason. At least they get paid to do it.
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Old 09-02-23, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Explain how information about the age of the driver in this incident will "help" or be "relevant"...
Advanced age allows people to extrapolate (perhaps falsely) about what meds, visual acuity, reaction time, depth perception, etc. If we knew the driver was 100yo we could made "educated" wild guesses about the cause of the crash, OTHER THAN assuming it was intentional. If the operator was 25 yo then ppl would be making different guesses. Without accurate reporting about the condition of the driver we all (maybe not you) love to guess why things happen.
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Old 09-02-23, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Advanced age allows people to extrapolate (perhaps falsely) about what meds, visual acuity, reaction time, depth perception, etc. If we knew the driver was 100yo we could made "educated" wild guesses about the cause of the crash, OTHER THAN assuming it was intentional. If the operator was 25 yo then ppl would be making different guesses. Without accurate reporting about the condition of the driver we all (maybe not you) love to guess why things happen.
How does all the uninformed, if not ignorant, guessing blaming and extrapolating about a bicycling collision benefit anybody; except as mindless "entertainment" for the easily entertained.
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Old 09-02-23, 04:22 PM
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My goodness, do you people, and I do mean 'you people', even hear yourself?

'You should never ride in a fast group because some criminal might take out someone, and you all fall'

'It's your fault for riding so close'

'just because he buzzed other cyclists that day doesn't mean he intended to'

'cyclists need to not ride on the weekends on the road when RVs are on the road, it's their own fault'

'if she wasn't dressed like that, she never would have been *****'

Okay, I made up the last one, but that's the attitude I see.

The RV driver buzzed at least one other rider, who is an officer of the court, the intent is clear.
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