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Old 12-11-08, 10:31 AM   #1
it's easy if you let it.
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It might someday become a crime to kill someone (even if s/he's riding a bicycle)

Supporters of tougher penalties for drivers involved in crashes with bicyclists will be taking their campaign to Frankfort.

A local bicycling safety group unveiled plans last night for a bill that would authorize police to charge drivers with a new crime, "vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian," even if they don't witness an accident.

The measure's supporters say existing laws fail to punish drivers who injure or kill cyclists.

"The problem lies with Kentucky law," said Barry Zalph, executive director of Bicycling for Louisville. He met last night with members of Jefferson County's delegation to the state legislature.

With few exceptions, such as instances of impaired driving and leaving the scene of an accident, Kentucky law prohibits police officers from issuing citations for traffic violations such as striking a bicyclist, said Office Phil Russell, Louisville Metro Police spokesman.
If the measure somehow makes it into law (I doubt it will), perhaps it will be the first step to ensuring killing a cyclist becomes at least as bad as killing a dog.
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Old 12-11-08, 12:34 PM   #2
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Kudos to them for trying.

In thinking this out politically, rather than laws like this specific to bicyclists and pedestrians, I think efforts might be more successful if it included as many road users as possible. An "Unprotected Road Users" proposal that includes motorcyclists--who routinely deal with exactly the same "Didn't see them" BS as cyclists do--would get another lobbying group and demographic on our side. Even better, some kind of "Violation of Right of Way Resulting in Injury or Death" law that includes car drivers and passengers.

It's all about tactics.
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Old 12-11-08, 03:56 PM   #3
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If they can't issue a citation for striking a cyclist without witnessing it, then they can't issue a citation to the at fault motorist when two vehicles collide and they don't see it?
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Old 12-11-08, 05:47 PM   #4
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I was almost hit yesterday. A guy wanted to cross the road I was on and floored it, realized he couldn't outrun me and slammed on the brakes. His excuse was that he didn't see me, which totally ignores the fact that he floored it. I told him I didn't believe him, and I agreed he didn't want to hit me.
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