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What do we need to do to get the Law Enforcement to do something?

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What do we need to do to get the Law Enforcement to do something?

Old 10-27-09, 07:59 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
did anyone catch the shocking statistic at the bottom of the article? Is that even correct? seems shockingly high, if its not,



Steve Goodridge, your state with it's 'bicycle driving' institutes and lousy bikeways planning is doing something radically wrong!!!!!!!!

Not really. It's a 10 year period. That averages fewer than 27 deaths a year. Figure in drunk cyclists, wrong way cyclists, cyclists riding after dark with no lights, and child dart outs, and that number does not seem disproportionately high.

Another way to look at it is that approximately 1000 cyclist a year die in accidents in the US so almost 10,000 cyclists died in that period. 268 of 10,000 is slightly over 2%

North Carolina has approximately 3% of the US population, and given that it is a comparatively warm climate, one should expect more cycling miles in a year (and therefore more fatalities) than cooler portions of the US.

So the 268 while unfortunate, is not surprisingly disproportionate.
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Old 10-27-09, 08:07 AM
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27 cyclist deaths a year in a state with significant research being done on bicyclist safety is shockingly high, yes.

if the figure is accurate it indicates a dismal failure of the NC DOT 'bike driving on autocentric public highways' accommodation model.

Last edited by Bekologist; 10-27-09 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 10-27-09, 08:30 AM
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The answer would be that if this happens in your community take a sign and stand in front of the courthouse and protest If a few people with signs show up the news media will show up. Bike clubs should do this also.
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Old 10-27-09, 08:39 AM
  #29  
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I agree that bringing justice to drivers who hit cyclists is a long term commitment, like you said similar to MADD and SADD. This is bound to be frustrating because cyclists probably have less goodwill and credibility with the public than MADD or SADD do, and have more of an anti-car reputation than those two organizations. Seems to me their focus has always been on the DRIVER; not on the vehicle, which so often is not the case with cyclist groups.

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Old 10-27-09, 08:45 AM
  #30  
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Even if they decide it was "just an accident", the person has clearly demonstrated by his actions that he is not capable of using proper judgement (if this was a case of distracted driving) or is incapable of driving safely (if due to aggressive driving or incompetence). In either case the person should at the least lose his driving license for a period of time and have to go through a NON TRIVIAL drivers re-training course before getting the license back. If it's found to be due to aggression, then they should ALSO be required to go through anger management courses.

ALL AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE of course.

This should all be mandatory. If you follow the rules and are attentive and capable, then there's simply no way that you can hurt someone outside of insanely improbable situations. If you DO hurt someone, then you almost certainly were not following rules, or you're incompetent to drive, or you decided that texting or changing the channel on your radio was more important than safely piloting your deadly weapon. In any of those cases, you should lose your license until you prove that the situation does not still exist.

IMO, the police and courts OWE it to the public to make sure that people who have demonstrated an inability to drive safely are kept off the public streets until they have remedied the situation. It's one of the most important things that they do, since most people are far more likely to be injured on the roads than anywhere else.

All this in addition to any fines and jail time, if any.
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Old 10-27-09, 08:48 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
I agree that bringing justice to drivers who hit cyclists is a long term commitment, like you said similar to MADD and SADD. This is bound to be frustrating because cyclists probably have less goodwill and credibility with the public than MADD or SADD do, and have more of an anti-car reputation than those two organizations. Seems to me their focus has always been on the DRIVER; not on the vehicle, which so often is not the case with cyclist groups.

roughstuff
Agreed that MADD and SADD have a much more sympathy driven, case who actually plea to the people that vote in the country. (Parents and new wanna be voters coming out of high school) But they still maintain the dependence of the vehicle. With cycling, groups DO tend to be a bit more anti-car and that is an automatically scary situation for the majority (87+ % of Americans that are lazy and overweight with no real plans for safety other than passing laws dictating the foods we can consume due to their lack of dietary and fitness responsibility over their lifetimes.)
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Old 10-27-09, 08:49 AM
  #32  
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Best to consider how to look at things.

1. Facts. The whole body of them.
2. Facts that can be proven by evidence. A smaller set.
3. Crime committed. Throw the facts that can be proven up against the elements of the crime.
4. Potential for conviction. Beyond a reasonable doubt. A high bar. Judgment call.
5. Relative importance in the scheme of things. Where things get twisted a bit.

If the DA's office doesn't think something will fly, they're not going to pursue it. Determining whether something will fly takes time. The investigating officer's time, the ADA's time.

That something seems obvious or right to an outsider really doesn't matter. And resources are limited.

One can communicate with the primarily political side of the jurisdiction (county/city government) or directly to the DA's office. Communicating to the police (investigation side) with anything but facts doesn't seem to do much.

Sometimes what's effective is to investigate. If the reported facts are that a white Chevy pickup with a silver cap at 7:45 am ran JoeBob off the road, causing serious harm, but the police have no further information, then find the truck and a witness or two. Stake out the location at 6:45 to 7:45 and photograph all the white trucks. Usually only one or two will fit. 7:45 is commuting time. Simultaneously, look for people who are always there in the morning. Anyone. Ask around. Talk to people in cars stopped at lights. Find a witness. Then turn over the suspect vehicle images and numbers with the name of witnesses and what facts they can prove to the DA.

As to punishment, have to look to the state's criminal laws. That's where the elements come from.

For example, one would think that attacking someone with a car would be "vehicular assault" - but in TN that only covers intoxicated driving. Weird.

But reckless endangerment should cover a wide range of things " A person commits an offense who recklessly engages in conduct that places or may place another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury." This can cover acts such as not buckling a child's seatbelt.

But move into homicide. "Vehicular homicide is the reckless killing of another by the operation of an automobile, airplane, motorboat or other motor vehicle, as the proximate result of: (1) Conduct creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person;"

There's the ticket. So you want a witness that will demonstrate something reckless. Another ball of worms, but if the truck was weaving in and out of traffic, ran a red light earlier on the commute (ideally caught on camera), passed on the right shoulder several times at high speed, and then clipped a cyclist doing the same thing. Well. There's your case.

I'll add that whining on the Internet is particularly ineffective.

Last edited by mandovoodoo; 10-27-09 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 10-27-09, 08:56 AM
  #33  
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anyone interested in the legal side of bicyclist car collisions should read Bob Mionske's excellent treatise,

bicycling and the law: your rights as a cyclist

he goes into police and court bias against bicyclists a fair bit.
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Old 10-27-09, 09:04 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
27 cyclist deaths a year in a state with significant research being done on bicyclist safety is shockingly high, yes.

if the figure is accurate it indicates a dismal failure of the NC DOT 'bike driving on autocentric public highways' accommodation model.

No, It indicates the death rates per mile ridden in North Carolina appear to be proportionately a bit lower than you would expect.

In 2007, the Death rate for cyclists per million population was 2.31 nationwide.

North Carolina was 1.99, below the mean.

Moreover, factor in that North Carolina is a warmer climate, with presumably more miles ridden than average, and NC is doing comparitively ok.

You can't look at one raw number in a vacuum and draw such sweeping conclusions.

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Old 10-27-09, 09:08 AM
  #35  
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thank you for the analysis. it seemed high on knee jerk reaction, i somehow had an impression of much lower pedacyclist deaths per state. extrapolation of that chart leads into participation in cycling issues, types of collisions, etc.

interesting FARS statistics.

Last edited by Bekologist; 10-27-09 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 10-27-09, 09:26 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Driving is not (or should not be) a right. Death or injury due to negligence, incompetence, or willful act is not an "accident"...at best it's a "mishap", but there is fault somewhere.
Only read the first 9 posts, so if this has already been stated, my bad. Driving is not a right.
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Old 10-27-09, 09:29 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by ohiotraildog View Post
The answer would be that if this happens in your community take a sign and stand in front of the courthouse and protest If a few people with signs show up the news media will show up. Bike clubs should do this also.
I would suggest that a better place to picket would be the home of the killer motorist. Try some stalking, harassment, and the most public shaming possible.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:07 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
This link worked for me, so did the 2 before. But all 3 point to the same story, which is only about one case. It says nothing about charges at all. It looks very preliminary. Basically it only says that they found a SUV that fits the description and might be the one involved.

Oh and it says the cyclist was hit from behind, not head on and no mention of road position at all.

This does not seem to be what most people are talking about here.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:13 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
Please check the link. It took me to a blank page. Thanks.
It worked for me.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:27 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
We, as a society, need to eliminate the whole "accident" mentality, which is paired with the absurd concept that driving a lethal weapon is some form of Constitutionally enshrined right.

Driving is not (or should not be) a right. Death or injury due to negligence, incompetence, or willful act is not an "accident"...at best it's a "mishap", but there is fault somewhere.

If I do anything of the sort in my jet, I'm going to jail for it for a long, long time. Every mishap is thoroughly investigated, and the only thing that I can be excused for is mechanical failure; and even then if there is a mechanical failure that I should have been able to properly handle but failed to do so, I get to be at fault in that case as well.

Similar standards of responsibility should be applied to drivers. If drivers cannot fulfill those responsibilities, either through inability or apathy, then they shouldn't be driving. I personally think only 50% of the population actually possesses the necessary skills and mentality to operate a motor vehicle in a socially responsible manner.
Exactly, as long as motorists are allowed to say "it was an accident" or "they just popped up in front of me" or "they swerved into my lane." Not much is going to change. And the "casual" or "non-professional" driver needs to be held to same standards as the professional driver.

Such as drivers being required to conduct at least a visual inspection before driving, having to have to go to the DMV to be re-tested instead of just sending in a renewal fee. And not just having to retake the written exam, but also having to have to retake the road test as well.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:33 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post
Best to consider how to look at things.

1. Facts. The whole body of them.
2. Facts that can be proven by evidence. A smaller set.
3. Crime committed. Throw the facts that can be proven up against the elements of the crime.
4. Potential for conviction. Beyond a reasonable doubt. A high bar. Judgment call.
5. Relative importance in the scheme of things. Where things get twisted a bit.

If the DA's office doesn't think something will fly, they're not going to pursue it. Determining whether something will fly takes time. The investigating officer's time, the ADA's time.

That something seems obvious or right to an outsider really doesn't matter. And resources are limited.

One can communicate with the primarily political side of the jurisdiction (county/city government) or directly to the DA's office. Communicating to the police (investigation side) with anything but facts doesn't seem to do much.

Sometimes what's effective is to investigate. If the reported facts are that a white Chevy pickup with a silver cap at 7:45 am ran JoeBob off the road, causing serious harm, but the police have no further information, then find the truck and a witness or two. Stake out the location at 6:45 to 7:45 and photograph all the white trucks. Usually only one or two will fit. 7:45 is commuting time. Simultaneously, look for people who are always there in the morning. Anyone. Ask around. Talk to people in cars stopped at lights. Find a witness. Then turn over the suspect vehicle images and numbers with the name of witnesses and what facts they can prove to the DA.

As to punishment, have to look to the state's criminal laws. That's where the elements come from.

For example, one would think that attacking someone with a car would be "vehicular assault" - but in TN that only covers intoxicated driving. Weird.

But reckless endangerment should cover a wide range of things " A person commits an offense who recklessly engages in conduct that places or may place another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury." This can cover acts such as not buckling a child's seatbelt.

But move into homicide. "Vehicular homicide is the reckless killing of another by the operation of an automobile, airplane, motorboat or other motor vehicle, as the proximate result of: (1) Conduct creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person;"

There's the ticket. So you want a witness that will demonstrate something reckless. Another ball of worms, but if the truck was weaving in and out of traffic, ran a red light earlier on the commute (ideally caught on camera), passed on the right shoulder several times at high speed, and then clipped a cyclist doing the same thing. Well. There's your case.

I'll add that whining on the Internet is particularly ineffective.
Of course it is, but the discussion can lead to learning what can be done, as in your list above.

If someone previously did not know all these things, you just provided a nice education. Thank you
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Old 10-27-09, 10:34 AM
  #42  
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Theory: a lot of people simply do not have the capacity to be safe car drivers. There are a lot of ditzes in the world. Driving is something seemingly simple, but actually beyond the abilities of many people to perform with precision on an ongoing basis.

Sure, it is negligent to cause a death by doing something obviously stupid while driving like putting cream in your coffee, applying makeup, reading, yacking on a cell phone, whatever. But it is very human and mostly unavoidable to be distracted by frustration, anger, fear, a divorce, trouble on the job, just being a Type A *******, whatever.

I'm pretty sure we're not going to be able to change human nature and weakness. People may be able to pass a driving test, know all the laws, and mean no harm, but when the pressure is on (an emergency, sleepiness, whatever) it is beyond their capacity to do the right thing.

One (impractical) solution I like is to make car drivers more accountable. Get rid of seat belts, air bags, side beam protection, etc. These things create a cocoon of safety and enable risky behavior because the consequences of a crash are not that great.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:36 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by K&K_Dad View Post
I find it hard to believe that the NC HP are not filing charges. I work with them on anything outside the city limits when it comes to wrecks and such and they are usually good about following through. Also, op correct me if I'm wrong, but if there's more than $1k in damages doesn't this have to have a police report filed of some kind?
There shouldn't be a minimum amount of damages before a police report is filed. As has been said in another thread they're cops not mechanics or engineers. What qualifies them to say how much damages will cost to repair/replace?
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Old 10-27-09, 10:41 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by pharding View Post
The woman that nearly killed me on July 5 going 55 mph got a traffic ticket. I am still not back to work. I will likely have back issues the rest of my life. I will get my foot surgically reconstructed on December 2. If the surgery goes well my recovery be substantially complete by September 2010. I have a 70 percent chance of being able to run again after the surgery. The financial cost to me and my insurance companies is very substantial. I have hired the best personal injury law firm in Chicago and I am seeking justice.
Sorry to hear about your misfortunes, and I hope that you heal properly. And am glad to hear that you are seeking justice, and hope that you recoup all of your expenses and pain and suffering.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:52 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by JazNine View Post
Theory: a lot of people simply do not have the capacity to be safe car drivers. There are a lot of ditzes in the world. Driving is something seemingly simple, but actually beyond the abilities of many people to perform with precision on an ongoing basis.

Sure, it is negligent to cause a death by doing something obviously stupid while driving like putting cream in your coffee, applying makeup, reading, yacking on a cell phone, whatever. But it is very human and mostly unavoidable to be distracted by frustration, anger, fear, a divorce, trouble on the job, just being a Type A *******, whatever.

I'm pretty sure we're not going to be able to change human nature and weakness. People may be able to pass a driving test, know all the laws, and mean no harm, but when the pressure is on (an emergency, sleepiness, whatever) it is beyond their capacity to do the right thing.

One (impractical) solution I like is to make car drivers more accountable. Get rid of seat belts, air bags, side beam protection, etc. These things create a cocoon of safety and enable risky behavior because the consequences of a crash are not that great.
How about simply making the driving test more difficult? It is well known that in the US, it is incredibly easy to get a driver's license. All we really have to do is raise the bar. Require intensive training and strict testing. Eventually the ditzes will be eliminated and will demand alternative modes of transit. Require retesting every few years.

Works in places like China and Germany where "any ditz" doesn't just "get a license."
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Old 10-27-09, 11:05 AM
  #46  
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I ride in Kansas. No bike lanes. Drivers largely unused to cyclists, but 99.99% are "friendly" to cyclists if you alert them to your presence.

Last evening, just at dusk, I saw a nicely lit double-front-light strobing cyclist traveling west, me driving east, waay before our paths might cross. like if I wanted to turm left. After passing by, I noticed his little PBSF, and watched it. Grade D lighting.

To the lead-in story, the cyclist was hit from behind.

Get a DiNotte taillight. The double LED 400L WAKES UP text-messagers and other zombioid drivers.

This is a nifty little product, run in flashing modes. I creates your own bike lane. It's really fun, if you wear a mirror, to watch cagers move to the left lane waay behind you. You can's use the flashing modes in group rides, because the phenomenon is really unpleasant.

If David Sherman had been running one of these, I think he'd be alive today.
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Old 10-27-09, 12:18 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by ohiotraildog View Post
The answer would be that if this happens in your community take a sign and stand in front of the courthouse and protest If a few people with signs show up the news media will show up. Bike clubs should do this also.
Agreed, we as cyclists need to make our voices heard. When there is an "accident" between a cyclist and motorist. We as cyclists need to make our presence known in the court room. Wear our jersey's to court, or make T-shirts to wear to court. Have people outside the courthouse in bike shorts/jersey's carrying signs.

And to make sure that the news media shows up, give 'em a call. Let 'em know that there is a trial on such and such day involving a cyclist/motorist "accident." And that there will be protesters there. Write letters to the editor(s) of your local newspaper(s). Write letters to your appointed/elected officials letting them know that as a resident of whatever city/county/state/providence that you expect them to make the roads safe for all users.
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Old 10-27-09, 12:25 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Eclectus View Post
I ride in Kansas. No bike lanes. Drivers largely unused to cyclists, but 99.99% are "friendly" to cyclists if you alert them to your presence.

Last evening, just at dusk, I saw a nicely lit double-front-light strobing cyclist traveling west, me driving east, waay before our paths might cross. like if I wanted to turm left. After passing by, I noticed his little PBSF, and watched it. Grade D lighting.

To the lead-in story, the cyclist was hit from behind.

Get a DiNotte taillight. The double LED 400L WAKES UP text-messagers and other zombioid drivers.

This is a nifty little product, run in flashing modes. I creates your own bike lane. It's really fun, if you wear a mirror, to watch cagers move to the left lane waay behind you. You can's use the flashing modes in group rides, because the phenomenon is really unpleasant.

If David Sherman had been running one of these, I think he'd be alive today.
PBSF? As in Planet Bike Super Flash? Really? Those things are incredible.
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Old 10-27-09, 01:31 PM
  #49  
dguest
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David ran lights on all his bikes, as does a large group here in NC. The Medical Director of the Largest Hospital Here in NC is a cyclist. He was riding on a quiet residentual street, he had 2 planet bike super flashes on his bike and was still struck by a hit and run driver. It does not matter what you wear or what you have on your bike, people will not pay attention and some will even go out of their way just to prove what some say, I have heard to many times that "cyclists are just a bother to the tax paying citizen of this country and since they do not pay gas tax they have no rights to use our roads." I hear this more and more everyday.
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Old 10-27-09, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Eclectus View Post
snip.........
If David Sherman had been running one of these, I think he'd be alive today.
Drivers are looking for other drivers. Some are absolutely oblivious to cyclists, even those that are well lit up. You're giving yourself a false sense of security, imo, and you're ignoring the possibility that David could have been lit up like a Christmas tree and was still hit.
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