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Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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Oxtox said:
and not much will happen to you. 60 days in jail and 200 hrs community service! WTF???

This is punishment for manslaughter under the influence of FIVE prescription drugs? Unreal...

http://austincyclingnews.com/?p=173

Kill a cyclist pretty much anywhere and it is a slap on the wrist. I can't believe you only get you license taken away for ONE year. GEEZ, this is messed up.
 

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Not out of the ordinary...

This is, unfortunately, nothing out of the ordinary. Nearly everyone drives, fewer ride bikes. Most juries tend to follow the "there but for the grace of God go I" philosophy. Hard to prosecute. Pathetic, I know.
 

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In my area of NH there have been 4 or 5 hit and run fatalities this year in which the driver was not charged with manslaughter (instead simply leaving the scene of an accident, etc). If there are few/no witnesses and you come up with a reasonable story ("I thought I hit a duffel bag in the road" worked for one of these cases), it seems our prosecutors don't have the resources or will to aggressively pursue charges. Sucks.
 

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At least the person served some jail time.

Last year a member of the club I belong to was hit by a motorist who had a suspended license, passed in a no passing lane and was speeding (though they couldn't prove that).

She received a little over $1100.00 in fines and was sent on her way. No jail time, no manslaughter charges just a "Careless"....(not even a "Reckless") driving ticket, a ticket for passing in a no passing zone and a ticket for driving with a suspended license (of course she was driving a brand new Dodge Avenger at the time!!!! :mad2: )

Actually receiving jail time for killing a cyclists is not the norm...apparently that guy needs to get a better lawyer :mad2:
 

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Keep in mind that jail time isn't all that common for people that kill other motorists. It isn't a matter of discrimination against cyclists, but the fact that there are worse crminals out there and our jails are pretty full. Personally, I believe in building more jails, but others are against that. So, we let these people go. If you guys actually worked in the criminal justice system, you would be appauled at what goes on. I finally had to stop taking criminal clients because I felt like slapping some judges after they gave me exactly what I asked for my client. I did my job, but it made me sick knowing I got these guys off, and on more than one occassion for some of them.
 

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^^^ this is true... the underlying statement is that driving is a socially sanctioned activity and we as a society are prepared to accept a death toll on the roads in order to mantain the convenience and freedom of access of driving... personally, i would like to see that altered and the activity of driving restored as a privilege, and not a right... f*ck up too many times and u're taking the bus... get caught on a suspended licence, and instant jail time.
 

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The death toll on the road is worse than the death toll in the Iraq war, and a lot worse. 5,000 teens die each year in auto accidents, and 40,000+ people die each year in auto accidents. As far as I am concerned, that is way too many, even if they aren't cyclists. Now, we cannot put all of the people that caused those accidents in jail for manslaughter, but I truely believe that if somebody was driving grossly negligent, they should do jail time.

At the end of the day, we are way too lenient on drivers. I have been following a former client of mine's court proceedings because he has gotten off of almost everything. On his second DUI, he was given probation before judgment, and was finally sentenced to 30 days for violating it because during his one year probation period he was arrested for 2nd degree assault on three separate occassions, with lesser charges included in each case (e.g., destruction of property less than $500, disorderly conduct) and he was also stopped for not having a front license plate and charged with driving with a revoked license and driving on a suspended license, among other things. One of the assault charges was dropped because the evidence was pretty pathetic, and he pled out on the lesser charges on the other two. Then, on the moving violations the Judge gave him probation before judgment on the driving on suspended and a seat belt charge and everything else was dropped. Based on all that, the Judge on the 2nd DUI gave him 30 days for violating probation and he served 21 days after good behaviour.

He and I finally parted company after he got his 3rd DUI less than a year after doing jail time. He ended up doing 2 days of jail time on that one and it was the 4th time he had been caught driving on a revoked license. Now, he has his 4th DUI charge going to trial next week accompanied by his 5th driving on revoked, a trial for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest in early September, and a violation of probation hearing after that in mid September for the 3rd DUI. He has accumulated all of this in less than 10 years of living here, and the rest of his record is unknown because he was living in California beforehand, and somewhere in South America before that. All of this and he is only 37. At what point do you throw the book at him for his 4th DUI and 5th charge of driving on a revoked license within a 10 year span?

The kicker is that he is a single father because the mother left him and their 2 sons, and he owns a small business with 10 employees.
 

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fabsroman, I like how you put that in perspective. Are you sure that's right? More people die each year here then we've lost in Iraq since the start? It's staggering to think that can even be.

I'd would like to see all drivers take their responsibility more seriously and the law do the same. Every time I see someone swerving around in their lane because they are playing with their cellphone it makes me wonder... have we just not got our priorities flipped? When did driving stop being a responsibility and start being a chore?

I think it's pretty safe to say the vast majority of us here support the improved rights for cyclists and their safety. It is the better way to travel in many situations. I'd like it to be safer and friendlier. Maybe a PR campaign linking cycling to lower costs of fuels, cleaner air and less traffic would help. If everyone made a little more effort to give us cyclists more space on the road they would actually see less traffic - it's amazing to think how that would change the landscape of our road ways.

I'll get off my soap box now..
 

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The statistics are pretty staggering. I think the total number of US casualties in Iraq since the start in 2003 is somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000, but nowhere near the number of US fatalities in a single year on US roads. Nobody is making a big deal about the number of road fatalities though. Don't hear anything about that in campaigns.

Alright, I did a couple of quick google searches and came up with this:

http://www.lawcore.com/car-accident/statistics.html

"According to the car accident statistics released by the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT’s) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were almost 43,000 deaths in 2002 because of car accidents. The car accident fatalities for the year 2003 stand at 42,643."

http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1179.html

An estimated 1.17 million deaths occur each year worldwide due to road accidents.

Came across this article which is actually about where I live. It makes me sick.

http://www.examiner.com/a-1486211~As_number_of_bicyclists_climbs__so_do_fatalities.html

Then, I came across another article that said road fatalities are a lot less in Sweden or Switzerland, can't remember which one, where bikes are one of the main forms of transportation. Americans are just too dependant on cars, and what would you expect from a population of which 2/3's is obese. Most people cannot pedal a bike up their street, much less 10 or 20 miles to work. Granted, in some cases, it is tough to bike to work. I work from home, so about the only time I drive for work is to meet with a client or go to Court. Somehow, showing up sweaty for either and biking in a suit or business casual just would not cut it.
 

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Kill a cyclist (or two) in KC and you walk away scott free.

Here in KC a court case just completed with the driver walking away after being prosecuted for manslaughter.

On a clear day, along a four lane road frequented by cyclists, the driver hit and killed a Grandfather and his teenage granddaughter who were training for the MS150. The driver had 12 seconds to move over into the next lane and pass, police investigation showed he was speeding and that he drifted into them...

Well, the jury, made up I'm sure of folks that a) don't think cyclist belong on the road and b)wouldn't want to go to jail themselves if they "accidentally" killed someone, let him off...
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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Anyone want to drive my H2 over some cyclists this afternoon? Let's meet up at 4pm.

I just installed some new tires... I need blood on them!
 

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re: more people killed in car "accidents" than in Iraq:

1) where are the massive protests and advocacy groups?

2) I will no longer use the word "accident" in this context. I am replacing it with "negligent" which is more accurate.

(side note - the gun community has done the same - they no longer say "accidental discharge" it's now "negligent discharge")
 

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Creakyknees said:
re: more people killed in car "accidents" than in Iraq:

1) where are the massive protests and advocacy groups?

2) I will no longer use the word "accident" in this context. I am replacing it with "negligent" which is more accurate.

(side note - the gun community has done the same - they no longer say "accidental discharge" it's now "negligent discharge")
On this note....most times you see anything on a car wreck you will no longer see it called an "Accident"...it will be called a "Crash" or a "Collision"

An "Accident" implies it was an act of God and could not have been avoided where the reality is somebody could have done something to have avoided it....Not drank alcohol, stayed awake, not answered their cell phone, not ate the bowl of cereal on the way to work, not been putting on make up while driving, etc.

If you look you will start seeing more dual responsibility when it comes to insurance claims...So the person behind was 70% "At Fault" and the person in front was 30% "At Fault".

We are even having to change our companies policy/procedure manual and paperwork associated with auto incidents to Crash/Collision instead of accidents.
 

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Unsafe at Any Speed
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Accident?

Out here where I live, a driver overtook into oncoming traffic (in a no-overtaking zone). Result - one fatality.

It was raining beforehand, and the roadway was wet - but conditions were clear and visibility excellent.

The newspaper report? 'Wet road claims life'. So : it was an act of God, an accident, the driver couldn't avoid it huh ?:mad2:
 

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we had a local rider killed by a driver that was on disability for being legally blind. This guy drove off onto an 8' wide shoulder to kill the cyclist.

The murderer was working as a delivery driver. He had no license. The DA let him serve 2 years of house arrest with a tracking device. He said they didn't think they could get a more severe penalty. How much more negligent do you have to be than that? The business he was working for should have faced criminal penalties too. Does it really stretch the imagination that a person driving while legally blind should do some serious time when they kill someone? If I was the prosecutor, I would have said the words negligent, intentional, and legally blind so many times that they would be burned into the jury's consciousness.
 

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Clueless cyclists should stay in the park

My wife and I are cyclists. I bike to work and she does tris and half ironmans. Today we had a Team in training cyclist roll across two lanes of traffic on a fairly busy highway and right in front of us as we drove in our van. She was driving and saw him comming and not stopping, She made an evasive left turn in order to avoid killing him. He didnt even seem to flinch. When we approached to see if he was alright, all he could do was complain that we didnt signal our turn. What a chowderhead. So sometimes the cyclist is lucky. If he had pulled out in front of anyone else today, he probably would have been hamburger. Just ranting. I dont want to get run down, and dont think anyone should get away with carelessness, but what do we do with the idiots.

Still in shock in Iowa
 

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Unfortunately it doesn't matter whether they hit a cyclist or kill someone in auto vs auto accident. Last week a women smoked two people who were on the side of the interstate changing a flat. It was an "accident" no charges were filed. I don't believe in accidents, someone is always wrong.
 
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