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#1 2009-12-30 13:49:16

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Maryland: Rear-end collision deemed mostly fault of bicyclist

http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article. … 3212215600

Court outcome in St Mary's fatality
Thursday, December 03 2009 @ 09:22 PM EST
Contributed by: The human car

Bike Maryland[From our mail box:]

I spent the morning in District Court in Leonardtown to see the trial for the person responsible for the fatal bike / car collision on Clarke's Landing Rd. in St. Mary's County last month.

After the collision, the driver made a statement to Maryland State Police that she had just left home and had cleared a portion of the left windshield of morning dew but left the fogged up right side to be cleared by the car's heater. The windshield had not yet cleared and she was busy searching for a cigarette lighter in her purse (the car's lighter didn't work) when she ran into the cyclist. "I just didn't see him".

The investigating officer claimed that the cyclist was at fault for not riding as close as possible to the right side of the road but the driver contributed to the collision through negligent driving (Maryland Transportation Code Article 21-901.1 (b)).

The judge found her guilty of negligent driving. When the driver asked for a reduction in the amount of the fine because of lack of personal funds, the judge rolled his eyes and said "Your negligence has caused the death of a human being. I'm going to require the maximum fine plus costs".

Maximum fine $287.50 plus $25.50 court costs for a total of $313.00 due on January 4, 2010. And that was it.

While walking out of court, I approached the investigating officer and mentioned that the law actually states that a cyclist must stay as far to the right as safe and practicable not as far to the right as possible. He replied with a grin "Practicable, possible, it's all the same thing and that's the law. If you don't like it, try to get it changed."

-JS

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/tr … e_313.html

Price of a bicyclist's life? $313

The Baltimore Spokes blog reports on the trial of a St. Mary's County motorist who struck and killed a bicyclist she didn't see because she was driving with a partially fogged-up windshield  while searching for a cigarette lighter.

Found guilty of negligent driving, she was  fined $313 including court costs. The judge refused her request that hew lower the fine.

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#2 2010-01-02 20:47:25

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 563

Re: Maryland: Rear-end collision deemed mostly fault of bicyclist

Where did the court find that the accident was `mostly' the fault of the cyclist?  As I see it, the policeman said that both parties were somewhat to blame (and didn't try to say one part was more to blame than the other) and the court said that the driver was guilty of their charges (but said nothing about the cyclist being somewhat at fault, probably because the cyclist wasn't charged -- dead, but not charged.)

As for the cop saying "Practicable, possible, it's all the same thing and that's the law. If you don't like it, try to get it changed" with a grin -- well, practicable or possible, either way, the cyclist is dead.  Nothing to grin about.

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#3 2010-01-02 21:25:41

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: Maryland: Rear-end collision deemed mostly fault of bicyclist

dougmc wrote:

Where did the court find that the accident was `mostly' the fault of the cyclist?

I didn't specify that the court found that so, so I can't help you with that.

Based on what the police officer said:

The investigating officer claimed that the cyclist was at fault for not riding as close as possible to the right side of the road but the driver contributed to the collision through negligent driving (Maryland Transportation Code Article 21-901.1 (b)).

If the bicyclist had been where he/she was 'supposed' to be, the collision would not have occurred.  The term "contributed" suggests that the driver played the secondary or lesser role.  I think that's where I got the "mostly" that I put in the post title.

Then, from what I can tell, the bicyclist received the higher punishment:  the bicyclist was subject to capital punishment by motor vehicle collision under Maryland justice and the driver had to pay $313.  I know that I'd rather pay $313 than resurrection fees.  This also confirms that the bicyclist was considered more to blame than the motorist.

If I'm wrong, then buy me a beer.  If I'm right, buy me two.

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#4 2010-04-26 10:51:52

ParmerSurvivor
Member
Registered: 2010-01-05
Posts: 14

Re: Maryland: Rear-end collision deemed mostly fault of bicyclist

I think the $313 in Maryland is more than Austin/Wilco or whoever's ticket for driving on the shoulder and running over 2 people.  The real injustice is TX's minium liability insurance of $50K.

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#5 2010-04-26 13:34:09

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 563

Re: Maryland: Rear-end collision deemed mostly fault of bicyclist

ParmerSurvivor wrote:

The real injustice is TX's minium liability insurance of $50K.

It might be $60K now.

In any event, $40k or $50k is pretty typical.   Texas is actually higher than most!

http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/min … evels.html

Says that the total in Texas is $60K -- and that's higher than all but six other states!

Glad to see that things are [slowly] getting back to [sort of] normal for you two.

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#6 2010-04-26 14:50:12

ParmerSurvivor
Member
Registered: 2010-01-05
Posts: 14

Re: Maryland: Rear-end collision deemed mostly fault of bicyclist

You are right, the property coverage does make it higher I had left that off since our property was covered even by her minimum coverage and I wasn't thinking about that.

Thanks for the encouragement.  My wife never ceases to amaze me at her progress and willingness to trod on even when she is scared to death!!!! She is amazing!!!

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