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#1 2008-07-20 15:43:50

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Man kills two because he didnt feel like changing lanes.

Apparently that is "Not his driving style"  The jury understands and lets him go free.

http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/708333.html

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#2 2008-07-21 08:55:39

Pedal Pusher
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 23

Re: Man kills two because he didnt feel like changing lanes.

At least they brought him to trial.  I applaud the District Attorney's office for doing that.  It was publicized and hopefully people will start paying attention to moving over in the left lane when it is possible to do so.   Shoot I wonder if he hadn't been black, if he would have even been ticketed much less brought to trial.

Honestly, given the fact that witnesses said the cyclist were on the shoulder and swerved into the lane, I'm surprised they even brought him to trial since he wasn't intoxicated.  He really wasn't speeding that much so his real negligence was in not just changing to the left lane since it was available and leaving adequate passing space (3 foot).

Really, imagine a district attorney's office bringing it to trial and asking questions like, "Do you know what share the road means?" 

That's progress.  If this happened more often, there would be a lot less casualties.  People would not want to go through the manslaugher trials.  Even if found "not guilty", it was traumatic.

Can't see that happening in Austin.  Also, CBS news gave a report on that cyclist where the intoxicated motorist hit the cyclist that told him to slow down and their spin was disgusting.  The emphasis was on the fact that the cyclist yelled at the motorist and they barely mentioned the fact that the motorist was cited for being intoxicated.  And that Ron Olevada (however you spell his name) is always doing pieces about  medical exams and patting himself on the back about how his news reporting could "save someon'e life."  I feel like writing him and saying, "Hey, Ron - how about a news report that could save a cyclist's life?"

Last edited by Pedal Pusher (2008-07-21 08:57:02)

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#3 2008-07-21 12:58:03

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 551

Re: Man kills two because he didnt feel like changing lanes.

From what the article said, the jury probably ruled appropriately.  Probably the only reason it went to court at all was because he was speeding.  Well, that, and being black.

Now, I'm skeptical of the `they swerved' claim, because it seems to me that every cyclist that is hit by a car `swerved into his way' because that's what bikes do -- they swerve into cars with no warning.  But if several witnesses say that's what happened, the jury should probably assume that's what happened.

There's no legal requirement for a car to change lanes to give cyclists 15 feet of clearance rather than 3 feet, and even 3 feet isn't consistently required.  Pulled over cops get that extra space now in Texas (either that, or you slow down), but then again, people know that cop car they buzz might pull them over next.

As for `not his driving style', this sounds like it's merely a poor (at least when taken out of context) way of stating what everybody does.  A few minutes of watching cars passing bicycles riding on the shoulder will show that it's not most people's driving style.  If the shoulder is nice and big, and the cyclists are plenty far away from the road, most motorists will just drive on by.  If the shoulder is tiny, or they're riding right on the edge, or they seem wobbly or are in a door zone, most will move away or slow down, but if there's already plenty of room, most just drive on.  (I've no idea just how much space there was in this case.)

This whole `us' vs. `them' thing really isn't true.  Most motorists would probably prefer that bikes not be on the road, but they realize that they're there and deal with it.  Most are even friendly or at least considerate, and go to some trouble to not get too close (because remember, bikes swerve!  it's what they do!)  It's only a small minority of motorists that yell at us, honk, throw things at us, intentionally buzz us, etc.

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