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#1 2008-06-13 10:58:05

Adriel
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

http://cbs5.com/local/sj.fatal.accident.2.747186.html

DeMarin was interviewed by police and then sent home, Garcia said.

"There was no indication of alcohol or drugs being involved," Garcia said.


I post this because it is total crap, the message is you can kill a 12 year old girl and oops, as long as you were sober, you get to go home and not even get a ticket.

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#2 2008-06-13 12:27:23

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

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

I went to google maps and looked that intersection up (park avenue and Selborn Place, san jose, ca)  San Jose has streetview

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#3 2008-06-13 12:54:36

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

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

The motorist's defense is going to be that she was riding on the sidewalk and motorist don't expect to see bicycles exiting the sidewalk to cross the street.

Which I agree is a lousy excuse.  Shouldn't a motorist be on the alert for pedestrians crossing the street (expecially in California where pedestrians supposedly have the right away) so what difference does it make if it is a bike or a person?  I guess a bike can move faster than a person walking.  What about joggers?  Shouldn't they expect to see joggers crossing the street?

Also, when looking at that intersection in street view, it looks like a nice quiet residential street.  One where motorists should be awake and alert and looking for children chasing balls out into the street.

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#4 2008-06-13 13:32:55

doughead
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 37

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

There is an investigation. If a kid just jumps out in front of a car there is no time to stop period. It is why parents are supposed to teach their kids to look both ways before they cross the street, something that the UT crowd obviously failed to learn.

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#5 2008-06-13 13:37:02

Adriel
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Under investigation is code for "We aren't going to do a damn thing" The woman was in a school zone, with school postings all over the street, and the speed limit was 30mph, she couldn't stop for a bicycle when she is going 30?  I doubt she was going the speed limit.

Here is a link to the street view, you have to go down park to shasta to see the speed limit sign.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&g … 1416732326

If someone kidnapped the girl, it would be a national headline.  Someone flattens her dead and its just a sidenote in a newspaper, I mean what the hell is wrong with people?

Or if the woman had been drinking, the whole tone of the article would have changed, did they test her for texting while driving?

If you drive a *^&^%$ car, you have to PAY ATTENTION.  If you don't and someone dies, you should GET IN TROUBLE.  especially when DRIVING BY A FRICKIN SCHOOL!

Maybe this one pisses me off the most because I have an 8 year old daughter, and if anyone ever hit and killed her I do not know what I would do.  The streets need to get safer, and cops letting sober murderers go is inexcusable.

And I know I do not live in ca, but its the same thing here in Austin.

Last edited by Adriel (2008-06-13 14:02:32)

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#6 2008-06-13 15:47:40

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

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Adriel,

If your daughter bicycles, you might want to see about having her take the Road I Course that the Austin Cycling Association has.  Honestly, that course has saved my butt at least two times since I took it.

Just the other day, I was on Guadalupe street going southbound through koenig (2222) and I hesitated long enough to scan both directions when the light turned green even though by the letter of the law I should have been able to just start peddling on a green light. 

I had the right of way, but a car was coming from a distance so fast, I knew I better hesitate long enough to see if they were attempting to slow up at least a little bit for the red light they were approaching.  They didn't slow up at all.  That car flew through that intersection like lightening.  I could have been squished like a little bug if I had started pedaling immediately when the light changed.  One thing they teach you is to stay off the sidewalk as much as possible just becauses a lot of bicycling accidents occur when exiting the sidewalk to cross streets.  If that little girl in San Jose had been cycling on the street instead of the sidewalk, she probably would have fared better - maybe not gotten hit at all.  Children especially though just seem to want to stay ont the sidewalk when biking.

I agree with you that a car driver should take the responsibility of driving a potentially fatal machine seriously especially in a school zone, but I would like to recommend that Road I course for your daughter (and you if you haven't take it).  I'm still working on being conscious of and changing bad habits I had developed on my own before I took that course and I have always been an ultra conservative cyclist - not the reckless type at all.

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#7 2008-06-13 21:05:02

doughead
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 37

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Adriel you are an [insult deleted]! I have seen up close and personal two such accidents in my life and both times the driver wouldn't have been able to stop. 30 mph at ten feet of reaction time is not nearly enough. [insult deleted]

[Please, no insults.  -MBJ, Mod.]

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#8 2008-06-14 10:53:25

Adriel
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Ok, I can understand that you do not agree with my point Doug, you made that clear.  But insults are not really called for.  My point is that when you drive in a SCHOOL ZONE during SCHOOL HOURS you drive so you can STOP FOR KIDS.

Maybe I am just expecting too much from the driving public. 

Thanks for the advice pedal pusher, I think me and my wife and daughter should all take the class.

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#9 2008-06-14 14:24:08

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

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Man, I really hope "doughead" is joking in his/her tone.  Indeed, there are times when pedestrian and bicyclists will jump or fall immediately in front of a car in a place where pedestrians and bicyclists aren't expected to exist at all, but this doesn't yet sound like one of those situations.

Adriel, you are right on.

A lady at the CAMPO Ped/Bike summit a month ago who teaches safety to kids claimed that below a certain age that kids have significantly limited peripheral vision as compared to adults.  The age was somewhere around 10, 11, or 12.  Because of this alone, she said that young kids should not be riding in the street, but should only use off-street facilities such as sidewalks.  That idea pretty much reflects my transition from sidewalk to street that occurred when I was about 11, after riding only on sidewalks and bike paths since I was 8.  I was hit once crossing legally at a crosswalk when a motorist failed to stop at the proper place when making a right turn on red -- he gave me $10; I wasn't injured at all.

One thing I find odd is that I rarely hear of the situations (I assuming there must be some borderline cases) where an attentive driver would be able to stop in time, but an inattentive, but sober driver would not be able to.  Can anyone find a news story where a sober, but inattentive driver hit a pedestrian or bicyclist where an attentive driver wouldn't have?  (ticket or no ticket)  I guess that I'm looking for a story where the reporter, police officer, or multiple witnesses make this claim.  ==> E-mail me directly or post to the forum if you'd like.

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#10 2008-06-14 15:34:21

doughead
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 37

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Why car drivers can't stop on a dime...!

"The overall distance needed (according to the highway code) is a function of speed in relation to feet.

At 20 mph you need 2 x 20 = 40 feet
At 30 mph you need 2.5 x 30 = 75 feet
At 40 mph you need 3 x 40 = 120 feet
and so on.

The reaction time is the same no matter how fast you are going, so reaction time is your speed in feet per second x reaction time.

At 20 mph you are doing 30 feet per second and you need 2/3 of a second on average to react = 20 feet.

At 30 mph you are doing 45 feet per second and again need 2/3 of a second = 30 feet.

At 40 mph, 60 feet per second = 40 feet.

As you can see, the reaction distance is your speed in miles per hour changed to feet.

The remainder of the stopping distance is braking time and this increases with speed.

That again is a function:

20 mph = 20 feet x 1 = 20 feet
30 mph = 30 x 1.5 = 45 feet
and so on."

I have hit pedestrians, squirrels and cats on my bike who darted out in front of me in the west campus area.
I have seen two pedestrians mangled by cars when they just ran out in the road on South First street (little girl) and HW 21 (drink pedestrian)...No joke.

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#11 2008-06-14 16:29:28

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 553

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

The distance needed to stop a car is not set by highway code, but instead by the laws of physics.

Yes, the reaction time is a constant, so that part of the distance is proportional to the speed.   But the distance the car goes once the brakes are hit is basically a function of speed squared -- double the speed, it takes four times as long to stop.  (Looks like the examples you gave take that into effect, in a roundabout way.)

And you don't have to stop completely -- slowing the car down enough will generally let the pedestrian live.  Or give you time to swerve around them (if you haven't locked the wheels), or let them to get out of the way.

As for this being a school zone, school is probably out, so school hours (or zones, I guess) probably don't really apply.  Either way, if 30 mph is too fast to let you stop if a child rides out in front of you, and this is a neighborhood with children, then you need to slow down, even if the speed limit is 30 mph.

Same probably goes for riding a bike -- if you can't reliably avoid the pedestrians (it sounded like you've hit more than one?), perhaps you should either 1) get off the sidewalk (if that's where you are), and/or 2) slow down.

And your tact seems to be missing as well.  You can disagree with Adriel if you wish, but `ignorant son of a bitch' and `soak it, punk' isn't going to make you many friends.

EDIT: ok, last day of school.  Being noon, must have been a half day.  Around here, the time zone timers aren't reset for half days, but I've no idea what it's like over there.  Also, I see no explicit reduced speed limit signs for a school zone, and the roads say `Slow School Xing' ... which I guess is pretty close to a school zone.  And it looks like the `Slow School Xing' is a block later, for Park and Rosecrest.  Either way, tragic accident.

Last edited by dougmc (2008-06-14 22:36:44)

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#12 2008-06-14 19:01:12

doughead
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 37

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Pedestrians have a responsibility to look and see where they are going.
On a bicycle I am not going to go five miles an hour in the street so that an idiot can just blindly step out in front of me, this happens a lot around the university. I do yell at them though if it looks like they are going to. There are a lot of schools on arterial streets in this town and you cannot expect people to drive 20 miles an hour 24/7 so that pedestrians can be stupid and live.
Look both ways before you cross what in hell is so hard about that?
Just because you are  the faster mode of traffic does not lay all of the responsibility on you. The law says so, thank god.
I don't think that bikes should even be allowed on sidewalks in congested areas.
Bicycling on sidewalks is inherently dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists, a large percentage of bike auto collisions in Austin happen with cyclists on sidewalks. Where the sidewalk meets the street is even more dangerous which is one reason I do not like seeing mixed use pathways being put in Austin and calling it bicycle infrastructure.
The risk of  being hit by an auto is a fact of life in our auto society it is up to every individual and their parents I suppose to stay alert when crossing a street or cycling in a congested high speed environment.

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#13 2008-06-14 19:06:46

doughead
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 37

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Oh yeah if you get bumped at five miles an hour by a car it is going to really hurt.
Tact is overrated and I need alert drivers, pedestrians who look where they are going  and cyclists who don't run red lights when mine is green more than I need friends.

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#14 2008-06-14 22:30:54

Adriel
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

doughead wrote:

The risk of  being hit by an auto is a fact of life in our auto society

I would like to believe that this can change someday.   Maybe with enough work/effort, it can.

And maybe if enough people stop believing that it is inevitable that people will die because of cars.

Last edited by Adriel (2008-06-15 09:37:34)

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#15 2008-06-16 13:05:25

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

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

tomwald wrote:

Man,
A lady at the CAMPO Ped/Bike summit a month ago who teaches safety to kids claimed that below a certain age that kids have significantly limited peripheral vision as compared to adults.  The age was somewhere around 10, 11, or 12.  Because of this alone, she said that young kids should not be riding in the street, but should only use off-street facilities such as sidewalks.  That idea pretty much reflects my transition from sidewalk to street that occurred when I was about 11, after riding only on sidewalks and bike paths since I was 8.  I was hit once crossing legally at a crosswalk when a motorist failed to stop at the proper place when making a right turn on red -- he gave me $10; I wasn't injured at all.

Adriel,

I was talking to one of the certified teachers for the Austin Cycling Association this weekend and she tells me they don't currently have a program for the age group your daughter is in.  You and your wife could take the course though and then pass the knowlege on to your daughter.  And you could ask the instructor about some of the things Tom brings up about whether 8 year olds.  Maybe that's why they don't have a program for that age group.  At any rate, it would be a good class for you and the Mrs.  I do recommend it for you two.

Last edited by Pedal Pusher (2008-06-16 13:05:59)

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#16 2008-07-05 13:33:04

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

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_9593330?s … ost_viewed

I wanted to add this article to the thread because it has all of the details, and it shows that the girl who was killed had the right of way, and the driver did not have a license.  The suv was turning left and did not make sure there was no oncoming traffic, this is not a rear end collision, this is a left turn without assuring the roadway was clear.  Apparently the police are blaming the child because she did not have a helmet.

I found that information here:
http://forums.mercurynews.com/topic/adr … -other-way

While we can feel terrible for the woman and how sad and horrified she may be for the rest of her life, we need to somehow make the streets safer or people will stop allowing their children to bike to school (Or anywhere).  The parents of the dead girl want justice. 

I would not allow my daughter to ride unsupervised in that neighborhood ever after this article, and it will probably affect my views here in Austin  the types of problems highlighted here are national and not reigonal.  My daughter is currently 8, but by 12 she should have a bike and start having some freedom to ride places without needing me tagging along.

Last edited by Adriel (2008-07-05 14:21:30)

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#17 2008-07-05 17:43:57

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

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Boy, the helmet thing is going to come up over and over and be used to condemn
the victims and let guilty motorists off left and right.  One of the biggest reasons to wear a helmet is that there won't be justice without one.

The girl was "dragged under the car so I have to wonder in this instance how
much good a helmet would have done anyway.  She would have been in pretty bad shape if she wasn't in fact killed anyway. 

Also, they say because she was riding in a crosswalk which okay, there were bicycle lanes but one would expect to see people walking in a crosswalk so why should it be such a big surprise if a child in a residential neighborhood is riding a bike in a crosswalk?

They don't care about cylists.  That's the bottom line.  I think you said a mouthful when you said that they figure cylcists are like skydivers and choose to do something high risk.

They do care about motorists so why can't they see that a major nationwide media campaign educating motorists to be alert and watch for cyclists and understand the laws and so on could save some motorists from crying herself to sleep for God only knows how many nights because she realized she just took a child's life.

If they would wake up and smell the coffee and realize that their beloved motorists
will suffer too, then maybe they could at least educate them for that reason.

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#18 2008-07-05 18:47:20

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

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

And since this woman had never even taken a driving test, that education would have had to be on tv, or on the road.

We need to change the perception that cyclists are engaging in risky behavior.  To the public, but especially to the police.

Wow,  I just found this on bicyclesafe, regarding a lawsiut for unsafe bike lanes:

Evans won $4,500. 25% came from the city, and 50% came from the driver. She was assigned 25% of the blame for not wearing a helmet, but presumably she didn't have any trouble paying herself.

This helmet crap is getting out of hand.

http://bicyclesafe.com/lawsuits.html

Last edited by Adriel (2008-07-05 19:57:23)

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#19 2008-10-15 12:31:26

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

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

Here is some follow-up today on this story:

"Mother of young bicyclist killed in car crash files claim against San Jose school district"
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_10720738? … st_emailed

This highlights my consternation that most of our public institutions continue to ignore, downplay, or 'sit on their hands' in face of the _pandemic_ on our streets.  Motorist convenience still trumps safety of motorists themselves, bicyclists, pedestrians, and mass transit users, even when it comes to known choices in urban transportation design and engineering.  This will be my assessment as long as motorist-related traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death for any age group or the #1 overall cause of unexpected deaths for humanity (even more than war).

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#20 2008-10-16 09:31:40

jmayson
Member
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 46

Re: Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose

tomwald wrote:

Here is some follow-up today on this story:

"Mother of young bicyclist killed in car crash files claim against San Jose school district"
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_10720738? … st_emailed

This highlights my consternation that most of our public institutions continue to ignore, downplay, or 'sit on their hands' in face of the _pandemic_ on our streets.  Motorist convenience still trumps safety of motorists themselves, bicyclists, pedestrians, and mass transit users, even when it comes to known choices in urban transportation design and engineering.  This will be my assessment as long as motorist-related traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death for any age group or the #1 overall cause of unexpected deaths for humanity (even more than war).

I am really glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.  I used to enjoy driving as much as cycling and was on a few "roadgeek" related mailing lists.  I ended up dropping them because I kept butting heads with people on this issue.  We have about two "9/11's" on our roads every month.  That many people are killed.  Yet we do nothing.  In fact any attempt to address this turns into a civil liberties, nanny-state debate.  If 42,000+ Americans were killed each year with firearms the Second Amendment would be nullified.  If that many people died in plane crashes, even normalized for miles flown versus miles driven, our airline fleet would be grounded.  If we saw that many soldiers killed every month in Iraq even Rush Limbaugh would be channeling John Lennon demanding we give peace a chance.  But because it involves the almighty car, it's all okay.  I really don't get it.

I said I used to enjoy driving.  About four months ago we went down to a single car.  I've been a full-time bicycle commuter.  At first it was temporary but now I really have no desire to have my own car again.  I really don't.

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