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Driver who kills two bicyclists gets ZERO jail time.

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Driver who kills two bicyclists gets ZERO jail time.

Old 01-23-20, 08:40 AM
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Notso_fastLane
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Driver who kills two bicyclists gets ZERO jail time.

https://www.bicycling.com/news/a3060...ign=nl19163056

Not even negligent homicide. Just "careless driving".
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Old 01-23-20, 11:25 AM
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It just occurred to me that this might be a backdoor way of outlawing road cycling without the loss of political capital that a legislated ban would elicit. Let people make up their own minds to take up safer hobbies.
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Old 01-23-20, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Son_Rising View Post
Jail is stupid and counterproductive.
I can agree with that in principle. Except that that judge likely sentenced some kid to 25 to life the previous day for doing nothing more than having a dime bag on them when they were stopped for no reason at all. That woman KILLED two people and injured others. She doesn't have $1,000 to pay in restitution nor is that nearly enough! The jail sentence ... A jail sentence in this sense is all that can be done to satisfy some sense of justice for the bereaved. Applied consistently to crimes (that's what it was) of this type would percolate a sense of accountability to others who are not careful around vulnerable road users. Do you really not see that?
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Old 01-23-20, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Son_Rising View Post
My wife just made a suggestion to possibly consider community service. It's an idea.
She was sentenced to 120 hours of community service, $1000 Civil Penalty and six month driving suspension. I have my doubts on whether she can or will pay the fine, I don't know what community service entails Of the three the driving ban will hurt the worst and in any other civilized country it would be years, if ever, before she was allowed behind the wheel of a car again.
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Old 01-23-20, 02:29 PM
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We need to find a way to deter people from actually trying to use their phones while driving. She claims she 'only looked down for a second', and from what I can tell, wouldn't admit to looking at her cell phone. The whole point of these shouldn't be "punishment", although I totally understand the families wanting that. It should be about rehabilitating, so if the 'accident' was because the driver did something they shouldn't, there should be some appropriate training, and more importantly, IMO, some kind of monitoring to ensure they don't repeat the behavior (and not just not get caught....).
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Old 01-23-20, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
...Except that that judge likely sentenced some kid to 25 to life the previous day for doing nothing more than having a dime bag on them when they were stopped for no reason at all...
Where? Saudi Arabia?
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Old 01-23-20, 03:00 PM
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“The state attorney said the families agreed to the sentence, but not one of us did,” said Maricha Delacruz-Tuason, one of the survivors who attended to the wounded that day. “I do not know how they got that. It was a slap in the face. It was like we were run over again.
Sounds like some corruption is going on in the state attorney's office.
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Old 01-23-20, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Son_Rising View Post
Jail is stupid and counterproductive.
Giving a 6 month suspended license is what is stupid. The woman will still keep driving.
If she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing 2 people, then the rest of the citizens in the area would be safer for those 10 years.
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Old 01-23-20, 03:32 PM
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What kind of community service was she sentenced? It should be traffic control and enforcement at the location where she killed the others. Too dangerous? That's exactly the point.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Son_Rising View Post
Jail is stupid and counterproductive.
Except now the victims' families have the only recourse of suing for wrongful death. What exactly are they going to get from a woman driving a 2012 Honda Fit? I guarantee her insurance policy limits aren't that high, so there won't be justice either way. This woman will never truly feel the impact of her selfishness.
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Old 01-24-20, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas View Post
Except now the victims' families have the only recourse of suing for wrongful death. What exactly are they going to get from a woman driving a 2012 Honda Fit? I guarantee her insurance policy limits aren't that high, so there won't be justice either way. This woman will never truly feel the impact of her selfishness.
She won't. The defense counsel, judge, jury, even the prosecutors. They all know what the consequences of even a very short jail sentence would mean for that woman. So she was spared that ultimate indignity. But, not to worry, there is a bright side. The next time someone even less worthy and socially disposable comes before that judge for some minor quality of life offense we can all be comforted in knowing that they will receive the longest sentence possible under mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.
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Old 01-26-20, 09:13 AM
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Once again the families will have to resort to civil action to get justice. In cases like these criminal courts are just plain stupid. People were killed. If she had used a gun or a knife she would be in jail for 30 years. Cars are just as lethal as a gun or a knife.
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Old 01-26-20, 06:57 PM
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The judge should be jailed for accessorie after the fact
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Old 01-26-20, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I can agree with that in principle. Except that that judge likely sentenced some kid to 25 to life the previous day for doing nothing more than having a dime bag on them when they were stopped for no reason at all. That woman KILLED two people and injured others. She doesn't have $1,000 to pay in restitution nor is that nearly enough! The jail sentence ... A jail sentence in this sense is all that can be done to satisfy some sense of justice for the bereaved. Applied consistently to crimes (that's what it was) of this type would percolate a sense of accountability to others who are not careful around vulnerable road users. Do you really not see that?
I agree!

Our society has always been soft of motorists that hurt or kill cyclists. She was speeding, but more importantly she was distracted, by what? Probably texting, but the article doesn't say. This is why I have written emails to my state reps and senator to propose a law that would require cell phone manufactures to program phones to turn off all functions except 911 and GPS map service once a car exceeds 20 mph, and then turn it back on once the car exceeds 200 mph in case a person is flying. A simple law that only tickets people caught using their phone won't work, people continue to use their phones anyways.
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Old 01-28-20, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas View Post
What exactly are they going to get from a woman driving a 2012 Honda Fit?
You never know. My previous vehicle ('95 Mazda Protege) looked like crap when some moron kid totaled it while it was parked about 5 years ago. One of the sideview mirrors was even held on with duct tape. Perfect big city car. I had substantial assets at the time, in part because I have never had car vanity.
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Old 01-28-20, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
I agree!

Our society has always been soft of motorists that hurt or kill cyclists.
It isn't limited to cyclists. If you hurt or kill other drivers you are likely to escape serious sanction if it can be written off as an accident. And unless there are drugs, alcohol, or excessive speed (as opposed to regular 'speeding') involved, an incident is likely to termed an accident.
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Old 01-29-20, 03:56 AM
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Unfortunately, automobile accidents do happen about every hour, and sometimes even more often than that. Add the blinding westward setting sun, or fog, rain. ice or a dark moonless night or any mix of variables that make for greater chances for fender benders and such and it is a gold mine bonanza for the auto body shops.
Sadly, a jogger, bicyclist, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or someone's pet or child that has run out in the roadway has a high chance of an extremely serious, potentially life threatening injury, even with the most minor accident with a vehicle.
I do not fault the judge.
Like it or not, the general public's view seems to be that roadways are designed to be used by automoblies and trucks. The general public's view seems to be that bicycles and runners, walkers, and other non-motorized transport does not belong on any highly trafficked road with posted speed limits of nearly 55mph or 50 mph.
Most all states limit MOPED (under 50cc engine displacement motorcycles-scooters) to only streets and roadways with posted speed limit of 45mph. Thus, Mopeds are NOT ALLOWED any access to streets/roadways or expressways with a posted speed limit of greater than 45mph. A moped is nominally faster than a bicycle, and occupies essentially the same physical size and footprint as a bicycle. The general public's view seems to be that somebody must be slightly screwball or off his or her rocker to be riding any bicycle or moped or golf car or scooter or skateboard or jogging or walking in the roadway on what it views as a roadway fit for normal motor vehicles that can travel the normal traffic flow speed that often is greater than the maximum posted speed limit.
There are hundreds of State Department of Transportation workers and Paving Contractor personnel that work on Interstates that are killed every year. You have no doubt seen these folks working on the Interstate roadways at night because it has less disruption to traffic and that is time with the fewest vehicles travelling about. You have all seen the signs and flashing lights saying WORK ZONE AHEAD Reduce Speed, Work Zone Speed Limit 50mph or 45 mph, whatever the case might be, but all too often the traffic still flies through at 73 mph, only slightly less than the 79mph to 80 mph typical traffic flow speed on the posted 70 mph, Interstate 20 in SC, GA, or ALA.
Humans make mistakes. Humans get distracted, they lose focus, the sun obscures visibility, or fog or darnkness or rain does the same. Humans often travel too fast for the conditions at that moment in time....................yes, everybody knows that you can be charged with Driving To Fast For Conditions even though such traveling speed might be significantly lower than the posted speed limit. Most often however nobody is cited for Driving Too Fast For Conditions until/unless they have wrecked and been in an accident. Hundreds of school children that are exiting or boarding School buses at their appointed school bus stop are hit and run over every year by drivers who refuse to stop for the stopped school bus. Most municipalities have 20mph school zones on roads where the schools are that are active between 7AM and 9AM and between 2:15PM and 4:15PM. They also usually have flashing yellow lights indicating the 20 mph is active for that time of day and often there are painted warnings saying SCHOOL ZONE in the roadway and also signs denoting entering school zone and exiting school zone. Guess what, you still have accidents and humans that were not paying attention, distracted, or focused only on getting to the office on time or whatever they were too focused on at that moment. It only takes a momentary lapse and .................Boom, you"ve hit something. Typically it is a mangled front bumper, hood, grille and headlight and the rear bumper and trunk area of the car that you've run in to........................your airbag goes off and your seatbelt keeps you in place.......perhaps you're stunned and dazed but typically unhurt or not hurt seriously and most likely the driver of the car that you've hit isn't hurt seriously...................HOWEVER THIS ALL RADICALLY CHANGES IF THE ACCIDENT IS WITH A MOTORCYCLE (...you run into a motorcyclist...), or WITH A BICYCLIST, OR WITH A JOGGER, OR PEDESTRIAN, or a child chasing a ball into the street, or with a dog, deer, cat, that darts suddenly across the road................whatever your vehicle hits other than another vehicle is going to have a tragic outcome.
A 3000 pound car or a 4600 pound SUV impacting a large deer suddenly crossing the road is the most realistic outcome for what likely will occur if the same type vehicle were to suddenly impact (run in to) an Bam! into a bicyclist or motorcyclist. Death or very serious life threatening injury requiring immediate ambulance or air-flight ambulance to the nearest ER-TRAUMA CENTER.
I am not debating that certain things need to change.
I'm simply pointing out that the general public does not currently share the same views that the bicycling community has. The general public assumes that a bicycle and to a large degree, that a motorcycle is not an acceptable form of transportation and largely views the hard-core riders that travel on heavily trafficked streets and highways on motorcycles and bicycles assumed the extra-ordinary risk and thus came up on the losing end when such horrible tragedies do occur. Short of someone driving under the influence, or fleeing the police after the commission of a crime, the accident will be viewed as an accident. Sadly, accidents can perhaps be only decreased in frequency slightly through better education/awareness and perhaps stronger laws but the very sad fact is they will still occur. You can claim your right to Share The Road and the minimum three foot zone of clearance that passing vehicles Must provide you the cyclist, but you still really need to balance the probability that many drivers will not Respect the three foot zone, or pay much attention to such things. The cyclist is too often viewed by motorists as a nuisance that is holding up the traffic flow and delaying their arrival at their apponted destination. Perhaps you may rethink the logic in riding certain streets/roads at certain times and days, etc.
Truthfully, perhaps, some municipalities and counties and states do need to restrict access of bicycles and non-motorized vehicles from certain roadways and expressways, and concentrate on giving the cyclist access to roads and bicycle paths, trails, multi-use paths, greenways, and bicycle lanes that give the cyclist an adequate route to travel about the town, city, suburbs, and rural areas to neighboring towns etc. There are roads and highways that just are not fit to be riding a bicycle. I know some of you are hearing the old Who tune in your head......"ANYWAY ANYHOW ANYWHERE" because it is your right to ride and you expect share the road and a perfect world of automobile motorists. Well as the Boss sang, you might want to be ridding or hiding out on the Backstreets..... If you're old enough to remember a Capitol Records recording artist, called Bloodrock, a fairly worthless, horrible rock group that I saw only because they were opening the show for Argent nearly fifty years ago. Bloodrock has an eerie, notorious, signature song, that was cleverly created in that it is haunting and unforgetable that perhaps sums up what likely occurs to cyclist, jogger or pedestrian when a vehicle even lightly impacts them. A 22 pound bicycle and its 173 pound rider has almost no chance from even the slightest impact with a 2500 pound automobile. Some times it is wise to change your route to something possibly safer but again there are no guarantees in life, and with humans, there will always be accidents no matter what technology advances in future decades and centuries. Be safe, be smart, be aware , alert and enjoy the ride. Ride smart because you cannot rely on every vehicle driver doing so.
It is very sad that tragedies do occur. Do your part to minimize being one of them. Accidents will still happen. Car versus bicycle and the bicycle loses every single time that these two different vehicles tangle. That fact will not change.
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Old 01-29-20, 09:06 AM
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I am generally not a fan of imprisoning someone for being human and making a mistake. I am also not a big fan of allowing people, who through their mistakes kill and maim other road users, to continue enjoying the privilege of driving without conditions.
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Old 01-29-20, 11:00 AM
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It sure does appear (TL;DR) that the poster in #17 is attempting to defend the indefensible! Is it that hard to comprehend that this tragedy was NOT an accident?! The woman was allowed to plead 'no contest' and not actually have to admit that what caused her to 'look down for a second' was her cellphone! We don't have to buy in to that BS. 15 riders in a cluster surely are visible from much further away than the average vehicle traveling ~88fps could travel in "a moment". As I said earlier, of the three types of punishment delivered in her sentencing, the one that would have been most consequential is the driving suspension. She could have been punished without being sentenced to prison. The suspension should have been several to 10 years in duration, and should have been an outright revocation, not a suspension. The consequences are more severe if someone violates an order revoking their driving privileges. A civil Wrongful Death court proceeding is going to be hampered by the 'no contest' plea bargain in the Criminal Court Proceeding. It should not have been allowed.
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Old 01-29-20, 12:11 PM
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I talked about this recently on my blog (https://velonut.com/blog/bicycling-d...orida-cyclists). The short version of my opinion is this: We weren't there so it's hard to say exactly what happened. I do know it happened on a road with a 55 mph speed limit and she was doing close to 65 mph. She admits she was speeding. She admits to looking down for a second. On a road like that, that's all it takes to miss a group of cyclists, a pedestrian, or anything else. There's details we don't know such as "was there a bend in the road?" I think we have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Plus, I don't believe every driver should be punished with the equivalent of a felony offense. No need to completely ruin a person's life over what is truly an accident. Again, we just don't know enough to truly judge.

I do wonder this though: What the heck was that cycling group doing on a 55 mph street? I've ridden with many groups and we simply avoid high-speed streets for that very reason. Just way too easy for accidents to happen.
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Old 01-29-20, 01:58 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by jeffwhitfield View Post
I talked about this recently on my blog (https://velonut.com/blog/bicycling-d...orida-cyclists). The short version of my opinion is this: We weren't there so it's hard to say exactly what happened. I do know it happened on a road with a 55 mph speed limit and she was doing close to 65 mph. She admits she was speeding. She admits to looking down for a second. On a road like that, that's all it takes to miss a group of cyclists, a pedestrian, or anything else. There's details we don't know such as "was there a bend in the road?" I think we have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Plus, I don't believe every driver should be punished with the equivalent of a felony offense. No need to completely ruin a person's life over what is truly an accident. Again, we just don't know enough to truly judge.

I do wonder this though: What the heck was that cycling group doing on a 55 mph street? I've ridden with many groups and we simply avoid high-speed streets for that very reason. Just way too easy for accidents to happen.

Can't speak to this road (Florida State Road 84), but I ride 50 and 55 mph state roads in NH and MA a lot. If the shoulder is wide enough, I actually feel safer than I do on streets with a lot of intersections, and I believe there are good statistical reasons for that "feeling". .

Just got a look at your blog post--funny how you don't want to judge, but feel free to tell people how fast a road you'd consider too fast to ride.
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Old 01-29-20, 02:23 PM
  #22  
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This is a "nimby" or "fyigm" or "common man's crime" scenario. Crimes that it's possible for the minivan mom of 5 married to a senator to commit aren't ever going to carry the same penalty as ones that poor people or "low class citizens" commit.

Killing on the roads is one of them, be it another motorist, a cyclist, a pedestrian. Same thing for more of the "white collar" financial crimes. Slaps on the wrist, because money, privilege, and power.

I don't try to confuse the indifference the justice system shows to dead cyclists as anything more than the same signal it sends about the way it treats other crime.
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Old 01-29-20, 03:58 PM
  #23  
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This is the road (Davis Blvd.) SR 84 that the cyclists should have avoided according to the Velonut. I guess he is saying they should just not ride in South Florida. I'm sure they would disagree. I mean ... they live there. Don't they have the right to ride (safely) in the city that they pay taxes in? I mean where the eff else would you ride in Naples, FL. Look at that map and tell me where the eff else 15 cyclists on a group ride are going to ride?! When I drive I do not take my eyes off the road for a second! If my wife hands me something I take it without looking. Anything I have to do I do it without looking anywhere but at the road. I did it without needing to be told but since then I've learned that that is how professional chauffeurs are trained to drive. Interesting insight from following the link to the actual account of the crash in 2018. "A first-time offense is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction, while second offense within five years—if it causes the death of another person—can result in 120 hours of community service, as well as civil penalty fees". Sounds like she received the textbook second offense penalty. Third times the charm I suppose.
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Old 01-30-20, 06:37 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
This is the road (Davis Blvd.) SR 84 that the cyclists should have avoided according to the Velonut. I guess he is saying they should just not ride in South Florida. I'm sure they would disagree. I mean ... they live there. Don't they have the right to ride (safely) in the city that they pay taxes in? I mean where the eff else would you ride in Naples, FL. Look at that map and tell me where the eff else 15 cyclists on a group ride are going to ride?! When I drive I do not take my eyes off the road for a second! If my wife hands me something I take it without looking. Anything I have to do I do it without looking anywhere but at the road. I did it without needing to be told but since then I've learned that that is how professional chauffeurs are trained to drive. Interesting insight from following the link to the actual account of the crash in 2018. "A first-time offense is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction, while second offense within five years—if it causes the death of another person—can result in 120 hours of community service, as well as civil penalty fees". Sounds like she received the textbook second offense penalty. Third times the charm I suppose.

Right road, but wrong side of the peninsula. The story states it happened in Davie. Even so, I'm not going to second-guess a choice to ride on a particular road unless it's categorically illegal. The blogger's judgment that riding on a 55 mph road is per se dangerous is just ill-informed.
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Old 01-30-20, 01:16 PM
  #25  
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For many bicyclists avoiding every road with 55 mph limits on them would mean little riding for those bicyclists. Almost all the country roads I ride has traffic going at that speed.

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