Delaware: OK to kill cyclists not "as far to the right" as roadwayallows



F

Fritz M

Guest
jab[email protected] wrote:

> Shows that clearly half or more of all cyclist fatalities are due to
> misconduct on the part of the cyclist


Those are *crashes*, not deaths. Most collision do not result in death.

In Colorado, most cyclist deaths over the past three years are
motorist-at-fault with cyclist riding correctly. Almost all of them are
hit-from-behind and outside of town or city limits.

In this summary of 10 collisions resulting in death from Virginia, five
are clearly motorist fault, three are cyclist fault, and the other two
are indeterminate (to me).

http://www.vabike.org/archive/ar00_3a2.htm

RFM
 
W

Wayne Pein

Guest
Fritz M wrote:

>
> In this summary of 10 collisions resulting in death from Virginia, five
> are clearly motorist fault, three are cyclist fault, and the other two
> are indeterminate (to me).
>
> http://www.vabike.org/archive/ar00_3a2.htm
>


You really need other factors such as light condition/visibility to make
a good determination. And just because a motorist fled, doesn't
necessarily mean he was at fault in the collision.

Wayne
 
M

Mark

Guest
Boy, you come up with a pretty definite conclusion about the driver and
the cause for the accident. But you sure do use the words "maybe" and
"might have" with describing the bike rider. Before flinging the
accusations, find out the details.

Bob Matter wrote -
The cyclist had a rear reflector. He may have had amber pedal
reflectors
too, but that wasn't mentioned in the article.

Cyclists are not prohibited from occupying the left lane. He might have

been in the left lane because the right lane may have been flooded or
covered with deep puddles or pot holes or who knows what. Maybe he was
going to make a left turn up ahead for something before going to work.
And since he was going to work, I doubt if he was drunk.

Sounds like a typical commercial vehicle driver driving too fast for
conditions. The first paragraph even says the driver was "apparently
blinded by scant visibility from Monday's early morning rain."

-Bob Matter
 
B

Bob

Guest
rdclark wrote:

> I would like to hear Bob Hunt's take on whether a driver should be
> exonerated solely because the cyclist wasn't all the way to the right,
> even if he wasn't preparing to turn left.


No, a cyclist's failure to keep as far to the right as practicable
should not absolve a driver that strikes them of any fault for the
crash. Having said that, crashes involving more than one vehicle are
rarely the sole fault of *one* of the involved parties. There is
usually blame enough to go around. If you are hypothesizing a situation
where a cyclist is riding as far to the right as practicable and is
struck by an overtaking vehicle then the driver bears a greater share
of the blame than he would if the hypothetical cyclist simply ignores
his duty to keep to the right and instead decides to ride wherever he
darned well pleases. The driver would still bear a portion of the blame
in that second instance but it would be substantially less.
As an aside, news articles about events such as the one the OP posted
merely summarize the investigation and, for me anyway, often leave more
questions unanswered than they answer. For example, the article quotes
a witness as saying the driver stopped and backed up to see what he had
just hit. What else did the witness say? What kind of vantage point did
the witness have? What was the witness doing at the time? Was he sober?
Drunk? On his way home from the bar? On his way to work? Did he have
any prior relationship with either the cyclist or the driver? Those are
just some of the questions that must be asked by the investigator
because the answers tend to establish a witness's credibility or lack
thereof but their answers seldom appear in news articles.

> Is the reduced visibility from the rain any sort of defense?


It can be brought up but whether or not it's a successful defense
depends on how reasonably the driver was operating otherwise.
Unfortunately, that is another question the article doesn't answer.
BTW, almost anything can be offered as a defense. I've heard, "He
dissed me so I shot him", offered as a defense many times. It's just
never seemed to enjoy a great deal of success. ;-)

Regards,
Bob Hunt
 
B

Bob

Guest
rdclark wrote:
> Robert J. Matter wrote:
> > http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050628/NEWS01/506280315/1002
> >
> > Bicyclist killed in collision with truck on Route 13
> >
> > By Deborah Gates
> > Daily Times Staff Writer
> >
> > SALISBURY -- A city man cycling to work in the wrong traffic lane was
> > fatally struck by the driver of a company truck who was apparently
> > blinded by scant visibility from Monday's early morning rain, state
> > police said.
> >
> > Investigators blame pedestrian error




> "Pedestrian?"
>
> Pretty clear that the officials being quoted, while they think they
> understand the letter of the law, do not comprehend the rationale of
> the law.


In fairness to the police spokesman, his knowledge of the crash came
from a review of the crash report. It's been awhile since I filled out
a crash report but the check boxes on a USDOT standardized crash report
used to list a bicyclist as a "pedestrian/pedalcyclist". I don't know
what that form calls us now.

Regards,
Bob Hunt
 
R

rdclark

Guest
Bob wrote:
> > >
> > > Investigators blame pedestrian error

>
> > "Pedestrian?"
> >
> > Pretty clear that the officials being quoted, while they think they
> > understand the letter of the law, do not comprehend the rationale of
> > the law.

>
> In fairness to the police spokesman, his knowledge of the crash came
> from a review of the crash report. It's been awhile since I filled out
> a crash report but the check boxes on a USDOT standardized crash report
> used to list a bicyclist as a "pedestrian/pedalcyclist". I don't know
> what that form calls us now.


OK, that's a possible explanation.

Still, whatever the spokesman's role, it seems unlikely that someone
who is really *thinking* that this is an incident involving two
vehicles is going to be talking about "pedestrians."

The channelized thinking that classifies cyclists as pedestrians in the
minds of so many people (including many bike riders themselves,
unfortunately) is a big part of the conceptual gap that causes so many
problems between cyclists and drivers. Law enforcment personnel are no
immune to this.

RichC
 
R

rdclark

Guest
Bill Sornson wrote:

> Did the other guy actually OWN the vehicle that hit her? Or had he stolen
> it or something? IOW, did they catch the mofo?!?


We have been unable to learn anything, although I suspect we would have
if he'd been caught. The police would probably want her to ID him or
add to her statement or something.

Our insurance company will be stuck with all the bills unless there's
someone else that can be made to pay, so actually they're the ones with
the most incentive to pursue the case.

I expect that the car was stolen. If the car was not stolen, it will
have been reported as stolen shortly after the collision. The driver
will never be identified.

My wife gets a new Scion xB out of it, so it's not all bad.

RichC
 

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