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Thread: She got off...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    She got off...

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    The driver who killed the man from my cycling group 3 years ago was acquitted of the charges. Suppposedly, she has cancer and drummed up a lot of sympathy from the judge. Fellow riders accompanied the spouse of the rider to court, everyday of the trial. In an email to all of us, his wife stated basically, that the driver's life had been ruined in many more ways than hers, which I thought was very forgiving. Frankly, I wouldn't make such charitable comments! This couple was like an older version of myself and DH, so this is weighing on my mind. The driver's initial defense was that she sneezed and it blinded her momentarily.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    That's sad, Crankin. So sorry.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    4,556
    I'm so, so sorry

    The legal system in this country is just backwards when dealing with drivers who kill or injure cyclists or pedestrians. Unfortunately, it would take a lot to change it to deal with things differently - but my opinion is that we need to start making the changes - more of a european model where the driver bears responsibility. The person who killed my friend 10 months ago (hit and run) was sentenced to 12 months. He was driving on a revoked license with 2 pending DWI's, and there was evidence he was texting at the time. His statement to the family at the sentencing - "sorry" - said in a very annoyed tone, while his state senator uncle did damage control in the courtroom (shaking hands, etc.).
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    The driver's initial defense was that she sneezed and it blinded her momentarily.
    A couple of weeks ago I very nearly hit a cyclist. After I had dinner with a friend at a restaurant I was leaving the restaurant parking lot, about to make a right turn onto the busy street. A behemoth SUV was parked along the curb to the immediate left of me, and I could barely see the oncoming traffic. It was nighttime so I could see approaching headlights on the road and thru the windows of the SUV. I waited until I could see no lights approaching and started to pull out. Just as I was turning right onto the street I saw a bike approaching on my left, alongside the SUV. I did not see him coming. The headlight on his bike was aimed too low to see thru the SUV windows and the beam wasn't strong enough for me to see it approaching on the street. He must have seen me about to pull out so he managed to slow down enough so we didn't collide.

    I was appalled that I came so close to hitting him. I did not see him coming.

    If I did hit him, I think I can safely say my life would have been ruined. I can imagine sitting in a courtroom saying "I did not see him coming", and people glaring at me in that courtroom wanting vengeance. Except I would have probably killed myself before it came to that.

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  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Ugh.

    It's what I've been saying for so long, texting and phones aren't the issue, it's the attitude that drivers don't have to be responsible for their vehicles. If they felt responsible they wouldn't even dream of picking up the phone in the first place. And yeah, Blueberry, I've been saying that too for over 20 years - every other traffic offense in the books is strict liability. If you're speeding, it doesn't matter that your speedometer is inaccurate. If you run a stop sign, it doesn't matter whether you saw it or not. But kill someone, and the prosecution has to prove what's going on in your head. That's just all kinds of wrong.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Ugh.

    It's what I've been saying for so long, texting and phones aren't the issue, it's the attitude that drivers don't have to be responsible for their vehicles. If they felt responsible they wouldn't even dream of picking up the phone in the first place. And yeah, Blueberry, I've been saying that too for over 20 years - every other traffic offense in the books is strict liability. If you're speeding, it doesn't matter that your speedometer is inaccurate. If you run a stop sign, it doesn't matter whether you saw it or not. But kill someone, and the prosecution has to prove what's going on in your head. That's just all kinds of wrong.
    +1. So frustrated and disillusioned with this crap.
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  7. #7
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    Jobob, I totally understand what happened to you. I am even more vigilant when driving now. Quite a few years ago, I was stopped at a 4 way stop sign in my car, going straight. It's a well used, but "country/suburban" road. A cyclist was facing me, and gave no signal or idea of what he was doing, so I assumed he was going straight across, as I was, just in the opposite direction. The 2 cars going through on the cross street went, so I started to go, and then had to slam my brakes because the cyclist turned left in front of me.
    I was a wreck and he was swearing at me, but when I analyzed it, he did the same thing drivers here do. Don't use signals at all. When I am at a 4 way stop on my bike and stopped, I keep wagging my finger, especially if I am turning left. My friends say I look like a nagging schoolteacher, but hey, since I used to be one of those, I don't care.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I was a wreck and he was swearing at me, but when I analyzed it, he did the same thing drivers here do. Don't use signals at all. When I am at a 4 way stop on my bike and stopped, I keep wagging my finger, especially if I am turning left. My friends say I look like a nagging schoolteacher, but hey, since I used to be one of those, I don't care.
    Signal, signal, signal! I absolutely always do at a four-way stop even if it's clearly my turn. You're absolutely right to do this. I always assume that no one sees me and am pleasantly surprised when they do!

    Jobob, that must have been really scary. Thank the gods you didn't hit him. There are clearly situations in which seeing a cyclist is nearly impossible, and that was one of them. But it wouldn't have changed how you would have felt if you'd collided.
    Emily

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