Hugh Pickens writes:
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against a sheriff’s deputy who fatally struck cyclist Milton Olin Jr. while he was apparently distracted by his mobile digital computer. “Wood entered the bicycle lane as a result of inattention caused by typing into his (Mobile Digital Computer),” according to the declination letter prepared by the Justice System Integrity Division of the District Attorney’s Office and released Wednesday. “He was responding to a deputy who was inquiring whether the fire investigation had been completed. Since Wood was acting within the course and scope of his duties when he began to type his response, under Vehicle Code section 23123.5, he acted lawfully.”
To establish the crime of vehicular manslaughter, prosecutors would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Wood was criminally negligent. While Wood was texting shortly before the collision, there was no evidence he was texting or doing anything else that would have distracted him at the time of the collision. Olin’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county, the Sheriff’s Department and the deputy, alleging driver negligence and seeking to obtain more information about the incident. “Just because the law allows someone to do something while driving doesn’t mean they are allowed to do something unsafely while driving,” says Eric Bruins. “Hitting someone from behind is very clear evidence that whatever was going on in that car was not safe and should have been considered negligent.”
Update: A day after prosecutors declined to file charges against a distracted sheriff’s deputy who fatally struck a cyclist in Calabasas in December, an official with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said it is launching its own administrative probe into the deputy’s behavior.
To some extent, you're right, but as a cyclist I'm going to continue to do it. Accidents and death this way are actually pretty rare - we hear of the horror stories but not of the thousands of miles cyclists complete without incident every day. I told my wife (a beginning cyclist herself) that we're most likely to get into an accident with a car when they pass us, then turn in front of us.
But part of me wonders if you are one of the people that swerves toward cyclists in your thought that they all want to commit suicide.
"But part of me wonders if you are one of the people that swerves toward cyclists in your thought that they all want to commit suicide."
LOL you must have missed the "I'm not saying its right or the way it should be. Just the way it is."
Apparently neither of us like that in the real world in 2014 its fundamentally a suicidal activity, but we do differ greatly on our recognition of that aspect of the hobby.
In my ideal cycling world we would physically separate cars/trucks/cop cars and bicycles. We have hundreds of miles of rails to trails conversions in my state and its very difficult to get killed by being run over by a car when the closest car road is 250 feet of forest away, or on the other side of a farmers corn field or similar.
Meh, I'm still tottering on the "Fuck you, man" angle in response to your post, mainly for the "he deserved it and it's his fault" lines. No, he didn't. You're blaming the victim. You claim you think it shouldn't be this way, but then you go ahead and continue blaming the victim, which just perpetuates the problem. You've decided the situation is so bad that it's not worth saving - so it's his fault, not the fault of the officer that wasn't paying attention.
But the sport of cycling seems to be growing, not shrinking. I don't have numbers but it seems like every time I turn around there are more and more people doing it. Every time I go on a ride, I see at least two or three other cyclists out there - and this is near DC, where the drivers exhibit a special kind of insanity.
In your world, what isn't a fundamentally suicidal activity? Driving anywhere - lots of people are killed in automobile accidents too. Staying at home is a fundamentally suicidal activity - people fall off ladders and die.
And your "death by cop" comment just ices the cake of your absurd comment, as if the victim of this crime could have predicted a cop would get distracted and run him over.
I get it now, you're just trolling to get this site's numbers up, aren't you? And I've fallen into the trap.
> But the sport of cycling seems to be growing, not shrinking.
It seems paradoxical but the more people ride bicycles on city streets, the less likely they are to be injured in traffic accidents. [sciencedaily.com]
> You've decided the situation is so bad that it's not worth saving - so it's his fault, not the fault of the officer that wasn't paying attention.
No he's genuine in being a total asshole.
Part of the problem is in the widespread belief that cycling is always optional, as you refer to it as a hobby or sport. For many it is, but for many others for one reason or another it is the most reasonable form of transportation available.
In my city, when bicyclists ride on the sidewalk to avoid riding on the road the police ticket them.
What the rules are and what the cops actually do are two separate things. Cops are supposed to ticket people for jaywalking, but when was the last time you saw that happen?
And for the record, I believe that there should be investments in significant bicycling infrastructure which separate the cyclists from the automobile traffic. There was a poster back who suggested that there was a high chance of being involved in a collision at an intersection when a car turns. Well, no shit, dumbass. Situational awareness is, heh, a two-way street, and you are much smaller and less visible than another car. Slow the fuck down and quit playing chicken with traffic, you dumbfucks. You're like those dumb college girls who want to magically make rape go away so you can behave like whores and not deal with the consequences -- it simply ain't gonna happen, so be my guest if you want to win a Darwin award.
Cyclists, in my city at least, are known for being big douchebags anyway. Aside from their riding in the middle of turn-lanes, weaving around traffic and ignoring or trying to beat stop-lights; a group of cyclists actually beat up an old man simply because he was walking in their path (cant find the link unfortunately, but it was at Mission beach and in the news a coupe years ago). Another dumbfuck bicyclist was killed riding on the side of the highway, and yet another dumbfuck bicyclist thought he could beat the trolley past the intersection and lost the race.
So, anyway, the police ain't gonna ticket you for riding on the sidewalk and staying the fuck out of the way. I do it all the time and have never been ticketed. Nobody gives about your heart-rate, so slow the fuck down and keep an eye out, you might even have to *gasp!* use your brakes every now and then.
If I weren't pressed for time I'd post the link to the Toxic Avenger scene where they hit and run that guy on the bike and then back over his head. That's a truly cheer-worthy scene, and a fitting end for any asshole who weaves in and out of traffic thinking they can beat a 2-ton vehicle in a game of chicken.
I live near a river that has a bridge going over it. 10 meters to the north, there is another bridge which is part of our city-wide biking/walking network. Guess which bridge the spandex wearing bikers use? I'll give you a hint -- it's not the bike bridge.
Meanwhile all the non-spandex wearing bikers use the bike bridge.What about the spandex wearing walkers?Or the girls in yoga pants?How about the geeks who think confirmation bias is evidence? I bet they just follow their GPS and walk right into the river because it tells them to!