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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday September 03 2014, @01:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the unsafe-at-any-speed dept.

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.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03 2014, @03:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03 2014, @03:45PM (#88949)

    In my city, when bicyclists ride on the sidewalk to avoid riding on the road the police ticket them.

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  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday September 03 2014, @06:57PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday September 03 2014, @06:57PM (#89028) Homepage

    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.

    • (Score: 2) by Snow on Wednesday September 03 2014, @09:16PM

      by Snow (1601) on Wednesday September 03 2014, @09:16PM (#89082) Journal

      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.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03 2014, @10:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03 2014, @10:22PM (#89108)

        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!