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.
I'll agree with that statement if you agree that your likelihood of survival is the same if "the other guy" crashes into a steel cage with crumple zones or directly impacts flesh.
This is aside from the whole "keeping up with traffic" thing. Its a really dumb civil engineering decision to put 10 mph unarmored and 45 mph armored vehicles on the same piece of asphalt. Or rephrased, if you know that piece of asphalt is contested by a 45 MPH armored tank, its kind of dumb to throw 10 mpg unarmored flesh in its path and then blame everyone except the engineers who set the unarmored guy up to die.
changing lanes without a signal, swerving, reckless driving, and running people over have always been crimes. is it really that big a leap to expect people to, you know, follow the law? the privilege to operate that tank at 45 mph comes with the responsibility to maintain control of it at all times; if you don't, you're criminally negligent by definition.
You know what? I want go fire my fully automatic weapon randomly in public places. If anyoneone gets hurt, it's their fault for not wearing armor in public - if everyone would just wear bullet proof armor all the time, I could fire my weapon without anyone getting hurt. Clearly it's all those idiots walking around in nothing but a t-shirt that are ruining it for the rest of us. What a bunch of idiots.
Am I right or what?