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3 Comments

  1. Bob Calverley
    July 6, 2021 @ 8:55 pm

    Whatever we call this, I think accident is a more accurate term than murder. Stats on on bicycle fatalities are not that hard to find. It appears that bicycle fatalities are on an upward trajectory and closing in on a thousand per year:

    https://bayareabicyclelaw.com/safety-laws/bike-stats/

    https://westcoasttriallawyers.com/ca/los-angeles-bicycle-accidents-lawyer/california-bicycle-accident-statistics/

    Things like helmets and alcohol are big factors, but you are right. Most encounters between bikes and cars are the result of careless or reckless (not murderous) drivers.

    Where I live, in a far flung suburb of LA, police reports on traffic accidents usually do ascertain blame. Just because there aren’t charges doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences. There are a lot of cycling fatalities in LA County and a ton of attorneys out here specializing in cycling lawsuits. Kill a cyclist and you are going to face a huge lawsuit and it will probably cost you even if you weren’t at fault.

    I commuted from my home to LA for a quarter century – 45+ miles each way. I often took Pacific Coast Highway along the ocean through Malibu and Santa Monica. It’s a pleasant drive, nice ocean views, a curvy road, two lanes each way and a 45 mph speed limit. But motorists frequently travel 50 even 60. There are either very narrow bike lanes, or none at all and lots of vehicles belonging to swimmers/surfers etc parked over them. I almost never traveled that road without encountering recreational cyclists. I never understood the attraction of cycling on a dangerous road during rush hour. Especially when for about half of the road, there is a parallel, paved bike/pedestrian path on the beach. But many cyclists seem to prefer the road. I know folks on bikes are every bit as entitled to use the road as the rest of us, but it must have been incredibly stressful. Cyclists were, and still are, often killed on that road.

    The mountain roads around where I live are full of recreational cyclists on the weekends, as well as motorcycles and high-performance sports cars. Everyone’s out having fun. Most recent additions are people on electric bikes, many of them seniors who can’t ride very well and wouldn’t be out there without the e-boost. And of course, there are a lot of bars catering to them. Over the years, several of my casual acquaintances, mostly folks from my masters swim team who also do triathlons have had serious bicycle accidents. But no one I know has died. However, one person on my swim team drowned (heart attack) at a workout.

    Bicycle fatalities are only going to go up.

    Reply

    • Jack Rochester
      July 10, 2021 @ 7:03 pm

      My point, Bob, is simply that the consequences aren’t there. For the driver, it’s “OOPS!” For the cyclist, it all too often a casket. ~ Jack

      Reply

  2. John Woods
    July 6, 2021 @ 11:25 pm

    A mistake is always a value judgment rendered after the fact.

    Reply

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