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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Story in the local paper today.

I'm not gonna rewrite it verbatim, so here's the set-up.

Multi car accident at the top of a local road, quite long, one lane in either direction. Lane heading up the hill is moving very slowly, lane coming down is unimpeded.

Several drivers make u-turns and head back down the hill so they can wherever it is that they so desperately need to be.

One of those drivers pulls a u-turn in his Cadillac, and a rider coming downhill hits him... and later dies.

The point of this?

His sentence was handed down yesterday:

$2300.00 fine, and four months probation.

So I pose these questions:

What if he had hit another car and killed someone?
What if it was a kid?

Why does he get $2300.00 anbd four months probation when the death was caused solely due to his willingness to perfrom and illegal u-turn and his failure to properly check to make sure the road was clear? Isn't this vehicular manslaughter?

And to asnwer the inevitable questions:
The rider was wearing a helmet and full protective gear.
The rider was a MSf instructor.

I'm sick of this ****.

A man who obviously is unwilling to pay attention to his surroundings, and allows his impatience to trump his care and attention walks away with a fine... and probation?
 

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no excuse

I think everybody is tired of it. Toledo, Ohio a 80 year old man backed out in front of a motorcycle and killed the rider. 30 days probation. 2 years later the same man backed out in front of a motorcycle. This time the rider was lucky she only lost a leg. 90 day suspension of driving rights.

We can't do anything as individuals but the AMA has a nationwide push going on to increase penalties for injuring or killing a motorcycist (Justice For All). If you arent a member join up and add your support.
There are many bennefits and a lot of information in their magazine for $40.00 a year.
 

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Wow!!!!

I am truly sorry to hear about that, my thoughts and best wishes go out to the family of the biker.

We have had a rash of deaths of innocent people by older drivers in the last two years hear in CA. You might remember that man who careened down a farmers market because he thought he was stepping on the brake and really it was the gas. He killed seven folks and badly injured several others. It came out later that he had done the same thing backing our of the driveway of his relatives house and ran over and killed his niece on her front lawn. He was fined and let go for that only to be out loose to cause this other horrendous accident in Santa Monica. His lawyer argued that at close to 90 years old, the man was just to old to go to jail. I cant remember the outcome but it as no where near what he deserved.

We just recently had young lady go through a red because she as applying makeup and she it a biker. He survived but only time will tell if he ill walk again. She is being charged with reckless driving, when the real charge should be attempted murder with a deadly weapon ( the car representing a deadly weapon) but the prosecutor said he could not prove intent so reckless is all he could get her for. Thankfully she was insured, and the biker will be able to sue, but that is only money.

Someone mentioned that there should be biker awareness classes as part of driver ed, and I agree whole heartedly.

As very sad Dragoon.
 

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Unfortunately your neighbors (read - local government) decided to charge them with something less than vehicular manslaughter.

"Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another human being, but not done with intent or malice. If it is accomplished with a motor vehicle, it is commonly called "vehicular manslaughter"; in some jurisdictions outside California it is just included under the more general term "involuntary manslaughter". The offense consists of (1) driving, (2) while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or alcohol and drugs, (3) resulting in the death of another human being, (4) caused by the drivers's independent negligence or violation of a traffic law. The offense is a felony, that is, it is punishable by state prison rather than just a shorter county jail sentence. If the case is particularly blameworthy, the prosecutor may file second-degree murder charges; this offense does not require proof of premeditation or even intent , but does require proof of "malice" -- which can be inferred from evdience of a callous disregard for human life."

According to that definition, it would qualify from your account of what happened.
But for whatever reason they made the decision not to charge the driver with much.
We let far too many drunk drivers off as it is.
 

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OK, we go after drunk drivers for thier actions - drinking and driving can lead to dangerous or deadly results. So, why do we act as if putting on make-up, talking on the phone, working on the computer or reading are any less negligent. It really is shameful, wether they kill a biker or someone else they should be held accountable.
 

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beowulf said:
So, why do we act as if putting on make-up, talking on the phone, working on the computer or reading are any less negligent.
Because operating under the influence is a condition that can be objectively verified after the fact -- with a blood alcohol test. Those other things rely upon eye witness reports, which no doubt will be denied by the driver.

That's not to say that one day we won't see stiffer penalties for such infractions ... it's just that comparing them to DUI or DWI is not quite apples to apples, in terms of verification.
 

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I think they give too many people licenses. They need to make the requirements to get a license tougher and if the drive is over a certain age 65 maybe, they have to go through a driving test every year.
 

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rat said:
....One of those drivers pulls a u-turn in his Cadillac, and a rider coming downhill hits him... and later dies.

The point of this?

His sentence was handed down yesterday:

$2300.00 fine, and four months probation.

So I pose these questions:

What if he had hit another car and killed someone?
What if it was a kid?

Why does he get $2300.00 anbd four months probation when the death was caused solely due to his willingness to perfrom and illegal u-turn and his failure to properly check to make sure the road was clear? Isn't this vehicular manslaughter?

And to asnwer the inevitable questions:
The rider was wearing a helmet and full protective gear.
The rider was a MSf instructor.

I'm sick of this ****.

A man who obviously is unwilling to pay attention to his surroundings, and allows his impatience to trump his care and attention walks away with a fine... and probation?
I think the reason may be in "who hit whom." In MI, the motorcyclist in this case would be at fault for not having his vehicle under control to avoid a potential accident. That could be the reasoning the Cadillac was let off so lightly .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The only way to avoid an accident when someone pulls out in front of you from a direction that NOONE should ever be coming from (in this case, across a solid yellow line)... is to ride slow enough that you only need about 5 feet to stop.

I hate that ****. If Dipshit A breaks the law, and in the breaking of that law kills someone, then Dipshit A needs to be punished accordingly. End of story. If I am riding in my lane, at or under the speed limit, and paying all due care and attention to the task at hand, then I am by definition doing everything required of me by law. To say that I was doing less than I should have is pure speculation... we're not allowed to convict someone due to speculation, we need proof. But we can let 'em off the hook due to speculation about the victim's actions?

Our legal system is so bloated and twisted from years upon years of legal arguing and unscrupulous lawyers that it's a complete joke.
 

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OK here's my $.02....

Initiating stiffer penalties, creating more laws, won't work. And neither will creating mandatory sentences, this takes away a Judges ability or need to judge.

The same type of prosecution and sentencing went on years ago with drunk drivers and a group of mothers formed MADD to make the prosecutors and judges do their job.

If you think it needs attention, form BADD, Bikers Against Dumba$$ Drivers, and start lobbying the courts! Mother Against Drunk Drivers has had an affect on the courts.

Bruce
 

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I had a response. It got deleted. *shrugs*
 

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I agree w/ you rat - and I hope the cyclists family ends up nailing this guy in a civil suit.

That is why, though you can't see the future, I try to take note as i'm riding to any potential idiots. Like you said, we can't speculate what the cyclist was doing... was he paying attention that there's a line up of cars stopped where people may get edgy and pull in front of him? was he thinking "my lane is free, so i can zip on by at any speed i wish"? We weren't there.

For us all, The moral of story - as is the case with so many of the stories - Watch out for yourself, because most cagers aren't watching out for you.
 

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rat said:
So I pose these questions:

What if he had hit another car and killed someone?
What if it was a kid?

Why does he get $2300.00 anbd four months probation when the death was caused solely due to his willingness to perfrom and illegal u-turn and his failure to properly check to make sure the road was clear? Isn't this vehicular manslaughter?
Are you saying that the penalty wasn't enough period? I agree.
Or do you think, from your question, that it would have been higher if it was a car or a kid? Personally I think it should be the same, car or bike, adult or child. Definately more if drugs or alcohol were involved (mandatory jail time if it caused a death and drugs/alcohol were involved).

Sam
 

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I stopped in to the forum for my usual fix of fun and interesting stories but this is the first message I read.

This really sucks. :cry:

Anyway I think it's great that they push the MSF classes as I think it's saved a lot of lives in recent years. I think a MAJOR push needs to be made in teaching ALL drivers by some form of safety class that covers MC, bicycle and pedestrian safety for all drivers. Safety is a two way street, IMO.

I'm going to join the AMA!

Steve
 

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byg_mi said:
I think the reason may be in "who hit whom." In MI, the motorcyclist in this case would be at fault for not having his vehicle under control to avoid a potential accident.
rat said:
The only way to avoid an accident when someone pulls out in front of you from a direction that NOONE should ever be coming from (in this case, across a solid yellow line)... is to ride slow enough that you only need about 5 feet to stop.
byg_mi said:
Like you said, we can't speculate what the cyclist was doing... was he paying attention that there's a line up of cars stopped where people may get edgy and pull in front of him? was he thinking "my lane is free, so i can zip on by at any speed i wish"? We weren't there.
When I first read the account, the thing that flashed through my mind was what byg_mi is getting at here ... there's a good chance at least some responsibility is borne by the rider here. A two-lane road is already risky enough; a two-lane road where the opposite lane is stopped (or very slow) should be cause for concern for any rider. Double the concern if the road is curvy and you can't see what's around a bend. All sorts of things can go wrong -- cars pulling U-turns as was the case here; cars edging over to see what's going on up ahead; someone letting another car pull through the stopped line of cars to go the other way.

The same thing on a multi-lane road ... if one lane is slow for some reason then a motorcyclist -- or car, for that matter -- had better exercise some extreme caution in the next lane over if their rate of speed is differentially greater than the slow lane.

We've all heard and read that we need to be extra careful when riding our bikes because "we're invisible." That's true enough. But we also need to be alert when ambient conditions are such that the potential for hazard is increased. And then alter our riding accordingly. In this case -- slow down, go to the outside of the lane, expect the worst, have a contingency plan in mind at every moment.

hunter58 said:
I think a MAJOR push needs to be made in teaching ALL drivers by some form of safety class that covers MC, bicycle and pedestrian safety for all drivers. Safety is a two way street, IMO.
I agree with you in principle. Unfortunately, I'm so jaded and cynical that I don't see it ever being effective. That would require people be considerate of others. And in our current age that just ain't the case any more.

<opinion_on>Most of the ills of society can be tied back to the essential selfishness of people. Politics nowadays is mostly an exercise in the assuaging of our selfish itch. Road rage is essentially a response to our selfish desire to have things our way being temporarily denied. It's a deep, deep part of the flawed human condition. A few classes or advertisements isn't going to fix this. Stiff penalties might alter the dynamics a bit ... provided the majority, operating out of selfish motives, permits stricter penalties.<opinion_off>
 

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There is an ugly double standard when it comes to motorcyclists.
If a cage driver is totally at fault and kills a kid on a bicycle, that driver is usually looked upon by the public as essentially a murderer. If that cage driver is again totally at fault and kills a motorcyclist, it is looked upon as just an unfortunate incident because "everyone knows riding motorcycles is dangerous". Somehow a lot of the fault is shifted to the rider. We have all seen it-- if a car hits a biker and that rider dies, it's never reported that the driver of the car is an idiot menace. It's reported that the biker wasn't wearing a helmet. It's somehow always our fault.

No one seems to notice that bikers are not protected by two tons of steel and airbags, (well, maybe the Goldwing riders) :wink: , and there are no such thing as little "fender benders" when it comes to motorcycles. Those vulnerabilities should be taken into account by the general public and especially the courts when a rider is injured or killed by a driver's negligence.
 
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