Honda Shadow Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Those of you who subscribe to Motorcyclist magazine - I wonder if you noticed the "Who Knew?" article by Dexter Ford in the March 2007 issue (page 42) about the recent bike/auto fatality covered by the LA Times
http://www.latimes.com/classified/automotive/highway1/yourwheels/la-hy-wheels29nov29,0,4300395.story?coll=la-class-highway1-yourwheels.

There was a post about this fatality on this very site when the article came out. At that time, the Times had reported that Raj Boren, while riding a Suzuki at allegedly 80 mph in a 25 mph zone in Long Beach, killed Elisa Gigliotti in her Ford Escort as she was leaving work on 10/4. And most of us - myself included - thought that Boren was in the wrong.

I'm writing this blog to say that after reading Dexter Ford's talkback, I personally feel I was too hard on Boren. What I found especially interesting about Motorcyclist's talkback article in this month's issue is that, if true, it reveals just how shoddy the LA Times's fact-checking mechanisms are, as well as how biased its so-called "news reporting" organization has become.

Besides glossing over the fact that the accident occurred when Gigliotti flipped a left-hand turn in front of Boren, the LA Times article includes among its many other potential inaccuracies a statement that the rider was doing 80 mph in a 25 mph zone. Yet, upon further research of Long Beach's engineering and traffic survey, the speed limit in the area this accident occurred was actually 40 mph. Moreover, the traffic study also indicated that the so-called "85th percentile speed" (i.e., the speed below which 85 percent of drivers actually drive) is 51 mph. In other words, the typical driver in the area where this accident occurred is probably doing somewhere between 40-50 miles per hour.

OK, OK, you're probably thinking to yourself, "but Boren was still going 30-40 mph over the limit - he probably deserved it, even if Gigliotti pulled out in front of him, right? We;ll, as it turned out, other coverage of the accident indicates that one officer at the scene (Jayson Wong) originally indicated Boren was only doing about 65 mph when the accident occurred. The other offficer who estimated Boren was doing 80 (Raymond Dennison), is no longer commenting publicly about the incident.

In other words, Boren was probably riding about 15 mph faster than typical traffic in the area, when Gigliotti turned left in front of him. A bad decision - for sure. But worthy of vilification? Well, you'll have to decide that one for yourself.

Now, I'm not an advocate of speeding by any means. But, that's not the point. The Times article uses this incident to paint a picture of how an "innocent" young woman was deviously murdered by an evil biker riding one of those demonic high-performance sportbikes - regardless of whether the facts themselves supported that spin or not.

Whatever differences we may have in riding styles, I truly hope this counterpoint to the LA Times's misleading if not outright false coverage of a tragic incident in which TWO vehicle operators made a mistake that led to both their deaths serves as a wake-up call. If we don't stand together as riders to advocate our right to share the road, we will surely wind up losing that right by hook or by crook.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,761 Posts
bookman1995 said:
Those of you who subscribe to Motorcyclist magazine - I wonder if you noticed the "Who Knew?" article by Dexter Ford in the March 2007 issue (page 42) about the recent bike/auto fatality covered by the LA Times
http://www.latimes.com/classified/automotive/highway1/yourwheels/la-hy-wheels29nov29,0,4300395.story?coll=la-class-highway1-yourwheels.

There was a post about this fatality on this very site when the article came out. At that time, the Times had reported that Raj Boren, while riding a Suzuki at allegedly 80 mph in a 25 mph zone in Long Beach, killed Elisa Gigliotti in her Ford Escort as she was leaving work on 10/4. And most of us - myself included - thought that Boren was in the wrong.

I'm writing this blog to say that after reading Dexter Ford's talkback, I personally feel I was too hard on Boren. What I found especially interesting about Motorcyclist's talkback article in this month's issue is that, if true, it reveals just how shoddy the LA Times's fact-checking mechanisms are, as well as how biased its so-called "news reporting" organization has become.

Besides glossing over the fact that the accident occurred when Gigliotti flipped a left-hand turn in front of Boren, the LA Times article includes among its many other potential inaccuracies a statement that the rider was doing 80 mph in a 25 mph zone. Yet, upon further research of Long Beach's engineering and traffic survey, the speed limit in the area this accident occurred was actually 40 mph. Moreover, the traffic study also indicated that the so-called "85th percentile speed" (i.e., the speed below which 85 percent of drivers actually drive) is 51 mph. In other words, the typical driver in the area where this accident occurred is probably doing somewhere between 40-50 miles per hour.

OK, OK, you're probably thinking to yourself, "but Boren was still going 30-40 mph over the limit - he probably deserved it, even if Gigliotti pulled out in front of him, right? We;ll, as it turned out, other coverage of the accident indicates that one officer at the scene (Jayson Wong) originally indicated Boren was only doing about 65 mph when the accident occurred. The other offficer who estimated Boren was doing 80 (Raymond Dennison), is no longer commenting publicly about the incident.

In other words, Boren was probably riding about 15 mph faster than typical traffic in the area, when Gigliotti turned left in front of him. A bad decision - for sure. But worthy of vilification? Well, you'll have to decide that one for yourself.

Now, I'm not an advocate of speeding by any means. But, that's not the point. The Times article uses this incident to paint a picture of how an "innocent" young woman was deviously murdered by an evil biker riding one of those demonic high-performance sportbikes - regardless of whether the facts themselves supported that spin or not.

Whatever differences we may have in riding styles, I truly hope this counterpoint to the LA Times's misleading if not outright false coverage of a tragic incident in which TWO vehicle operators made a mistake that led to both their deaths serves as a wake-up call. If we don't stand together as riders to advocate our right to share the road, we will surely wind up losing that right by hook or by crook.
While I can't condone the LA Times for reporting bad information, I still
cannot side with the rider.

I see both parties at fault.

I still don't know all the facts, but based on your post, both are at fault.
Now, is 15mph too fast to see an upcoming vehicle and was he in view
when she pulled out to make her turn?
If not and the excess speed can be proven to show that
traveling the speed limit would have given the lady time to cross
the intersection... I can't blame her.

While she is at fault for not yielding the right of way, he is also at fault.
Technically, someone died during the commission of a crime (him speeding)... therefore he is also at fault and in most cases, that would
be a felony.

Again, we still don't know all the facts, just based on your post.

I think the best thing to do is leave it up to the jury that will be hearing his case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Speed Crazed Murderers

I had this same thing happen to me a few weeks ago. And, no one was speeding. I had the right of way in a 55 mph zone and a small black Honda pulled from a side road in front of me, although far enough away for me to take evasive action. I seriously doubt if he saw me prior to pulling out on the highway. But, as soon as he had straightened himself out, he must have seen me, because he immediately pulled off the right hand side of the road. He must have seen my lights in his rear view mirror. Probably nothing would have happened because I watched him all the way. But, in his defense, he did pull to the right as soon as he saw me.

I think that we who ride are much more aware of bikes and riders than a cager is. When I drive my car I really look to see if I see a single light coming down the road before I pull out.

I feel really bad that a person had to lose her life, but doubt if we will ever really know what happened. At the same time, I do not like the speeding whether it was 15mph too fast or 40 mph too fast. The same speed limit and laws that apply to cagers apply to us as well when we're on our bikes. It's funny sometimes how we would not speed in a car, but put us on our bikes and see what happens.

I'm sorry that two families have to go through this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
65 in a 40 isnt 15 over the limit, its 25. Just because the avg speed is 10 over does not justify 25 over in any way. Try to beat a ticket by saying that the avg speed was 70 so you were running 80. Good luck.

By running 25 over the rider did not give the cager any way to estimate his speed/distance sinch she is used to people only violating the law 10 MPH. The rider was also, providing the lower 65mph estimate is correct, still going 1/3 again faster than the posted limit.

Even though the rider was breaking the law to the point that in PA he would have gotten a reckless driving charge along with the speeding charge, was not in control of his vehical, did not give himself a escape route, and was overdriving his bike, the car still violated his right of way.

I agree that since the rider was commiting a crime he should be charged for the accident.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
658 Posts
15 over the flow of traffic is still a ton - and totally reckless in traffic.

On our local freeways, traffic flow typically travels at 10 over - or 75 mph in a 65 mph zone. 15 over that? - is 90 mph!

Try it sometime on the freeway - go 15 over the traffic flow, on your bike, and see how 'safe' you feel doing so.

I guaranty it'll feel even more unsafe in city traffic with intersections. JMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Thanks bookman for the clarifications. It does not justify the rider. In all likelyhood he is still very much at fault. It would be easy to see how she thought she had room to pull out, it's much harder to judge a bike's speed than a car's.

That being said, this is yet another example of a reporter with an agenda. CD posted about media bias against bikers awhile back, it's fairly common. Even in the adsence of an agenda the media has gotten very lazy regarding fact checking.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top