The Chainlink

Not again....

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-bicyclist-die...

The Cook County medical examiner's office said the man was in his 50s and was pronounced dead at 10:35 a.m.

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I agree.

Bill Savage said:

Yes.  Not just cyclists: pedestrians, other motorists and passengers.  If you kill someone due to negligence while driving, you deserve more than a moving violation ticket.  And if more stringent penalties will deter bad driving, all the better. 

At the very least, two large tickets should be issued in this case. 1. The ticket the driver got (for failure to yield.) 2. A ticket for failure to exercise due care. Municipal code below. I'm searching for the 3 foot law...

9-4-025 Bicycle safety violation–Penalty - Permalink

(a) Any person who violates subsection (e) or (f) of section 9-16-020, subsection (c) of section 9-36-010, or section 9-40-060, of this Code, shall be subject to (i) a penalty of $150.00 or, (ii) if such violation causes a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, a penalty of $500.00, for each offense. 

(b) Any person who violates sections 9-40-160 or 9-80-035 of this Code, when such violation interferes with the movement of a bicycle, shall be subject to (i) a penalty of $150.00 or, (ii) if such violation causes a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, a penalty of $500.00, for each offense.

Added Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22781, § 2

9-16-020 (f) Turning right in front of a bicycle - Permalink

When a motor vehicle and a bicycle are traveling in the same direction on any highway, street, or road, the operator of the motor vehicle overtaking such bicycle traveling on the right side of the roadway shall not turn to the right in front of the bicycle at that intersection or at any alley or driveway until such vehicle has overtaken and is safely clear of the bicycle.

Added Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22783

9-40-160 Drivers to exercise due care - Permalink

Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any person operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human or animal power, upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precautions upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.

Amended Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22781, § 1

http://ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=095-0231

Section 11-703(d) contains the Illinois 3 feet law.
 
Charlie Short said:

 I'm searching for the 3 foot law...

Thanks.

Thunder Snow said:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=095-0231

Section 11-703(d) contains the Illinois 3 feet law.
 
Charlie Short said:

 I'm searching for the 3 foot law...

11-703 does not mention felony charges if there is a violation of the statute that results in serious injury.  Can you tell us where that is found in Illinois law?  Thanks.

Jason said:

Wait a minute. What about the law about not passing a cyclist within 3 feet? It is a state law, and if someone does it and it results in serious injury, it is a felony. This truck sounds like he did just that and killed someone. How is he not arrested? WTF?

As always, I hunger to know more about what happened. I find it hard to form any judgements until I know more.  Was the turn expected or unexpected? Was it signaled?  Was the rider aware of the intent to turn and did he know about it?  How long had the rider been on the truck's right? Did the driver look?  How long before the turn? Did the rider "suddently" appear on the driver's right?  Any urban biker is used to having large vehicles on their immediate left.  If I feel the vehicle may want to turn I may speed up or slow down so I am not in the pocket on the right of the vehicle.  Regardless of fault, this is again a very sad situation.  Regardless, each actor can likely look back and say that there was something else they could have done. The extreme consequences make us concerned and angry.  However, they cannot change the way we look at the encounter and reconstruct it.

 

I will admit that reading that the driver was from out of state I tended to make a rash judgement that he did not think a cyclist would be there and did not look.  I thought to myself that a Chicago driver may know better. That, of course, is prejudice.  I checked that and will wait to find out what really happened.

I scrolled through this thread and through the Every Block conversation. Do we still not know the name of the victim or did I miss it somewhere?

I'm all for a culture change that encourages more awareness of and respect for pedestrians & bicyclists, and I'd fully support & lobby for a law that creates increased accountability to effect such change.

Julie Hochstadter said:

It was just explained to me by someone with immense legal knowledge that involuntary manslaughter statute and reckless homicide statute require more than just negligence.  

Now its time to try to change that law.  Something to make drivers take an extra second to look. Stricter rules and laws scare people into changing their habits. At the least if someone causes a death have their drivers license taken away for 6 months.

 

 That's not terribly harsh, but it would scare more drivers to remember to look before they turn right. Currently they get a ticket, or at least that's what the news reports.

 I've been driving more recently and I find myself doing something I never did before I started biking - I lean over and make sure there is no cyclist to my right before I turn right.

I started a conversation on my fb account to try to reach out to all my non-bike friends.  Cheryl Zalenski, also a Chainlinker, chimed in with very relevant article about how an accident in Wisconsin got cyclists in our neighboring state to lobby - http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/139938613.html

I'm sickened by two tragic deaths in 3 weeks. 

Bill Savage said:

If you kill someone due to negligence while driving, you deserve more than a moving violation ticket.  And if more stringent penalties will deter bad driving, all the better. 

Julie said: 

That's not terribly harsh, but it would scare more drivers to remember to look before they turn right.

 

Here I am again. There are three themes here that run through all decisions about what to do about various levels of what society considers bad or criminal behavior: 1)punishment; 2) retribution; and 3)deterrence.  These things are generally considered in deciding on what consequence will attach to violations of laws.  In most of our society, convictions for violations that are attributable to negligent acts (failure to exercise due care) result in fines.  Convictions for violations that are attributable to reckless conduct or knowing or intentional conduct result in harsher penalties.  I am no sociologist although I have read studies that usually have no answer as to the right level of punishment/retribution/deterrence is. Maybe someone trained as a sociologist can shed more light.

That one is old. The new one is here:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=09600SB2951sam...


Lisa Curcio said:

11-703 does not mention felony charges if there is a violation of the statute that results in serious injury.  Can you tell us where that is found in Illinois law?  Thanks.

Jason said:

Wait a minute. What about the law about not passing a cyclist within 3 feet? It is a state law, and if someone does it and it results in serious injury, it is a felony. This truck sounds like he did just that and killed someone. How is he not arrested? WTF?

Thanks.  I should have known that :-)

But it must be done in a reckless manner in order for it to be a felony.  Illinois Pattern jury instructions - Criminal defines recklessness: 

"A person (is reckless)(acts recklessly)when he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow, and such disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation."
 
Jason said:

That one is old. The new one is here:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=09600SB2951sam...


Lisa Curcio said:

11-703 does not mention felony charges if there is a violation of the statute that results in serious injury.  Can you tell us where that is found in Illinois law?  Thanks.

Jason said:

Wait a minute. What about the law about not passing a cyclist within 3 feet? It is a state law, and if someone does it and it results in serious injury, it is a felony. This truck sounds like he did just that and killed someone. How is he not arrested? WTF?

I would not disagree that we need to keep pushing for legal changes that support our right to use the road safely... but I don't quite understand the focus in relation to the current tragedy, as there's no evidence that having different laws in place would have made the truck driver less likely to act as he did yesterday morning.

 

The problem as I see it is that you have an expectation that gigantic vehicles can share the same travel space with people on bicycles, and that it could all work out somehow.

 

You wouldn't put an Oscar in the guppy tank and expect your guppies to make it work....

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