Breaking News: 16-year old bike rider killed in Florence hit-and-run

Ghost bike being prepared for Adrian Chavez Jr; photo by Danny Gamboa.

Ghost bike being prepared for Adrian Chavez Jr; photo by Danny Gamboa.

Word is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run in the Florence neighborhood in South LA yesterday.

According to the Daily News, the 16-year old victim, whose name has not been released, was riding south on the 6700 block of Converse Ave when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle around 3:35 pm. The driver was reportedly speeding, and apparently hit the victim with the side of his car before fleeing.

The victim suffered major injuries, and died at a nearby hospital.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th in the County of Los Angeles; that compares to nine in the county this time last year. He is also the 4th bike rider to die in the City of LA this year — two of which have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The victim has been identified as Adrian Chavez Jr.

Correction: Due to a database error, there was an error in the fatality totals in the initial version of this story. The last paragraph has been corrected to reflect the actual totals.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adrian Chavez Jr and his family.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

……..

Note: As tragic as this case is, and as frightening as it is to read about things like this, let’s not forget that bicycling is a relatively safe activity. Your risk of suffering any kind of injury requiring medical attention on any given ride is just one in 77,000; the risk of death is only one in 6.3 million. And you are twice as likely to be killed in a motor vehicle as you are on a bike on an hourly basis.

So don’t let stories like this scare you off your bike. Let’s all focus on riding safely and defensively, and encouraging motorists to do the same so every bike rider can return home safely, every time.

And lets do whatever we can to get dangerous drivers off the streets and bring heartless cowards like this who leave their victims bleeding in the street to justice, and ensure they never drive again.

 

Calendar: Long list of bike events — NB Back Bay Ride, USC Venice Beach Ride and Eastside Taco Night

Please accept my best wishes for a blessed Pesach and a happy Easter. Whatever you celebrate — even if it’s just another beautiful LA weekend — I hope it’s filled with love, joy and bikes.

……..

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

The battle to preserve bicycling on Newport Beach’s Back Bay Drive continues with three meetings this month:

  • 11am Sat April 19th, the day before Easter will likely be a very busy day on the Back Bay loop, so let’s go and observe. Meet at Bayside Drive North at PCH.
  • 5pm Wed April 30th meet at the Civic Center for a final review of the issues and recommendations that will appear in the sub-committee’s report to the Bicycle Master Plan Committee

The MOM Ridaz are volunteering to feed the homeless at the 3rd annual Sweet Home Sundae Bar sponsored by the Fred Jordan Missions and Rowe Cuisine on Saturday, April 19th from 10 am to 2 pm; two or possibly three feeder rides will lead to the event.

The USC Bicycle Coalition rides to Venice Beach on Saturday, April 19th. Meet at the intersection of Trousdale and Exposition, departing at 10 am and returning around 3:30 pm, 28 miles roundtrip.

The annual Taco Night sponsored by the Eastside Bike Club, Monrovia Cyclist and Stan’s Bike Shop takes place at 5 pm on Saturday, April 19th as a fund raiser for Tour de Cure. The event takes place at Stan’s Bike Shop, 800 Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia.

LA’s Bicycle District presents LA Culture Collide on Saturday, April 19th from 6 to 10 pm at Heliotrope and Melrose.

If you’re down in San Diego on Sunday, April 20th, the San Diego Bicycle Club hosts a ride in honor of local cycling legend and bike advocate Gordy Shields, who passed away last year. The conversationally paced 50 mile ride meets at 7:45 am at the Flagpole turnabout in front of Grossmont College, 8800 Grossmont College Drive, rolling at 8 am.

Kidical Mass returns to Santa Monica on Saturday, April 26th at Memorial Park, in the north parking lot off 14th Street. The event starts at 9 am with check-in, bike safety checks and helmet decorating, ride and community garden visit from 10 am to noon, with Pizza Party, Raffle Drawing and Prizes to follow.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 26th, when the Pomona Police Department will host a Kid’s Bike Rodeo; details to follow.

Saturday, April 26th, the City of Monterey Park host an Earth Day Bike Ride and Festival from 8 to 11 am at the Bruggemeyer Library, 318 S. Ramona Ave.

Help design what North Figueroa Blvd will look like 36 years from now with the Interactive Modeling Workshop: North Figueroa 2050 at the Bike Oven, 3706 N. Figueroa. It takes place on Saturday, April 26th at 4 pm, with light dinner and drinks at 5:30 pm.

The first bike-in theater of the year will be held on Saturday, April 26th as part of the LA2050 Listens on the LA River at Reseda Park, 18411 Victory Boulevard.

The annual Tour de OC returns on Saturday, April 26th to raise funds for abused and neglected kids; great cause. Rides of 25, 55 and 100 depart from Newport Mesa Church, 55 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa, with registration starting at 6 am on the day of the ride.

The San Fernando Valley Bike Club offers a twice monthly Compagni Group Ride — Italian for companion — on the second and fourth Sunday of every month; the next ride takes place on Sunday, April 27th. Click here for details and other rides; lots of other great sounding rides on the list, too.

The American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure Ship to Shore ride takes place on Sunday, April 27th at the Queen Mary, 1126 Queen’s Highway in Long Beach. Rides range from eight to 100 miles, with a $200 fundraising minimum.

On February 17th of last year, Damian Kevitt was hit by a minivan while riding his bike in Griffith Park. The driver attempted to flee the scene with Kevitt trapped under the vehicle, dragging him nearly 600 feet onto the 5 Freeway and leaving him for dead; the resulting injuries cost him a leg, and nearly took his life. On Sunday, April 27th, Kevitt is planning to finish the ride to raise funds for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Also on Sunday the 27th, Brewcyclers visits the new Bottle Logic Brewing in Anaheim; ride meets at 7:30 am at 1072 North Armando Street in Anaheim, rolling at 8 for a 47 mile round trip ride with just 950 feet of elevation gain.

LACBC Empowerment WorkshopsThe Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is hosting a series of workshops aimed at empowering local advocates. The next workshop, focusing on increasing membership, is scheduled for Tuesday, April 29th from 6:30 to 8 pm at LACBC Headquarters, 634 S. Spring Street in DTLA; click on the poster at left for additional dates, times and topics.

Filmmaker and frequent contributor Danny Gamboa is curating the Bike Love Art Show at the Bell Arts Factory, 432 N Ventura Ave in Ventura. The theme of the show is Bike or the Love of the Bicycle, with the opening reception to take place during the First Friday Art Walk on Friday, May 2nd at 6 pm.

The Ride 2 Recovery to benefit wounded vets returns to Southern California on Saturday, May 3rd in Thousand Oaks. The ride departs from the Lost Hills Sheriff Station, 27050 Agoura Hills Road, starting at 8 am; no cost for injured vets.

Celebrate the free Bike Fest of Long Beach on Saturday, May 3rd from 2 pm to 11 pm, with a number of events and activities for everyone, including the Wolfpack Hustle Shorline Crit and Stylish by Bike and Vintage Bike competitions hosted by Pedal Love.

One of the highlights of the LA bike calendar used to be the annual Bike Expo at the Convention Center, which sadly died to to declining interest. Now Santa Monica is picking up the mantle with the free Santa Monica Bike Expo on Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th at the Santa Monica Pier.

The theme of the LACBC’s May Sunday Funday Ride is May the Forest Be With You, offering a delayed Earth Day celebration hosted by board member Kevin Hopps. The ride meets at LACBC headquarters in Downtown LA, 634 S. Spring Street at 9:30 am on Sunday, May 4th.

Equestrians are fighting to have bikes banned from the Mairposa Bridge between Burbank and Griffith Park. The Burbank City Council will take up the matter on Tuesday, May 6th at pm, Burbank City Hall, 275 E. Olive.

The fully funded, approved and shovel ready bike lanes on North Figueroa are finally scheduled for a public hearing with council member Gil Cedillo, who has been dragging his feet for reasons know only to him. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 8th from 6 to 8 pm at Nightingale Middle School, 3311 North Figueroa Street.

Saturday, May 10th, marks the Grand Opening of the first protected bike lane in the San Gabriel Valley, on Rosemead Blvd between Las Tunas and Broadway in Temple City; ribbon cutting ceremony starts a 9 am, with a Community Festival from 10 am to 1 pm. CICLE, the Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop are leading a family-friendly community ride to the festival.

Sunday, May 11th marks the Cyclofemme LA Mother’s Day Bike Ride and Brunch, from 9 am to 1 pm at Grand Park, 200 North Grand Ave. Take a socially paced ride around Downtown LA to celebrate and honor women around the world, ending with brunch at the Angel City Brewery.

Join cyclists in 130 cities around the world in riding with CycloFemme on Sunday, May 11th. The California edition takes place in Ojai, with mountain bike and road rides starting at 11 am, with an after ride festival to follow.

The Amgen Tour of California runs from Sunday, May 11th to Sunday, May 18th, starting in Sacramento. Three SoCal stages are planned, Friday May 16th, Santa Clarita to Mountain High; Saturday May 16th, Santa Clarita to Pasadena, and the final stage on Sunday the 18th in Thousand Oaks. There are also two women’s races scheduled, in Sacramento on May 11th and on the 12th in Folsom.

Bike Week 2014 is set to unfold the week of May 12th, with preview events on Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th.

  • May 10th: Get Ready and Fix Your Bike!
  • May 11th: Bicycling is for Everyone Celebration!
  • May 12th: Kick-off Bike Week LA
  • May 13th: Blessing of the Bicycles; Ghost Bikes LA will be honored this year
  • May 14th: Guided Ride Day: Bike Lanes and More!
  • May 15th: Bike to Work Day
  • May 12th-18th: Bike Local Discounts

Pasadena starts off Bike Week on Monday, May 12th as CICLE hosts a Taste of Pasadena Ride from 6:30 to 9:30 pm; Memorial Park Pasadena at Raymond Ave and Holly Street for a tour of local eateries. And they finish Bike Week off with a mini-ciclovia from 11 am to 1:30 pm on Saturday, May 18th with Ride, Roll and Stroll, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, RSVP here.

Mark your calendar for Glendale’s 2nd Annual Jewel City Fun & Fitness Ride on Sunday, May 18th, with rides ranging from seven to 45 miles.

The California Bicycle Coalition is hosting a Bike Advocacy Day to influence elected officials in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 21 in Sacramento.

Discover LA’s world famous street art on the Northeast Los Angeles Mural Ride on Saturday, May 24th. Meet at the Heritage Gold Line Station, 3545 Pasadena Ave at 9:30 am, rolling at 10.

Walk ‘n Rollers, Bike SGV, City of El Monte Health & Wellness and Day One team up to host the free El Monte Bike Festival on Saturday, May 24th from 9 am to 1 pm at Mountain View High School, 2900 Parkway Drive. Activities include a Bike Skills Course, Bike Repair, Group Rides, and Fitness Obstacle Course.

The California Bicycle Coalition, aka Calbike, will host a Los Angeles Better Bikeways House Party from 6 to 9 pm on Saturday, May 31st at a secret, undisclosed location which will hopefully be revealed upon registration. Donations will be requested to support their campaign for better bikeways throughout California.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, the city’s only official voice for bicyclists, meets on the first Tuesday of every even-numbered month; the next meeting takes place at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 3rd at 6501 Fountain Ave. I’ll be celebrating the Corgi’s birthday that night.

Learn the basis principles of bicycle and traffic safety with CICLE’s free Traffic Basic Safety Class on Saturday, June 7th from 11 am to 1 pm, in conjunction with the Caltech BikeLab; Caltech Y Ground Floor Meeting Room, 505 S. Wilson Ave in Pasadena.

LA’s most popular fundraising bike ride rolls on Sunday, June 22nd with the 14th edition of the LACBC’s Los Angeles River Ride. Ten rides of varying lengths, with starting points in Long Beach and Griffith Park, including two centuries, a 15-mile family ride and a free kid’s ride; discount prices available through May 27th.

Mark your calendar for the Peace Love & Family Ride for Crohn’s and Obesity in South LA on July 5th and 6th. Great cause; more details when they become available.

Bike racing returns to Downtown LA with Wolfpack Hustle: The Civic Center Crit; racing takes place from 1 to 8 pm on the streets surrounding LA City Hall, 200 North Spring Street.

The year’s second CicLAvia takes place on Sunday, October 5th with a new variation on the classic Heart of LA route through Downtown LA, from Echo Park to East LA.

Calbike is hosting the inaugural California by Bike Surf ’N Turf Tour. The multi-stage ride travels from Santa Barbara to San Diego, starting on Halloween and ending November 5th; registration opens May 1st.

The first winter — or late fall, anyway — CicLAvia is also the first to roll through historic South LA on Sunday, December 7th, from the cultural center of the Southside in Leimert Park to the birthplace of West Coast Jazz on Central Avenue.

Find bike racing schedules and other cycling events at SoCal Cycling.

Morning Links: A long list of good and bad Good Friday bike news

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I kind of like this shadow shot from the recent Wilshire CicLAvia.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I kind of like this shadow shot from the recent Wilshire CicLAvia.

It’s Friday. It’s Passover. It’s Good Friday. It’s spring break. It’s nice out. And no one is in the mood to work anyway.

So grab an extra cuppa joe and waste invest a few minutes — or maybe hours — catching up on all the latest bike news.

Or at least, everything that was interesting enough to include here.

………

Local

KPCC interviews Stan’s Bike Shop owner and Eastside Bike Club founder Carlos Morales. Carlos may have lost a few hundred pounds riding his bike, but you won’t find a bigger heart anywhere.

The LACBC updates their Bike Smart Rules of the Road for cyclists, with just about everything you need to know to ride safely and legally, in English and Spanish.

LA rider Johnny Lam chucks it all for a new career in bicycle touring. Nice work if you can get it.

LA’s Bicycle District hosts the LA Culture Collide block party this Saturday.

Get an early start to Bike Week with the Long Beach Bike Fest on May 3rd.

 

State

Turns out that bike stolen from an injured Santa Barbara cyclist wasn’t.

A Fresno hit-and-run leaves a father of four paralyzed; the coward who left him lying in the street still on the loose.

Nine years in jail for the Dublin teenager who bragged on Twitter about speeding before he killed a cyclist at 80 mph.

San Francisco encourages children to bike, roll or walk to school next week. If they wait a few weeks, they could do it on a shiny new contraflow bike lane.

Maybe they really have changed. Caltrans announces $360 million in new funding for healthy living projects.

 

National

Elly Blue asks you to pledge to never combine texting and driving in any way, while Boing Boing interviews her in a new podcast.

Enhanced visibility may not always be a good thing if it encourages target fixation. And if this jacket doesn’t do it, nothing will.

A Seattle cyclist is the victim of road raging driver in a hurry.

An ill-conceived Dallas helmet law stands in the way of the city’s planned bike share program.

Once again, a single misguided business owner attempts to block a protected bike lane, this time in Cincinnati.

A Minnesota salmon cyclist collides with car while riding under the influence — while on his way to work, no less.

A PA cyclist suffers a broken neck and ribs in a T-bone collision. With a deer.

New York bike commuting increased an average of 11% a year from 2006 to 2012.

Auto-centric Jefferson Parrish — the area surrounding New Orleans — proposes 460 miles of new bikeways in a new draft bike plan. Which is 460 miles more than they had two years ago.

 

International

Famed writer and Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote about scofflaw Columbian cyclists back in the 1950s.

Oops. A vial of pills that fell out of a rider’s kit during the Paris-Robaix classic has been passed on to UK anti-doping authorities. And yes, they know who dropped it.

American pro Chris Horner is officially out of the Giro after suffering a punctured lung and four broken ribs when he was hit with a mirror from a Range Rover; the 70-year old driver claims he didn’t know he hit anyone.

Road raging Aussie driver intentionally bumps a cyclist following an argument, then drives off dragging the victim’s bike underneath his car.

 

Finally…

Un-effing-believable. Two Texas men faces charges when they’re caught trying to dump the body of a cyclist they killed in a hit-and-run, after the victim landed in the bed of their pickup. Hopefully, a lot of charges with very long prison terms.

And if you’re a convicted felon carrying meth and burglary tools on your bike, you probably shouldn’t ride with a stolen shotgun poking out of your backpack.

 

Breaking News — Another bike rider killed in Huntington Beach

For the second time in just 10 days — and the third time this year — a bike rider has been killed in Huntington Beach.

According to a press release from the Huntington Beach Police Department, 44-year old Costa Mesa resident Kathy Sieberhein died after being hit by an 80-year old driver during rush hour last night.

Sieberhein was riding west on Adams Ave near Ranger Lane around 6:15 pm when she was rear-ended by a Chevy truck driven by 80-year old Brian Chattaway of Fountain Valley. She was transported to Western Medical Center with major, undisclosed injuries, where she died sometime later.

Other reports indicate the collision occurred at 8:15 pm; however, HBPD corrected that time to reflect the earlier hour.

The driver remained at the scene where he was interviewed the police; the investigation is still ongoing and no citation has been issued or arrest made at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Huntington Beach Police Accident Investigator Tai Huynh at 714-536-5670 or Accident Investigator Robert Barr at 714- 536-5666.

Judging from the satellite photo, there appears to be a westbound bike lane on Adams that ends at Ranger; the need to merge into the right hand lane may have been a contributing factor.

In addition, the sun would have been low in the sky at that hour, which could have affected the west-facing driver’s vision. However, that should not be seen as an excuse; if drivers can’t see what’s in the road ahead of them, for whatever reason, they should pull over and wait until they can. No one should ever drive for any amount of time when they are blinded by the sun or anything else.

Age may have also been a factor, as older drivers can suffer from reduced vision and reaction times, and often continue to drive long after they have lost the ability to do so safely.

And it’s always possible the victim may have cut over in front of the truck without looking or giving the driver time to respond.

All or none of these may have played a role in this case, as the exact cause is still to be determined.

This is the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh already this year in Orange County, compared to just one this time last year.

And it is the third bike-related fatality in Huntington Beach this year, following the deaths of Genevieve Hall earlier this month and Matthew Liechty this past February.

For a city of less that 200,000, that should be a clear indication something is very seriously wrong.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kathy Sieberhein and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

Morning Links: LACBC wants to empower local advocates, and a passel of mid-Passover/pre-Easter links

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is holding a series of workshops designed to empower local advocates.

We’ve already missed the first one; the next in the series takes place in the Edison Room of LACBC headquarters, 634 S. Spring Street, on Tuesday, April 29th.

LACBC Empowerment Workshops

……….

Local

LA County spends $1.3 a week in healthcare costs. Spending one week’s healthcare costs to revitalize the LA River for biking and walking would be an investment in prevention.

Malibu letter writer complains about cyclists on PCH not riding single file. But doesn’t bother to vote in the city election.

Streetsblog explains to Metro’s CEO that those interesting treatments he saw in Portland are called Bicycle Boulevards. Except when they’re not.

Formerly bike unfriendly Cal Poly Pomona is slowly adapting to alternative transportation, including bicycling, though funding remains an issue. They could start by changing the mindset that biking and walking are alternatives to anything.

 

State

Orange County transportation officials are finally taking bike safety seriously; thanks to Nick Gerda for the heads-up.

CycloFemme hosts a series of worldwide bike rides on May 11th, including a ride and festival in Ojai.

Pismo Beach could get its own bike share before we do.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious fame shows you can ride down a flight of stairs with a bike trailer. A small flight, anyway.

Once again, “I didn’t see her” is the universal Get Out of Jail Free card for a killer driver; nice to know there’s still no expectation for motorists to be aware of others on the road before they kill them.

Bike commuters are healthier, no matter what standard you use; when a bike wholesaler encouraged workers to ride, their healthcare premiums dropped 4.4% compared to an average increase of 24.6%.

 

National

Streetsblog offers a five point summary of the Alliance for Biking and Walking’s 200 page biannual benchmark report; things appear to be slowly trending in the right direction.

Eight depressing bike theft statistics. About half of all active cyclists have had their bikes stolen; only 2.4% of stolen bikes are ever recovered.

Sarah Goodyear asks if there is such a thing as a feminine way to ride a bike, while Elly Blue offers her take on the subject. I’m staying out of this one.

The problem with taxing cyclists in Seattle. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

My hometown is voted the second best bike friendly town in the US; Davis CA claims the crown as number one.

A Dallas bike task force promises to build out the city’s bike plan. And get rid of the helmet law.

A Baltimore bicyclist catches a frightening attack from a group of strangers on his helmet cam.

A South Carolina lawmaker backs off a proposed bill to license and insure bike riders, but still pretends it was intended to protects cyclists. Right.

 

International

In a shocking development, a British driver is actually sentenced to serious jail time for killing two cyclists while nearly two-and-a-half-times the legal blood alcohol limit.

A new study shows 28% of Brits haven’t been on a bike since childhood; another 35% haven’t ridden in the past decade.

The widow of a fallen UK cyclist pledges to finish the charity ride he couldn’t complete.

Scottish cyclists prepare to Pedal on Parliament again; the first time it was a flash mob, today it’s a movement.

Lovely Bicycle says the right bike for you is the one you’ll ride.

Veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars ride through Vietnam to raise funds for veterans of that war who’d like to return but can’t afford it.

Kiwi parents are too afraid to let their kids bike to school.

Hong Kong’s competitive cyclists say rules restricting them to cycle paths hurt their training and are killing their sport.

 

Finally…

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a Santa Barbara cyclist’s bike while emergency personnel are tending to him after he’s hit by a car.

And it turns out Kim Kardashian can’t ride a bike after all.

 

Guest Post: Bikes Have Rights™*

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Civil vs. Criminal Bike Lawsuits: How They Differ

 
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

 

Streetsblog LA reported recently on the 3-year and 8-months plea deal that was struck by Wendy Villegas, the drunk driver who struck three bicyclists, resulting in the death of one of them, Andy Garcia, on the bridge on Cesar Chavez Boulevard last Sept. 14. Villegas never even stopped. It is only because a witness followed Villegas and was able to get her license plate number that she was apprehended. When the police booked her at 7:15 a.m., it is reported that she was still intoxicated.

The post talks about the effect of the plea deal on Garcia’s family and friends. How they weren’t consulted about the deal and that their only permitted involvement was that they were allowed to read statements at the sentencing hearing about how Villegas’ actions affected their lives.

I bring this up because it is important for you to understand the differences between a criminal case and a civil case. There is a growing outcry that drivers who commit hit-and-runs should get stiffer penalties. Personally, I agree. However, when you are calling for stiffer penalties, do you mean stiffer criminal or stiffer civil penalties?

A criminal lawsuit is filed by the government (district attorney), not by the person or persons who have suffered at the hands of the accused. The district attorney is acting for the state (read as “society”) and ensuring the stability of society by punishing wrongdoers and deterring them and others from offending.

The hard truth is that you, as the victim or wronged party, are witnesses, at best, in the trial. The criminal case is about the wrongdoer being accused by the state of a criminal offense against society. Punishment for crimes against the state can be incarceration, fines, community service, or, in extreme cases, the death penalty.

In a civil suit, the lawsuit is brought by the wronged party (or parties). They are appealing to the court for relief. They are telling the court, “We have been injured because of the negligence or carelessness of the accused.”

The civil court’s response is to give the victim (the plaintiff), the chance to show how the accused (the defendant), harmed them. If the victim can prove they were harmed, then the court’s duty is “to make them whole.” This is usually accomplished by awarding the victim compensation for their injuries.

Before I discuss the issue of compensation making anyone “whole,” I want to talk about one more significant difference between criminal and civil lawsuits.

Everyone is familiar with the “O.J. trial.” O.J. Simpson was found not guilty by a jury for the murder of his wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in a criminal trial. Yet in the civil jury trial, O.J. was found guilty and was ordered to pay the Brown and Goldman families approximately $40 million.

How did that happen? There are probably numerous reasons, but the prominent reason I want you to know is the differences in “standard of proof” in criminal versus civil trials.

In a criminal trial the “standard of proof” is that the district attorney must convince the judge or every member of the jury that the accused is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

In a civil trial, the “standard of proof” is that the victim must demonstrate that there is a “preponderance of evidence” that the accused is guilty. It only takes a judge or a majority of jurors to find the accused liable in a civil trial.

In the O.J. example, it is obvious that the jurors in the criminal trial had doubts of O.J.’s guilt, where in the civil trial, the lawyer’s for the families of the victims had to convince the jury that the evidence of guilt was “beyond the balance of probabilities.”

Returning to the issue of compensation of the law making anyone “whole,” everyone knows that money cannot bring back a loved one or heal the catastrophic injuries the victim and their family suffered, or give anyone back the time they have lost due to the wrongdoer’s actions.

Every client I have ever had for whom I obtained a multi-million verdict or settlement has told me that they would give back every penny to have their loved one back or the injury they suffered to never have happened.

In legal terms, “made whole” means through compensation (which is the only currency that is available to the court), to bring the injured party to the place they would have been if they had not been injured by the wrongdoer.  What “making whole” means in a legal sense varies by state laws.

In the Streetsblog post referred to earlier, the families are quoted as saying they are not interested in bringing a civil case. They have no interest in money. I understand, and they should do what is best for them. But never think that the compensation obtained for clients doesn’t matter to them. This isn’t “jackpot justice” as the public relations machines of Big Business and Big Insurance would like you to think.

The compensation allows people who have been injured at no fault of their own – or families who have lost a loved one due to the negligence or carelessness of another – to rebuild their lives. In some cases it has meant being able to adapt a home and car for a wheelchair or for retraining for another career or for paying for quality childcare. It invariably means being able to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars for current and future medical care. In some cases the compensation is put in trust for a child’s future use, for college or other advanced education.

Just as importantly, when the wrongdoer is a government entity or a corporation, it sends the only punishment either of those understands: a hit to their bottom line.

There is no doubt in my mind that we need stronger criminal penalties against hit-and-run drivers. I also believe that we need to bring these people to justice in a civil court. It is only when their insurance companies start seeing what these people cost THEM (yes, I know that’s horrible, but that’s how companies work), will the insurance companies start applying their own form of punishments.

I know, after 30 years of representing some of the most wonderful people who never deserved the injuries and losses they suffered, that the compensation mattered to the victim and it punished the wrongdoer. That’s really all the courts can offer us.

*California Vehicle Code 21200: A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. . .

For more than 25 years, Jim Pocrass has represented people who were seriously injured, or families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death, due to the carelessness or negligence of another. Jim is repeatedly named to Best Lawyers of America and to Southern California Super Lawyers for the outstanding results he consistently achieves for his clients. Having represented hundreds of cyclists during his career, and Jim’s own interest in cycling, have resulted in him becoming a bicycle advocate. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.  For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Jim Pocrass at 310.550.9050 or at info@pocrass.com.*

*Sponsored Post

 

Morning Links: Another road raging SFV driver, and a young pro succumbs after years of chronic pain

Another day, another road rage incident.

A rider named John sends word that he was punched by an angry, impatient driver on Tuesday. This is the account he posted on Instagram, along with photos of the truck and his broken glasses.

Another cycling road rage incident. This guy in the Chevy pickup was yelling at a cyclist at a light when I rode up behind them. When the light changed the guy peeled out then went about 4 or 500 feet up and pulled over. When the 1st cyclist was about to pass him the guy through open his door to try to take him out. That cyclist swerved into traffic to avoid the door but kept riding. I stopped and told the guy that we are allowed and supposed to ride in the street, there are even sharrows on the section of Sherman Way we were on, I pointed to them. He called me a idiot and said we can’t be on the street. He shoved me. I shoved him back and he started swinging. I avoided the first few punches then he got me in the eye and smashed my glasses, as I grabbed my glasses he punched me in my chin then he took off. I waited for police and filled out a report. Hopefully they go after him. He will kill one of us one day if they don’t.

He later added this thought in response to a comment.

Someone needs to stand up for the rights of cyclist. These people are killers. These are the people that’s run over cyclist and keep driving. Last time the guy ran me over. This time I got punched in the face. But if that’s what has to happen to get this to stop then I’ll take the punches, so other people can ride safely.

……..

Very sad news.

Chase Pinkham, a former rider for the Trek-Livestrong development team, has died of an accidental overdose. According to a story from VeloNews, the 23-year old rider suffered from chronic pain and depression due to a 2008 training collision.

He recovered enough to ride for Trek, followed by the Bissel and Jamis domestic teams, and was getting off narcotic pain relievers when he suffered a broken leg in the Valley of the Sun Stage Race earlier this year. His doctors put him back on painkillers as a result; his body was found Sunday night.

The VeloNews story includes a few paragraphs everyone should read.

According to a March 9 Facebook post, Pinkham dealt with chronic pain and depression related to his 2008 crash.

“Just wanted to give you an update if you have tried to get a hold of me the last few days by cell phone. I am currently seeking treatment for some severe depression caused by years of dealing with chronic pain from my accident in 2008. I am in a safe and good place, but I do not have access to a cell phone. If you need to get a hold of me please message me here,” wrote Pinkham.

“Dealing with chronic pain, years of medication and depression is something that may make you completely alone and hopeless, even when surrounded by the people that love you. Please remember that if you are suffering currently, or ever end up suffering, that you are not alone and that people love you. There is help available and asking for it only proves that you have the strength to reach out and the desire to change the state you are in. Many suffer, but so few ask for the help that so many people are willing to give.”

Despite the depression, a family friend assures that the overdose was accidental, and Pinkham did not take his own life.

……..

Local

How Los Angeles riders won their first protected bike lane. Assuming we did, that is.

How to report items that don’t belong in the public right-of-way. And yes, bike lanes are part of the public right-of-way.

A fun drone-eye view of the recent Wilshire CicLAvia.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday Ride rolls along the LA River bike path.

CICLE hosts a Taste of Pasadena bike ride to celebrate Bike Week. Speaking of CICLE, they’re in the market for a new Managing Director to replace departing Dan Dabek, who has done an amazing job in revitalizing the organization.

 

State

A Huntington Beach author looks at the city’s recent ghost bikes.

USC’s Neon Tommy visits the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival.

Buy a brick in the Marin Museum of Bicycling.

If you’re going to ride a bike in Vallejo while carrying a hand gun with the serial numbers removed, at least ride on the right side of the street.

 

National

Long Beach’s long missing biking expats explain why you should explore cities by bike.

Maybe there really should be a war on cars.

Obeying the law and not being a jerk aren’t always the same thing, says a Philly writer.

A Texas woman says drivers need to be aware of bike riders and stop treating them like ants.

If bike lanes are too expensive, Shreveport won’t paint them; just what price do they put on bicyclists’ lives?

Kim Kardashian rides a bike in Miami for Vogue; more proof bikes are the fashion accessory du jour.

A Florida town will use a state grant to crack down on bicyclists and pedestrians who put themselves at risk; never mind the drivers in the big, dangerous machines who pose that risk.

 

International

The BBC reports a new heavy truck design has been approved by the European Union to improve safety.

Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid tells motorists that cyclists sometimes block the road in order to save their lives, and possibly yours.

How to make your bike traceable in case of theft in just 10 seconds.

Dutch pro Robert Gesink, fifth place finisher in the 2010 Tour de France, is out for the foreseeable future with a heart arrhythmia.

In a bizarre tragedy, a bike-riding Dubai boy is killed at the same intersection that took his mother’s life three years earlier.

A cyclist from the United Arab Emirates is riding around the Persian Gulf to raise funds for special needs children.

Aussie cyclists accuse police of going soft on dangerous drivers, as an injured cyclist discovers police made up his statement while he was incapacitated.

 

Finally…

It’s one thing to ride one of London’s bike share bikes — aka Boris Bikes — on London Bridge. It’s another to ride it on the safety railing.

And when you’re drunk and carrying an axe on your bike at 3 am, it helps to know if you’re in Huntington Beach or Long Beach. Or maybe Bakersfield.

 

Morning Links: BOLO for dangerous San Fernando Valley driver and disappearing Bike Plan bikeways

An impatient Ford truck driver allegedly ran over a cyclist at Winnetka and Roscoe last Saturday morning, after honking and telling the rider to get out of his way so he could make a right. He then backed up and fled the scene.

A photo included in the report clearly shows the license number of the truck; no word on whether the rider was injured or if incident has been reported to the police.

If not, it should be.

Update: Frequent contributor Micheal Eisenberg reports seeing two apparently uninjured riders talking to a police officer at Roscoe and Winnetka as he rode by Saturday morning.

……..

LA’s city council-approved 2010 bike plan has been incorporated into the draft Mobility Plan 2035. Except, apparently, the parts that haven’t. Could this mark the return of the much maligned — and deservedly so — “Currently Infeasible” category from the original draft bike plan?

Meanwhile, City Planning is hosting a webinar Thursday evening to discuss year two of the bike plan; maybe you can ask them where the missing miles went.

……..

Local

The rebranded Gran Fondo Italia has dumped the Beverly Hills edition.

Joe Anthony captures a hyper drive nighttime ride through the streets of LA on his bike cam.

Make your plans for Thursday night, when a Treats and Beats ride will be held to celebrate the opening of a new Huntington Park bike parklet.

Monterey Park and BikeSGV host a free, family friendly community bike ride for Earth Day. Meanwhile, the very busy BikeSGV hosts an Open House Bike Social to kickoff Bike Month.

Five Azusa Pacific students are biking from Seattle to New York to raise funds for clean water.

 

State

Streetsblog updates transportation bills before the state legislature, including a proposed vulnerable user law and a rapidly sinking bike tax.

Orange County officials host a workshop on bike safety following recent bicycling deaths; that should be the response to every bike and pedestrian fatality, anywhere.

Cross champion Tim Johnson bridges the gap between racing and advocacy.

In advance of Bike to Work Day, the no sweat way to bike to work.

San Francisco commits to 24 Vision Zero projects to eliminate bike and pedestrian deaths.

A Chico State student sees the thief ride by as she’s reporting her stolen bike to the police.

 

National

A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center looks at the whack jobs people and groups behind the anti-Agenda 21 conspiracy theories and the damage they do.

Bob Mionske discusses what to do when you’re not the slowest vehicle on the road; California also allows cyclists to pass on the right.

Is the Internet threatening the iconic bike-riding Mormon missionaries?

A Seattle bike shop owner is charged with running a chop shop to fence stolen bikes. Schmuck.

Yes, says a writer from my hometown, drivers have a responsibility to keep cyclists safe.

American bicycling may have been born in Newton Mass.

Needless to say, the alleged jackass who killed a triathlete in New Orleans over the weekend blames the victims for swerving into his path; physical evidence and witness testimony suggest he plowed into them instead of changing lanes to go around — while driving with a suspended license, no less.

 

International

London will cut speed limits to 20 mph in the central city in a bid to save lives.

Anti-bike saboteurs have struck once again, strewing nails in the path of riders participating in a UK sportive. Crap like this is a crime, not at prank; a sudden flat could cause a rider to fall, leading to potentially catastrophic injuries.

A bike-centric service was held for the world’s fastest bike-riding police officer, killed in a British velodrome accident last month.

While Brit bike commuting is on the upswing, it’s dropped over a quarter in the Cotswolds.

Velonews wraps up Sunday’s unpredictable Paris-Roubaix.

After running down a bike rider while texting, an Aussie driver complains to police about the damage the rider caused to her car, and says she doesn’t believe texting while driving could cause a collision with a cyclist, even though she swears she wasn’t. Nice.

 

Finally…

Your next text could be from your bike. Telling you it’s been stolen.

And Major Taylor’s 101-year old track bike could be yours for just $20,000; why isn’t this in a museum already? Seriously, if you don’t know who Major Taylor was by now, you should.

A happy and blessed Pesach to all who observe it!

Morning Links: LA County candidate questionnaires, and insights and smiles from Cycling in the South Bay

Believe it or not, there’s yet another local election on the horizon.

And like last year’s race for LA mayor and city council, this one could have a long-lasting effect on your ability to ride safely and comfortably in the County of Angels.

As well as whether you’ll get a ticket for things like taking the lane or riding two or more abreast.

Two of LA County’s longtime supervisors are termed out, and the battle is on to replace them. District 1’s Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky in District 3 are both leaving office this year. And while they’ve both been bike supporters, this election provides an opportunity to ensure that we vote in bicycle friendly candidates to replace them.

Because whoever replaces them will play a big role in ensuring the roll-out of the new county bike plan, as well as ensuring bikes are considered in county spending and any new laws that get passed.

Like adopting a bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance on a countywide basis, for instance.

Perhaps even more important to your daily ride, at least in the short term, the county is also electing a new sheriff who will determine how laws affecting bicycling are interpreted by sheriff’s deputies patrolling the streets. And how seriously crimes affecting cyclists — from bike theft to hit-and-run — will be taken in the county and cities patrolled by the department, including West Hollywood and Malibu.

Working with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee has developed a list of questions for the candidates in all three races to measure their support for cycling, and how they would address the issues facing bicyclists once they’re elected.

You can read the questionnaires for County Supervisor and LA County Sheriff by clicking on the links here.

And you can help by reaching out to the candidates for District 1, District 2, and County Sheriff and urging them to complete the questionnaires, and asking about them at any meet-the-candidate events.

Because you have a right to know where they stand on the issues that matter to you before you cast your ballot.

……….

It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with the always entertaining Cycling in the South Bay.

Today’s offerings include a great remembrance of chasing down a rude roadie on a 30 pound bike. In flip flops. With a kindergartener on the back.

Along with a look at the “long term stress caused by being taken within an inch of your life, every day, multiple times a day, for the simple act of riding a bicycle on a public road,” which Seth aptly terms Post Traumatic Jackass Syndrome.

You know, I think I suffer from that one myself.

……….

Local

It’s been a busy bike weekend for LADOT and the Bureau of Street Services, with the first hint of new bike lanes installed in Highland Park and the York Blvd bridge.

Arch rivals USC and UCLA come together over bicycling, as the two school’s bike coalitions join together to host Bike Talk.

LADOT Bike Blog explains why this month’s Finish the Ride matters. And yes, it does.

Kidical Mass returns to Santa Monica April 26th.

CLR Effect looks at Sunday’s LA-Roubaix ride; the ride looks incredible, and as usual, Michael offers some amazing photos.

Downey’s Firestone Bridge is undergoing reconstruction and widening, with bike lanes to be added to connect with existing lanes on either side.

 

State

Two public meetings and a bike ride have been scheduled to consider a request to limit bike use on Newport Beach’s Back Bay Drive.

Roughly 150 San Diego cyclists turn out to remember fallen cyclist David Voigt.

A former Marine who lost his legs in Afghanistan finishes a 5,200 mile cross-country bike ride at Camp Pendleton. He may not have legs anymore, but that guy’s got some serious huevos.

Pedal Love talks with the director of People Power of Santa Cruz County.

Actually, you can ride with diabetes, as these competitive cyclists prove.

 

National

Sometimes it’s okay to create congestion if it leads to a seamless network of bikeways.

A DIY lighting project can turn your bicycle into something from TRON.

Even Topeka KS is investing in bikeways, leading to more respectful drivers and fewer scofflaw riders; just imagine what Illinois can accomplish with $52 million.

After raising $61 million to fight cancer through an Ohio bike ride, a cancer survivor starts a new company to stage similar rides across the country.

Speaking of which, you can raise money to fight childhood cancer by riding from Austin to New Orleans. Best part is, at the end of a great bike ride through the bayou country, you’re in the Big Easy.

Although that’s not always a good thing, as a firefighter from Atlanta is killed and another rider critically injured in a rear-end collision while training for a New Orleans triathlon.

We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth repeating as a 10 year old boy celebrates his birthday — and devotes his spring break — to riding his bike across South Carolina to raise funds for safe drinking water.

 

International

Egypt’s likely next president sets off a firestorm by riding a bicycle; debate seems to center on the price of his bike.

A Philippine writer calls for an end to the language of neglect and denial, and urges everyone to stop calling collisions accidents. Couldn’t agree more, and I hope the LA press is listening.

Another day, another pro rider seriously injured in a car collision while training.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me. If you’re going to ride a bike at 3 am carrying burglary tools, dope and someone else’s ID and credit cards, put a damn light on it.

And a San Diego area man deliberately runs down a bike rider and gets away with it. Then again, the rider was attempting to flee after robbing a convenience store and attacking the clerk with a hatchet.

 

Weekend Links: First Great Streets unveiled, say hello to Allo, and bikes as weapons of war

I wasn’t expecting any bike news in Mayor Garcetti’s State of the City address.

So I confess, I wasn’t paying that close attention as I worked on other things. Fortunately, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton confirmed what I thought I heard on Thursday.

And that is that six LA streets have been identified as the city’s first to be unveiled under the mayor’s Great Street’s initiative:

  • Crenshaw Blvd
  • Figueroa Street
  • Gaffey Street (San Pedro)
  • Reseda Blvd
  • Van Nuys Blvd
  • Westwood Blvd

Hats off to the mayor for selecting streets that represent a broad cross-section of the city. Only Westwood could be described as passing through an upscale neighborhood, while Crenshaw and Figueroa are every bit as iconic as Wilshire Blvd, home of last Sunday’s CicLAvia.

The goal is to make these streets accessible to everyone — including bicyclists, pedestrians and the handicapped — with green streets, plants, art and people-focused plazas.

It will be interesting to see how far Garcetti’s initiative gets in the face of Westwood’s infamous NIMBYism, and local Council Member Paul Koretz opposition to bike lanes on the street.

……….

The Kickstarter for the Allo combination speaker and handlebar cell phone mount has been fully funded, so you’ll soon be able to listen to music, use navigation, make phone calls or use any app you want while you ride. And now you can pre-order your Allo for $35 until the campaign ends on Sunday.

Personally, I’d rather keep my hands on the handlebars and my attention on the road in front of me.

But that’s just me.

……….

Local

Metro honors six-month bike commuter Nick Rosenblum as part of their monthly Why You Ride series.

How to report broken LA bike racks or other street repair problems.

USC’s Neon Tommy talks with Maria Sipin, one of the city’s leading — and one of my favorite — bike and transit advocates.

MIT Media Lab has combined LAPD records and Google Map data to create a detailed map of LA bike crashes. Not surprisingly, the worst streets are Olympic, Venice and Sunset Boulevards.

 

State

I shoehorned this one in at the last minute last night, but it deserves more attention. Historically risk — and modern times — averse Caltrans has adopted the forward-thinking NACTO Guide, which could be a real game changer for California streets and cyclists. Streetsblog explains why it matters.

Bike Newport Beach calls for more, and more visible, bike cops to improve safety. And they suggest taking your helmet off when you’re not actually on your bike.

San Diego County goes all eminent domain on property owners’ asses to build seven miles of bikeways, but regional leaders still think freeways first.

A memorial ride will be held Saturday for fallen San Diego cyclist David Voight, killed by a suspected drunk driver in a stolen car last month.

San Diego bike thieves target high-end bikes.

Stockton police are looking for a woman wearing a purple coat and head wrap, riding a purple bike, who whipped another woman in a dog dispute; no word on what her rival, or the dog, was wearing.

Ciclovia comes to Yosemite, as 17-mile Yosemite Road opens to bikes only this weekend.

 

National

A new Minneapolis study shows bike lanes don’t adversely affect vehicular traffic if you put them in the right places.

Wisconsin gets a new vulnerable user law; a similar bill is under consideration in California.

 

International

Maybe they need to bring back the mythical war on the car in Toronto. See below for just the bikes to do it with.

Brit advocacy group protests the incredibly light sentence given a youthful careless driver who took the life of a cyclist out for the maiden ride on his new bike.

The Guardian asks if shaming bike riders is a good thing when the cams are turned back on us.

A 125-year old Yorkshire cycling club discovers materials documenting members returning to bicycling after coming home from the war. In 1919.

David Hembrow says shared spaces don’t protect the vulnerable, but prioritize the powerful.

Former Amgen Tour of California and defending Vuelta winner Chris Horner suffered serious injuries when he was apparently hit by a car while training near Italy’s Lake Como.

 

Finally…

A new Japanese bike is designed to unfold into a wheelchair, allowing riders to turn into rescuers in emergency situations. Or it could come in handy the next time I attempt to ride Wilshire on a non-CicLAvia.

And Rex Reese forwards word that the peaceful, unassuming bicycle has had its place as a weapon of war in sometimes silly, sometimes frightening ways. Which could also come in handy the next time I try to ride Wilshire. Although that photo of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corp posing in Yellowstone in 1896 is seriously cool.

 

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