Just days after a police crackdown on cyclists and drivers intended to reduce Orange County’s one-a-month rate of cycling deaths, another cyclist has been killed on the county’s streets.
According to Corona del Mar Today, a cyclist described only as a middle-aged man was hit and killed on San Joaquin Hills Road east of Spyglass Hill Road in Newport Beach around 6 pm Monday. The unidentified 22-year old suspected drunk driver was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicate, with bail set at $100,000. An earlier report placed the time of the collision at 5:59 pm; the rider was pronounced dead at the scene.
More details as they become available.
But here’s the thing.
Despite protestations from some quarters, bad bicyclist behavior does not cause most bicycling deaths. Bad driving does.
Even a cursory examination of cyclists killed in Orange County recently suggests that the problem isn’t cyclists running stop signs, riding two abreast or even flipping off drivers, as obnoxious as that may be.
They died at the hands of drunk, high or careless drivers. Simply put, no crackdown on rider behavior would have done a damn thing to save the lives of Michael Nine, Donald Murphy or Alan Earl Miller.
Or nine-year-old Nicholas Vela, who was killed as he rode in a crosswalk in front of a monster truck, whose driver couldn’t see him because the truck was jacked up so high.
Nor did this rider, whoever he may turn out to be, apparently do anything to cause his own death, other than take to the streets at the same time a drunk was behind the wheel. And apparently, there is no shortage of those behind the Orange Curtain.
Orange County clearly has serious problems.
But they’re not going to solve them by targeting the victims.
Update: The driver has been identified as Danae Marie Miller of Newport Coast; no word yet on the victim.