Catching up on lots of bike and semi-bike related stuff left over from the pre- and post holiday madness.
Cyclist and attorney Dj Wheels attended the arraignment hearing for Christine Dahab, the driver accused in the allegedly drunken/distracted collision that injured 11 or more riders in Culver City last June.
At the arraignment, Dahab’s attorney entered a not guilty plea on her behalf and set a date of January 13, 2012 for a preliminary setting at 8:30am in Dept. 142.
When the issue of setting bail came up the defense attorney suggested the bail NOT be set at the scheduled guideline amount of over 300k and that the court use its discretion in setting bail at an amount between 50-60k, which would be fair considering a number of factors that he says showed that Dahab was not a danger to society nor a flight risk, such as: she has a 7 yr old daughter to care for, she has lived and worked on the Westside of LA her whole life, currently works as a server at a restaurant in Marina Del Rey, the fact that the collision was the result of carelessness and not purposeful intent to harm, she has no prior convictions whatsoever, only had a .07 BAC, police reports indicate that perhaps cyclists were also at fault for being in the roadway and standing under a streetlight that was out.
After a sidebar with the Judge and attorneys, the prosecutor objected citing the numerous serious injuries, the fact that the .07 was recorded hours after the incident occurred and most likely was above the legal limit at the time. The DA also noted that there were open containers of alcohol in the vehicle as well as empty prescription bottles for medical marijuana and even an empty Yoshinoya cup that also had traces of alcohol in it. He insisted that the bail be set at the suggested scheduled amount per the guidelines.
Ultimately the judge agreed that bail needed to be set, but not at the amount suggested by defense counsel. So she set it at 100,000. Dahab was taken into custody at the end of the hearing. She had a group of five or six people there with her including what appeared to be a mother and a boyfriend.
Christine Dahab was released after posting a bond on her 100k bail sometime in the early afternoon, according to the Sheriff’s inmate locator page.
Wheels suggests it could take some time for Dahab’s attorney to dig through all the various — and possibly conflicting — reports from the LAPD and CCPD in this case.
So I wouldn’t count on an early resolution.
Meanwhile, Century City bankruptcy attorney and cyclist Stanley E. Goldich sends word that a California court has ruled that police officers are under no obligation to gather information or file a report on a collision — even if they promise the victim they will.
A California Court of appeal ruling relating to a collision between a car and motorcycle on Encinal where the police officer covered up and destroyed the information on the driver of the car who hit the motorcyclist. The Court held there was no liability because (1) there was no duty to file a report - the CHP Accident Manual requiring filing of a report did not have the force of law, (2) the fact that policeman promised to get the information on the driver and the injured motorcyclist relied on this did not create a special relationship and (3) there was no tort claim for spoliation of evidence because of the immunity of the government.
As Goldich points out, it’s worth knowing that you can’t always rely on the police to get the necessary information following a collision, even if there’s a serious injury.
Actually, it’s kind of scary.
He adds that he stopped at the scene of a recent collision on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica in which a rider in the bike lane was right-hooked by a driver attempting to pull into a parking space.
Since the rider was not seriously injured, the police told Goldich they wouldn’t be filing a report — leaving the cyclist on his own to gather information. And a little too late, since the only witness had already left the scene, and the driver was refusing to admit anything.
Fortunately, the victim had a working GPS which should provide evidence of how the collision occurred. But it’s just another example of how you can’t always count on the police to provide the information you need following a collision.
And it’s up to you to get the driver’s license and insurance information, as well as contact information for any witnesses — even if you’re still confused or in pain following the impact.
A couple of interesting looks at becoming a bike commuter, as L.A. expat Amanda Lipsey relates her journey to a car-free lifestyle and Development Director for Adventure Cycling. And a DC writer says it takes a village.
Writing for the Wall Street Journal, sportswriter Jason Gay says everyone should get lit this New Years. At least when it comes to biking.
Don’t let anyone tell you that lights aren’t cool. Here’s what’s not cool: ambulance rides.
This easy resolution may save your life, without you even realizing it.
I’ve kind of avoided the Journal since Rupert took over. But as long as Mr. Gay sticks around, I may want to take another look.
Great feature in the new Los Angeles Magazine on UCLA professor and parking rock star Donald Shoup and the high toll automobile parking takes on cities — especially right here in Los Angeles, with more parking per acre Downtown than any other city on earth.
L.A. bike advocate and recent candidate for city council Stephen Box celebrates the holidays as a proud new papa. Cyclists aren’t always the good guys, as a bike rider shoots and kills a man in South L.A. Richard Risemberg criticizes the same crumbling Imperial Highway bike lanes I wrote about last March. A Santa Monica columnist criticizes “arrogant creeps” and “clowns” on “multi-speed bikes” after a bad experience with a jerk on the beachfront bike path. Warner Center envisions new bike and walking paths to connect with the L.A. River. Canoga Park gets more bike racks. Claremont forms a new community bike group, with an inaugural ride Sunday, January 8th; link courtesy of the Claremont Cyclist. Claremont’s Safe Routes to School program will be sponsoring a League of American Bicyclists-approved bike safety training program for adult riders at the end of next month.
An Orange County cyclist was critically injured in a Santa Ana collision Christmas evening. A 12-year old San Diego boy suffers a broken leg when his bike is struck by a hit-and-run driver. San Diego’s Brown Girl in the Lane strikes a chord with readers around the world as she takes Vehicular Cyclists to task, and more than once. Cyclocross comes to Cal State San Marcos next month. Cyclelicious looks at the conflicts between cyclists and the Santa Cruz Sierra Club. San Jose firemen fix up a tricycle to give to a disabled friend.
Bob Mionske takes Californian Governor Jerry Brown to task for endangering cyclists by joining Texas Governor Rick Perry as the only state leaders to veto the three-foot passing law. Apparently, American youth have fallen out of love with the automobile. Bicycling (upper case) offers 101 things they love about bicycling (lower case). Bicycling’s Neil Bedzek says maybe it’s time to hang up his headphones for good. How to straighten steel bike forks. A Minnesota cyclist gets left hooked, then ticketed for improper crossing of a roadway. A New York Councilmember promises a continued crackdown on cyclists next year. Next on your reading table, a new collection of short fiction centered around bikes.
A secret Canadian base trained bicycling spies in WWII. The BBC names reigning world champ Mark Cavendish as their sports personality of the year. Fascinating views of an empty London on Christmas morning. London fails — by a wide margin — to meet their target goals for reducing bike fatalities and serious injuries by half over 1990’s levels. UK stats suggest bike fatalities increase during economic downturns; SoCal figures for this year certainly support that thesis. A new Aussie study suggests Sydney cycling rates could double if mandatory helmet laws were repealed. A Chinese ebike rider survives a direct hit by a speeding truck in a graphic video.
Finally, great advice on what to do if you’re the victim of a collision.
When the police ask if you’re injured, the correct answer is always yes; as the article notes, injuries that aren’t apparent at the scene often show up later. The right response could protect both your health and your legal rights.
The weather promises to be great here in L.A. the next few days; get out on your bike and enjoy it.