Update — bike rider killed in wreck with Sheriff’s patrol car

Word is just coming in that yet another bike rider has lost his life on Mulholland.

And this time, the police may be fault.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding in the bike lane on the 22000 block of Mulholland Highway in Calabasas around 1:05 pm today when he was hit by a Sheriff’s Department patrol car. Calabasas Patch reports that both the victim and the patrol car were traveling in the same direction, suggesting the rider was struck from behind.

The sheriff’s deputy behind the wheel was reportedly on routine patrol and not responding to an emergency call; a sheriff’s spokesman said speed was not a factor in the crash.

However, the driver was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor lacerations to his face and eye due to broken class from the impact, suggesting a significant impact. No explanation was given for why the driver apparently entered the bike lane to hit the cyclist; drug or alcohol use was not suspected as a factor.

This is the 82nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 34th in Los Angeles County; that compares with 71 in the seven-county SoCal region and 21 in LA County this time last year. And this was at least the fourth cyclist to lose his life on Mulholland Hwy in the last four years.

My deepest sympathy for the victim and his loved ones.

Thanks to Carlos Morales, Danny Gamboa, sonofabike and John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Update: KABC-7 has just identified the victim as 65-year old Milton Everett Olin Jr. of Woodland Hills; a well-known attorney in the entertainment field. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LASD Malibu/Lost Hills Station at 818/878-1808.

Meanwhile, the Ventura County Star reports that Olin’s bike somehow hit the patrol car, rather than the other way around — despite obvious damage to the car’s windshield. The LA Times confirms the car’s windshield was broken, making it virtually impossible for the rider to have struck the car if they were both traveling in the same direction. 

Update 2: KTLA-5 reports Olin and the patrol car were both traveling east on Mulholland Hwy when the collision occurred.

The Times fills in Olin’s work history, noting that he was Chief Operating Officer at Napster from 2000 to 2002, at a time when the file-sharing service was under fire from the music industry for enabling piracy, and forced to liquidate in bankruptcy court. 

He’d been a practicing attorney since graduating from UCLA Law School in 1975, and worked as vice president of business development for A&M Records — which was chiefly responsible for the lawsuit that led to Napster’s bankruptcy. He also served briefly as the senior vice president for business development for Firstlook.com before joining Napster.

The Star has corrected their story that repeatedly blamed the victim for the collision in a later report, although they’ve left the initial biased story online; thanks to Lois for the tip.

Update 3: Too often, we never learn anything about the victims of bicycling collisions, or the pain their loss leaves behind. But in this case, both the LA Times and KNBC-4 fill in the blanks with nice reports on a man who loved his family and riding his bike.

Although it does not build more confidence in the investigation to know the lead investigator in the case took yesterday off. Or that I’m told the CHP was willing to conduct an independent investigation, but wasn’t asked.

Meanwhile, a reader forwards an email exchange with the editor of the Ventura County Star in which he complained about the bias in the initial report. And received a very nice response promising to look into the matter — which resulted in the updated report correcting the misinformation, as well as changes to the initial story.

Too often, complaints like that get ignored. So let’s give credit to VC Star editor John Moore for doing the right thing.

Update 4: The LA Sheriff’s Department offers an apology, but doesn’t accept responsibility.

Update 5: The Daily News identifies the Sheriff’s Deputy who killed Olin on as a 16-year veteran from the Malibu/Lost Hills station, despite a lack of confirmation from the department. The collision is still under investigation; two weeks later, investigators still haven’t spoken to all the witnesses. 

117 comments

  1. […] Breaking news: bike rider killed in collision with Sheriff’s Deputy […]

  2. danger says:

    How long will it take them to blame the cyclist for this one?
    If he was in the bike lane and the cops hit him from behind then it points to driver inattentiveness and this should be considered an assault with a deadly weapon or manslaughter.
    I am sure that nothing will come of it though and the police will call it an unfortunate “accident”.

  3. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of Mr. Olin.

  4. Stefan says:

    I’ve known Milt a long time. His son raced for my team a few years ago. Milt was a good rider and a great guy. He was the COO of Napster for awhile and testified before Congress on the changes in the music industry and copyright law. This is going to devastate a lot of people.

  5. Will Campbell says:

    Sounds like Ventura County Star and/or whoever the “officials” were they quoted, got it wrong.

  6. Lois says:

    The Ventura paper corrected its article in an update.

  7. Jack says:

    I wouldnt be surprised if the deputy was on a cell phone or texting. LASD, LAPD, etc all feel that they are above the law in the patrol cars when it comes to cell phones. The deputy should be charged accordingly.

    Very sad and could have been avoided

    • bikinginla says:

      I’ve heard rumors that the driver may have been texting, but nothing definite.

      • Gordon Fox says:

        That should be easily checkable from the cell phone provider if he sent a text or was making a phone call at the time of the incident, plus that can be double checked by GPS or triangulation from cell phone masts to show the Sheriff’s location.

        After 6 cyclists have been killed in London in less than two weeks, there have been mass ‘die in’ protest demonstrations with hundreds of cyclists lying on the ground with their bikes in the middle of busy roads.

        Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and friends.

        • Erik Griswold says:

          It is standard for these LASD vehicles to have laptops on the center console. Always open, “awake” and operating.

  8. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Good lord, to even suggest that the cyclist hit the patrol car requires mental gymnastics I’m not capable of. How awful. My deepest condolences to the family. Just horrible.

  9. darren says:

    Since someone died the “officer’s” cell record should be checked for simultaneous texting or calling. He should face felony charges

  10. Bob T. says:

    “a sheriff’s spokesman said speed was not a factor in the crash.” Speed is ALWAYS a factor in a crash, though the driver may not always be speeding. In inclement weather, or when driving west towards a setting sun, doing the speed limit can be too fast. The speed of the vehicle (coupled with the mass of the car, which is a constant) is what causes the blunt force trauma. A car going slower causes less trauma, a car going faster usually cause fatal trauma. Secondarily, a car going slower can often avoid a collision in the first place. Sadly in this country, exceeding the posted speed limit is considered a right. It seems God himself wrote the right to drive your car as fast as you want into the Second Ammendment of the US Constitution! (These are general comments about collisions since I don’t have enough facts about the tragic collision in this article). Just take a gander at this horrible car commercial (it’s no wonder drivers drive the way they do :-(. http://youtu.be/G3eiIHZ_Tpc

  11. Having read a few thousand wreck reports I know that the speed required to cause a windshield to shatter hard enough to cause injuries inside the car is 50-60 MPH or higher. Add that speed to the speed of the cyclist (hit from behind wreck) and you get something around 80 MPH as the cruiser was on “regular patrol”. And LEO are wondering why nobody trusts them.

    • Point of physics regarding collision speed, direction of travel and impact energy: I know this seems counterintuitive, but Newton tells us the energy of the collision (and hence the damage) doesn’t change when a large high speed mass hit a slower, low speed mass.

      The Crown Vic Police Interceptor masses 1700 kg. 55 MPH = 25 meters / sec. So (1700 / 2) * (25 m/s)^2 ≈ 531000 Joules of kinetic energy impacting on Mr Olin, regardless of his direction of travel.

      Car vs cyclist collision is not “perfect” in terms of physics — 100% of the collision energy isn’t imparted by the rider and his bike — but the point of this arithmetic exercise is to highlight the very real consequences of a driver who doesn’t pay attention to where he’s going, and that it doesn’t really matter which way his victim his moving.

      Another way to look at this: Mr Olin contributed only 45 * 7^2 ≈ 2200 J of energy to the collision. That’s two orders of magnitude difference from the half million J coming from the Crown Vic. Whether you add 2200 to 500,000 or subtract doesn’t really make much difference in the scheme of things – compared to the energy of the Crown Vic, 2200 is rounding error.

  12. […] Discussion over at Biking In LA’s new website. […]

  13. An outside investigating agency should investigate. I would be surprised if the LA County Sheriff accepts liability for the collision. I would bet money the police officer was distracted with a cell phone. The cell phone records should be preserved. They will deny liability, deny justice for Olin’s family, and then offer less than is just, claiming that it was partially Olin’s fault.

    • We had a similar case in the SF Bay Area in 2009. Santa Clara County Sheriff deputy fell asleep at the wheel and plowed head on into Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson, killing them both.

      The deputy, James Council, lost his job and was sentenced four months for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, which is significantly more than most people get around here if there’s no “criminality” (e.g. drunk driving or hit and run) involved.

      • bikinginla says:

        I remember that case. Sad that four months is a heavy sentence for carelessly killing another person. And that he probably wouldn’t have gotten that if he’d just been a typical driver.

  14. Robert Cyders says:

    I have struck a car while riding my bicycle going twenty miles an hour and t boned him from the side. The driver was drunk and pulled out in front of me. I rolled onto the windshield and shattered it. It does not take that much speed to shatter a windshield. This was not a direct hit to the windshield.

  15. calwatch says:

    With someone of Ollin’s social standing, it is likely that the family will get a lot more answers than, say, someone who got hit on their way to work. CHP has jurisdiction over all collisions in the unincorporated area but LASD will do an internal investigation, which of course because of the Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights will be confidential to the general public.

  16. Regardless of what happens in this case, as long as drivers remain human, they will be periodically inattentive, and bicyclists will be vulnerable to this type of crash. The bike lane advocates have no solution to this. The “physically-separated bike lane” proponents have no practical answer – Mulholland Drive and the other millions of miles of roads will not be lined with cycle paths in the next hundred years, not to mention the intersection conflicts that arise from such designs, especially absent a cyclist-aware culture and liability laws that favor cyclists. Punishing inattentive drivers does not bring anyone back from the dead, and it’s unclear how much if any such punishment deters others from driving inattentive.

    But there is an answer: Get noticed. Grab their attention. Don’t ride inconspicuously in the bike lane where you’re easy to dismiss as irrelevant. Use the traffic lane!

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=455536654554793&set=a.426486414126484.1073741830.281417585300035&type=3&theater

    • bikinginla says:

      You’re right, Serge. If the victim had been riding in the traffic lane in front of what appears to have been a distracted driver, he’d be much less dead than he is right now.

      Bullshit.

      • You’re assuming distractedness is a static condition. It is not. It can’t be. A driver cannot maintain course for more than 2 or 3 seconds without looking up and doing a course check.

        The key, therefore, is to GRAB their attention during these inevitable course checks, so they don’t choose to attend to a distraction. You do that by being in their way, not by being irrelevant at the road edge.

        It’s not intuitive, but anyone who has ever ridden with a mirror and seriously experimented with road position and how using the full lane grabs the attention of motorists knows it’s true. It’s obvious.

        Many bicyclists who are understandably skeptical about the role of using the full lane and mirror use in addressing crashes like this don’t seem to fully understand and appreciate the difference between the following two scenarios.

        1) If you’re off the road (i.e., on the shoulder or in a bike lane) you can see motorists in your mirror approaching from behind, but there is no way to distinguish those who have noticed you from those who have not. Whether they have noticed you or not, they behave exactly the same way – continuing to maintain their course and speed in their lane. The only exception is when a motorist who has not noticed you starts to veer towards you just before reaching you, but by then it’s usually too late for you to do anything about it.

        2) If you’re in the traffic lane you can see motorists in your mirror approaching from behind, AND IT IS BLATANTLY OBVIOUS whether you have been noticed or not. If you’ve been noticed, which will happen 99.99+% of the time, you will see them slow down or change lanes, while they are still a relatively long way back, clearly for no reason other than your presence. In the enormously unlikely event that you’re not noticed despite being plainly in their path, they will maintain speed and course as if you’re not there, but leaving you plenty of time and space to do something to grab their attention (look back, issue slow/stop arm signal, zig & zag), and, if that fails to elicit a response out of them, you still have time and space to ditch.

        The difference between scenarios 1 & 2 is enormous.

        Using the full lane by default and mirrors are a natural combination.

    • David Huntsman says:

      Except that, in this case, wouldn’t the driver have been just as likely to steer into a second lane, or oncoming traffic, as he was likely to steer into a bike lane?

      • I don’t know of any data on this, but brief drifts into shoulders and bike lanes seem much more likely than drifts into oncoming traffic. This is because bike lanes and shoulders are perceived as safe buffer space. Motorists allow their vehicles to drift in that direction as they attend to a distraction for a few seconds.

        As noted above, the key is to grab their attention before they are attending to the distraction. And you do that by doing something that is attention-grabbing, like by riding in their path, rather than riding out of the way.

        • why do you keep saying that a driver needs to have their attention “grabbed”?? It is ALWAYS a driver’s responsibility to have their full attention on the road. If a driver is willfully “distracted” by whatever they find more important than paying attention to the road, then that driver is fully responsible for any consequences. Please do not blame the bike rider who is following the law.

          • In the ideal world drivers would always be paying full attention. The reality is that they’re human. Human minds have not evolved to pay 100% attention at 40-60+ mph while careening down the road in 2 ton vehicles. Their minds are often distracted, not only by physical distractions within the car, but also by mental distractions, like thinking about something at home or a problem at work. The whole issue of inattentional blindness is covered in this excellent article, which I highly recommend:

            http://www.visualexpert.com/Resources/inattentionalblindness.html

            Anyway, the reality is that motorists are often distracted, and, as long as they remain human, that’s not going to change. That makes them prone to inattentional blindness and making all kinds of errors.

            Per that article, an important factor that is known to affect inattentional blindness is relevance. It turns out that the mind is constantly filtering information according to relevance – objects and events deemed to be irrelevant are less likely to get attention than are objects and items seen as relevant.

            This is why I have adopted methods designed to grab their attention by being relevant to them – in their path – rather than assume I have their attention as I ride along irrelevantly and therefore inconspicuously at the road edge.

            Does that answer your question?

            • danger says:

              Yuo are wrong. A lot more ppl in the past drove drunk. Not all stopped,in that we will as riders allways have to keep an eye out because somebody will ALWAYS break the rules is true, but now that you loose your license get fined thousands of dollars and go to njail for a long time, MANY more ppl choose not to drive after drinking.
              There will never be %100 stop in inattentive drivers but if the ones who run us over feel the PAIN, more will begin to try harder and that is what we should strive for.
              !!! Weather or not you choose to ride in the lane or the bike lane the car has NO right to run you ovre, and the driver should SUFFER PAINFULLY for inattentiveness.

              This WILL help, from there WE the cyclist need to stay vigilant for the rest of the loosers who have not had their chance yet to suffer for tblhier stupidity.

              STOP bickering about where the rider should be as we have the right to bein either place.

              let’s agree this is the DRIVERS fault and he should pay with PAIN and SUFFERING to HELP set an example.

              And just for the record there is only one lane on that road ineach dirrection.

            • No, thank you I do not need articles or a list of the things that distract people. A “human” driving a car needs to watch the road, and I’m sorry but watching the road and staying in your lane is really not that difficult. If it is, or you have more important things to do, stay off the road. A person should be able to get on a bike, for exercise or commuting or fun or whatever reason, and by following simple safety and traffic rules, expect not to get plowed off the road by a driver who cannot bother to watch the road on which they are driving.

    • Rick says:

      Cyclists get hit and killed from behind while taking the lane, too. Is it still the cyclist’s fault then?

      You know why cyclists get killed while riding in the bike lane? Because that’s where cyclists are. If they were riding in the motorized traffic lane, that’s where they’d be getting killed.

      • Paul Perry says:

        A cyclist is still more likely to be seen, even by a distracted driver, when they are deeper within the driver’s field of vision than they are riding at the edges of it.

        • Rick says:

          When all cyclists are taking the lane, that is where all cycling deaths will be.

          And regardless of taking the lane, a cyclist is still 7 times smaller than a motor vehicle, and much less likely to be seen than a car taking the same position. Drivers aren’t even looking for cyclists. They are virtually all distracted and only barely keeping an eye out for other cars on the road ahead. Positioning a cyclist directly in front of somebody who is barely watching for other cars doesn’t even begin to change the basic problem.

          • Rear-enders that involve two moving in-line vehicles are extremely rare. Driving into the rear of a slower moving vehicle is virtually unheard of. Almost all rear enders involve either a stopped vehicle (red light, or stop-and-go traffic), or a drift.

            I know of no reason to believe this would change with more bicycles using the full lane by default. I have many reasons to believe overall bike-car crashes would drop considerably if that should happen.

            • Rick says:

              Virtually unheard of, except you’re commenting on one now AND you are advising cyclists on how to avoid one of these “virtually unheard of” rear-enders.

              When all cyclists are taking the lane, that is where all cycling deaths will be.

            • This was not a crash involving two moving in-line vehicles. The one in front (the bicycle) was off to the side, relatively irrelevant and inconspicuous in the bike lane. The one behind drifted inadvertently (I presume it was not intentional) into the bike lane.

              SEE ALSO:
              https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/1471117_470085193099939_686597789_n.png

            • To not notice a slow moving vehicle or bicycle in your lane directly in front of you moving along on your intended course is very different and practically unheard of compared to the very common situation of not noticing a relatively irrelevant and therefore cognitively inconspicuous bicyclist at the road edge or in a bike lane.

            • Rick says:

              The ONLY reason most rear-enders involve a cyclist riding to the right is because that is where most cyclists ride. If all cyclists took the lane, that is where all the rear-enders would be happening.

              Cyclists are 7 times smaller than a car, and that is part of what makes them less noticeable than a car. The other thing that makes them less noticeable than a car is that cyclists pose no physical threat to the driver. Drivers are ONLY watching for things that will kill them, and because cyclists pose no safety threat to drivers, drivers aren’t even watching for them. Coupled with the FACT that cyclists are 7 times smaller (i.e. physically less noticeable)than a car, and coupled with the FACT of driver distraction, lane position as a panacea for your “virtually unheard of” rear-enders is a fantasy.

              Cyclists die on the right because that is where cyclists ride. When all cyclists are taking the lane, that is where all the cycling deaths will be.

            • “The ONLY reason most rear-enders involve a cyclist riding to the right is because that is where most cyclists ride. If all cyclists took the lane, that is where all the rear-enders would be happening.”

              Pure conjecture. Based on what?

              My experience of observing motorist behavior in reaction to my lateral position in my mirror for about 10 years now is that motorists are FAR, FAR more aware of me when I’m in the traffic than when I’m at the edge, and, they become aware of me much sooner. This is blatantly obvious in just a few minutes with the simplest of tests.

              The size issue affects motorcyclists just as much as bicyclists. Motorcyclists are not significantly larger than bicyclists relative to cars, trucks and buses. And, yet, motorcyclists who are not stopped are virtually never rear-ended. Yet they are often overlooked at intersections, just like bicyclists.

              The dynamics at intersections, and the role of size in conspicuousness, is much different than in longitudinal travel. At intersections, motorists typically glance for just a second in the direction of where the bicyclist is, and, you’re right, are looking for cars. So bicyclists and motorcyclists are easy to miss. But when driving down the road motorists are looking for all kinds of hazards in their way along their intended course in front of them (and generally ignoring anything off to the side as irrelevant) – motorcyclists and bicyclists directly in their path are very unlikely to be overlooked.

              But even then, a motorist who fails to notice a slow moving bicyclist using the full lane in front of him is easy to identify by the bicyclist with a mirror – he’s the rare one who is not slowing down or changing lanes like anyone else does – long before it’s too late to do something about it.

            • Rick says:

              Based on what?

              Fact. That is where cyclists ride.

              Reality. Motorist collisions with cyclists will occur where cyclists and motorists meet.

              “…bicyclists directly in their path are very unlikely to be overlooked.”

              Talk about pure conjecture masquerading as science…

            • bikinginla says:

              You’re kidding, right? That’s one of the most common types of traffic collisions; most freeway collisions are rear-ends due to speed differential or the lead car suddenly slowing or stopping. People drive into the rear of slower moving vehicles everyday, everywhere. It’s happened to me on three separate occasions — none of which were my fault.

            • Rick says:

              I’ve been rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light IN MY CAR. Twice.

              And yet according to the VC wisdom we are being treated to here, “when driving down the road motorists are looking for all kinds of hazards in their way along their intended course in front of them”

              Yeah, sure they are.

            • Being rear-ended while unexpectedly stopped or slowing is common. But that’s very different from rear-ending a slower moving vehicle traveling at a steady speed. That’s not common at all.

            • bikinginla says:

              Now how could you possibly distinguish wrecks caused by slowing vehicles as opposed to simply hitting a slower vehicle?

              That’s just splitting hairs and impossible to quantify. The only evidence you have that it is rare is your conviction that it is so. I suspect quite the opposite.

            • Rick says:

              “Unexpeceted”?

              What’s so “unexpected” about a DRIVER in a CAR sitting dead-stopped at a red light?

              Unless of course we’re talking about a driver approaching the red light and line of stopped cars who ISN’T PAYING ATTENTION to what is right in front of him?

            • bikinginla says:

              Very true. I have back pain to this day because a driver failed to see the massive, 1980’s Olds I inherit from my dad stopped at a red light directly in front of me.

              She hit me at speed, without ever slowing down. If she could not see me under those circumstances, what hope would any cyclist have? And if I’d been on a bike, I likely would have been killed or severely injured, rather than just suffering 30+ years of back pain.

            • Context matters. When a driver expects the light to be green and it turns out to be red, the stopped cars are unexpected. I’m not defending it. I’m saying it happens.

              There is no doubt that motorists are inattentive sometimes. The question is what to do about it. One answer is to ride at the edge of the road and hope for the best. That’s what Mr. Olin was apparently doing in the bike lane. It’s what most bicyclists. Maybe that’s good enough for you. For me it’s not.

              I use a mirror, but that’s not good enough either. If I’m riding in a bike lane with a mirror, and an inattentive driver starts to drift towards me moments before reaching me, it’s too late for me to do anything about it, even if I happen to notice it right before I’m hit.

              So, I also use the full lane. Why? Because then I can distinguish the vast majority that are attentive drivers who have noticed me from the tiny very rare minority that are inattentive driver who have not noticed me.

              How do I tell one from the other? It’s trivially simple, if you’re riding in the traffic lane. The ones who notice me slow down, or changes lanes, long before they reach me. The ones who have not noticed me, or the ones who appear to have not noticed me, maintain course and speed as if I’m not there.

              A few times a year, less than five, I encounter a driver approaching from behind who is not slowing down or changing lanes for me. So, first, I do something to grab their attention, like look back or issue a slow/stop signal. That has always worked, instantly. That is, as soon as I do something to snap them out of their stupor, they slow down or change lanes. Maybe some day I’ll encounter a driver who does not react to my attempts to grab their attention. In that case I’ll be ready to ditch and brake, before he drifts off course.

              That’s my plan. What’s yours? Hand-wring about inattentive drivers? Good luck with that. In my view you’re trying to empty a lake with a thimble. But do what you have to do. I’m all for prosecuting these people, but it’s no solution to the problem.

            • Rick says:

              That’s funny. The ones who notice me ride up on my rear wheel and blast the horn. Then they change lanes and merge into me, forcing me out of “their way.”

              You must be magic.

            • It is magic, or it certainly can seem that way. Subtle and seemingly insignificant differences in position and timing can make huge differences in how we’re perceived and treated.

              But it starts by having a friendly and cooperative, but assertive, attitude. If your view and expectation is that they, are at least some of them, are out to kill you, this will reflect in your behavior, and you will be treated accordingly.

              I can’t emphasize the importance of acknowledging them before their frustration begins to rise. Nip it in the bud. But I don’t know how it’s possible to get that timed right without a mirror. By the time you hear them it’s usually way too late.

              Without a mirror I use roadway positioning much differently, in particular without using the full lane nearly as much. If I try to use the full lane without a mirror and the appropriately timed adjustments that allows, yeah, I get antagonism. Like magic.

            • Rick says:

              Your fairy tales probably sound somewhat convincing to people who don’t ride.

            • Rick says:

              Now picture this: A four lane street, two lanes in each direction. Sub-standard width lanes and cars parked along the curb to the right. Riding outside of the door zone in this sub-standard width lane necessarily means taking the lane. But there are two lanes, so drivers can easily pass me by changing lanes. And yet, invariably, several drivers will make it their business to attempt to harass me off the road, even though there is nowhere else for me to ride.

              Your “theories” are nothing more you talking out of your azz about circumstances you know nothing about.

              Including this fatal collision.

            • I can tell you is that it works very well for me, and I have over 5,000 miles year-to-date logged on Strava.

              But if you don’t believe me, or think it must be a regional thing, others all over the country are finding it works for them too. Here are some testimonials about the effectiveness of using the full lane by default, or at least more often, and I think most of these don’t even use a mirror.

              https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.426487284126397.1073741831.281417585300035&type=3

            • Rick says:

              Apparently it bears repeating, your “theories” are nothing more than you talking out of your azz about circumstances you know nothing about.

              Including this fatal collision.

            • “A four lane street, two lanes in each direction. Sub-standard width lanes and cars parked along the curb to the right.

              This is a notoriously challenging situation, because the lane appears to be very wide due to the apparently usable space which is in the door zone. It applies to much of coastal 101 in southern California, like in this Google Maps street view in Solana Beach:

              http://goo.gl/maps/BKcwq

              I do two things on such roads to reduce harassment to a minimum:

              1) Riding a few feet beyond the edge of the door zone. Riding just outside of the door zone seems to create an ambiguous situation, at least from a distance. So while they’re still a ways back, it appears like they can pass within the lane on your left, but as they get closer they realize they can’t, and get frustrated. But if you’re further left in the first place, near the left tire track (but not so far left to invite passing on your right!), it’s clear that they have to change lanes to pass while they are still a long ways back. That seems to help a great deal.

              2) Use a mirror and do the well-timed acknowledgment thing for those that don’t change lanes. It’s important to get the timing right. It takes some practice to hone your intuition to know when to do it, but it’s better to err on the side of too early than too late. As soon as they know that you know they are there, most are surprisingly much calmer and friendlier.

              These methods don’t eliminate frustration, antagonizing and harassment, of course. But they do reduce their occurrence from a highly annoying several times per week to a very tolerable few times per year.

              Nice chatting with you, Rick. (Rick B by any chance?) Good night!

            • bikinginla says:

              BBitTL, yes, and I’ve averaged over 5,000 miles a year for the last 30 years. I also ride exactly the way you describe — but only when necessary due to the lack of an adequate bike lane or ridable shoulder.

              My experience has been exactly the opposite of yours. I feel far safer in a bike lane than I do in front of oncoming cars — as do the overwhelming majority of cyclists.

              The unfounded objections that Vehicular Cyclists such as yourself have against well-designed infrastructure has held bicycling back for the last several decades, and led to a needlessly high cyclist fatality rate, which has only begun to drop in recent years as more and better bike lanes have made the streets safer and encouraged more people to begin riding.

              Simply put, you have nothing to defend your opposition to bike lanes other than your own personal preferences. On the other hand, every single study I have seen has shown that bike lanes improve safety for all road users, or at the very least, have no negative effect. I do not know of a single study that supports the claim that bike lanes put riders at greater risk.

              There is just as much support for the many bike riders who have claimed in these comments over the years that the only way to stay safe is to ride on the sidewalk or never leave your own cul-de-sac.

              You may choose to ride in whatever manner makes you feel safest, just as any other cyclist can and should. But to claim that riding in a bike lane is more dangerous than riding in a traffic lane is simply unsupported by any objective evidence.

            • Rick says:

              I posted my last response in the wrong thread, so I’m re-posting here.

              You seem to be oblivious, so I’ll explain why you are talking about circumstances you know nothing about..

              Again, picture a four lane street, two lanes in each direction. Sub-standard width lanes and cars parked along the curb to the right. Riding outside of the door zone in this sub-standard width lane necessarily means taking the lane. There is NOWHERE ELSE TO RIDE. It is not possible to move left when cars approach from the rear.

              But there are two lanes, so drivers can easily pass me by changing lanes. And yet, invariably, several drivers will make it their business to attempt to harass me off the road, even though there is nowhere else for me to ride, and even though the can pass me in the lane to my left.

              But according to you, I can “cooperate” by using a mirror and adjusting my lane position.

              This situation is not unique to this road. I’ve had a driver squeeze between me and the car in the lane to my left, on a three lane road, where there was plenty of room to ass me. Why? To harass me. I’ve had a driver pass me on a four lane road and then attempt to right hook me from the left lane. Why? Impatience. Every cyclist has had the experience of doing EVERYTHING right and still having some driver who is not paying attention, or who is intent on harassing the cyclist off the road, and your theories about how to ride do absolutely nothing to change that outcome.

              Like I said, you are pontificating about circumstances you know nothing about.

              And in the context of this fatal collision, you should have the decency to stop talking when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

            • My objection is not to bike lanes or facilities per se, it’s to the widespread belief that edge riding is safer than using the full lane, a belief that is reinforced by bike lanes.

              Edge riding is appropriate when safe and necessary to allow faster traffic to pass, but the idea that it’s safer than using the traffic lane is baseless. If edge riding was safer than lane use, then they would teach motorcyclists to ride at the road edge in motorcycle safety courses. But of course they don’t do that, not even for slow moving Harleys cruising at cyclist speed down the coast highway (happens every weekend).

              The idea that the road edge (marked as a shoulder or a bike lane or not) is safer for bicyclists than is using the full lane is as absurd as the idea that the road edge is safer for slow moving motorcyclists than is using the full lane.

              The idea he has been sold to us by motorist-centric thinking and largely swallowed by society at large and even the cycling community. It’s time to spit it out.

              Bicyclists Belong in the Traffic Lane!

            • I do know the situation you described: “Again, picture a four lane street, two lanes in each direction. Sub-standard width lanes and cars parked along the curb to the right.

              I even provided a link to a road that matched the description, one on which I’ve ridden thousands of miles.

              http://goo.gl/maps/BKcwq

              I notice you did not answer my question.

              Do you the two things I mentioned?

              1) ride about 8 feet, not 5 feet, from the parked cars
              2) use a mirror and time an acknowledgment (look back and nod, or a slow/stop arm signal)

            • bikinginla says:

              Bullshit. Again, show me one — just one — study to support your arguments that cyclists are safer in the lane than on the right. You may believe what you say is true, just as I may or may not believe in Santa Claus.

              But it ain’t necessarily so.

            • Rick says:

              First, I made a mistake. I said there is no room for me to move left. I meant there is no room for me to move right.

              Second, I take the lane on that road, probably about the center of the lane. This makes it impossible to pass me in the same lane.

              I don’t use a mirror or signal to slow (although I have used mirrors). And that is NOT the issue. The issue is drivers who think that I should not be “in their way.” When I am harassed, I am NOT being harassed by drivers who didn’t notice me. I am being harassed by drivers who DID notice me and want to force me off the road. And this only happens when I take the lane; it never happens when I’m riding on the right. And I only take the lane when there is nowhere else to ride. So you can’t turn this into something I’m doing “wrong.”

              And every cyclist has had similar experiences. Your “advice” is, frankly, offensive and insulting, and even more so when you think you can explain what the cyclist in this fatal collision “did wrong.” The driver wasn’t paying attention, period. The unofficial word on the street is that the officer was using his computer, and therefore, would not have noticed what was in front of him, regardless of where the cyclist was positioned. And any advice you have to offer about that will come off as victim-blaming and will be deeply, deeply offensive to virtually every cyclist out here, which is why you just need to stop.

            • Rick says:

              We’ve had 35 years of experimenting, and the results are in.

              Societies that have built protected infrastructure have more cyclists and greater safety for cyclists and drivers. Societies that have told cyclists to mix it up with motorized traffic have fewer cyclists and less safety for cyclists and drivers.

              It’s time for us to stop experimenting with cyclists’ live, stop this blind faith in a failed ideology that pretends to be pro-cyclist while privileging drivers above all else, and start doing what we know works to protect cyclists. And that means laws and infrastructure that privileges and protects cyclists. That is the only approach that has been proven to increase both cyclists and cyclist safety. And we have 35 years of evidence to back that up.

            • First, I expected that the officer was distracted by something like his computer. But regardless of what it was, he had to have had his eyes on the road a few seconds prior to veering off the road, or he would have veered off the road even sooner. This is a fact. You simply can’t maintain course with looking ahead every few seconds. Try it sometime.

              Second, of course there is no way to grab his attention while he’s looking not at the road ahead but at his computer. The whole point of using the full lane is to have grabbed the attention of the driver just before he took his eyes off the road for the final, fatal, time, or a few seconds before that. This is the point of the graphic I created earlier hours before you just told me about the computer: I am the distraction that distracts them from all other distractions [like the computer]).

              https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=470085193099939&set=a.283448488430278.59826.281417585300035&type=1&theater

              Third, I’m not blaming the cyclist in either this case or in the scenario you’re describing. You’re totally missing the point if you think that.

              But I acknowledge that I live in a world where drivers are human and make mistakes. I need to survive in that world. Wishing it were a world in which drivers are never inattentive or never antagonistic just isn’t going to fly. So I seek ways to survive in that world, or at least mitigate risk as best as I can.

              Finally, I understand the issue in your scenario is “drivers who think that I should not be ‘in their way.’ ” Of course. And of course all experienced cyclists, including myself, are familiar with this situation which occurs when taking the lane, and not when curb hugging.

              But what I have found, for reasons that I can only speculate about, is that acknowledging such drivers in a timely fashion – by looking back and nodding in friendly fashion, and/or by issuing a slow/stop arm signal – reduces the incidence of harassment by an order of 1 or 2 magnitudes. I speculate that this is because the appreciate being acknowledged, and what really irks them is what they perceive as obliviousness on the part of the cyclist. But it doesn’t really matter whether my speculation is right or not. What matters is whether it works, and I know for a fact that it does, reducing such encounters from several times a week to a few times per year.

              That doesn’t mean it’s your fault that they harass you if you don’t do that! I’m just saying that if it bothers you that much, you can eliminate almost all of it by doing this. If you don’t care; if it doesn’t bother you that much, never mind.

              I mean, if you want to reduce the risk of getting your stuff stolen from your car, lock it. Saying that doesn’t mean it’s your fault if your stuff is stolen from a car you didn’t lock. The blame is 100% on the thieves! But that doesn’t get your stuff back. Locking the car just greatly reduces the chance of getting your stuff stolen. And acknowledging motorists in a timely fashion as they slow for you behind you greatly reduces the chances that they’ll act like aholes towards you, perhaps because it greatly reduces the chances that they’ll (wrongly) perceive you as an ahole due to anti-cyclist bias. But there I’m speculating again. Doesn’t matter why. It works. That matters.

            • Rick says:

              Whether I seem “oblivious” is not relevant. There is an open lane to my left. The driver can easily pass me. Even if I am “oblivious,” it should not matter to the approaching driver. My “obliviousness” is not the issue. My being on the road is the issue. Have you ever heard the phrase “lipstick on a pig”? It doesn’t matter how you package your advice, it is still offensive and insulting. And not just to me. I guarantee you that you are coming off as offensive and insulting to every cyclist who was doing everything right and still had problems with a vigilante driver. I guarantee that you are coming off as victim-blaming to every cyclist who had a near-miss, or worse, with a driver who wasn’t paying attention.

              You really don’t get it. Which is why you will keep at it, over and over again, no matter how many times people tell you that your comments are insulting and offensive.

            • To an anti-cyclist bigot your seeming oblivious is relevant to whether they are likely to choose to wrongly and illegally harass you.

              I don’t understand why you’re insulted. It seem to me we just have different perspectives. You apparently want and expect the motorists to change. I want that too, but I don’t think that’s very likely, and I certainly don’t expect it. Instead I choose to accept motorists as they are, and work with that as best as I can, in terms of changing my behavior to mitigate risk of crash as much as reasonably possible, and to greatly reduce the incidence of unpleasant/unsafe encounters.

              To that end, I’ve found techniques and practices that work very well for me and others, and I share them with others who would like to benefit from them too. But, they’re not for everyone. That’s okay too! No need to be insulted or offended. Certainly that’s not my intent.

            • By the way, does the creator of these graphics about motorist misunderstandings about bicyclists seem like somebody who doesn’t get it?

              https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.432318803543245.1073741843.281417585300035&type=3

              What do you think of them?

            • Rick says:

              “I don’t understand why you’re insulted.”

              As I said, “You really don’t get it.”

              I’m guessing that every time you’ve felt compelled to offer your unsolicited advice following a cyclist fatality, you’ve been told, in some manner, that your comments are offensive and insulting. And yet you continue…

            • John says:

              provide DATA on rear end collisions or shut your stupid trap.

            • There is no relevant data, and, for a variety of reasons, it would be very difficult to obtain such data.

              That said, the information on inattentional blindness and the role of relevance in the phenomenon is based on some studies.

              Despite the lack of data, we all have to decide how and where to ride. If you believe you’re safer mostly riding at the road edge and in bike lanes, that’s your right, of course. By all means. Nearly everybody rides that way. I did it for 30 years. The result, in my view, is too many crashes and deaths. I think we can do better.

            • Rick says:

              No data = you’re making this stuff up to support your argument.

            • There is also no data supporting the claim that riding in bike lanes is safer than using the full lane by default with a mirror.

              But we still have to decide how and where it is safest to ride. The only question is regarding what reasons we have for believing our choice is safer. I’ve shared mine. What are yours?

            • Bret says:

              When it comes to Lost Hills Sheriff’s, I once witnessed 4 of them rear ended into each other on the Northbound 101 on ramp at Lost Hills,.. not more than 2 blocks from the office.

            • Bret, was the first one who was rear-ended moving at a steady speed at the time of the collision? That’s the type of rear-end collision that I contend is very rare and very unlikely, and is the type feared by many bicyclists.

              But in virtually all rear-enders that I ever learn about, the front vehicle is either stopped or suddenly slowing. Never are they moving along at a steady speed in the intended path of the rear-ender.

          • Rick says:

            And since you seem to be oblivious, I’ll explain why.

            Again, picture a four lane street, two lanes in each direction. Sub-standard width lanes and cars parked along the curb to the right. Riding outside of the door zone in this sub-standard width lane necessarily means taking the lane. There is NOWHERE ELSE TO RIDE. It is not possible to move left when cars approach from the rear.

            But there are two lanes, so drivers can easily pass me by changing lanes. And yet, invariably, several drivers will make it their business to attempt to harass me off the road, even though there is nowhere else for me to ride, and even though thye can pass me in the lane to my left.

            But according to you, I can “cooperate” by using a mirror and adjusting my lane position.

            Like I said, you are pontificating about circumstances you know nothing about.

            And in the context of this fatal collision, you should have the decency to stop talking when you don’t know what you;re talking about.

            • “It is not possible to move left when cars approach from the rear.”

              Apparently I wasn’t clear. In such a situation you can ride anywhere in the lane that is to the left of the door zone. It’s all using the full lane, but where you ride within that space does make a difference. If you ride about five feet from the parked cars, you’re just outside of the door zone, arguably using the full lane, but not necessarily convincingly using the full lane. If you’re too far to the left, you can invite cars to pass you on the right (they’re willing to drive in the door zone). But if you’re about 8 feet left of the parked cars, you communicate “CHANGE LANES TO PASS” much more clearly than 5 feet left of the parked cars. And I’m suggesting you select that position from the outset, not in reaction to cars approaching from behind (that would be too late).

              Second, when cars are approaching from behind, use your mirror to see when that happens, and, if they don’t change lanes to pass, look back at them and nod, or issue the slow/stop arm signal (again, it’s important to get that timing right).

              Do you do these two things?

            • Rick says:

              I guess you don’t understand what “pontificating about circumstances you know nothing about” means.

    • Gary Kavanagh says:

      Take your victim blaming and shove it.

      • From airplane crashes to SCUBA accidents, it’s standard practice to look at contributing factors in any accident to learn what could be done to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

        But if you try to do this with a car-bike crash, it’s “blaming the victim”. Why?

        • Gary Kavanagh says:

          You frame the onus of responsibility upon the rider who was killed rather than the vehicular operator that killed or as a component of broader societal factors. You treat the distraction and carelessness by drivers as a given, but the “answer” is for bicyclists to behave a particular way, but we have no assurance that behaving in said manner would have changed the outcome of this particular incident. Being in the center of a lane is far from any guarantee of not being run over.

          Riding in such a manner as you prescribe in many areas exposes oneself to an incredible amount of harassment, mental and sometimes physical. Anyone who says such harassment doesn’t occur or is somehow tolerable, is full of shit or riding off on some road in the country with cars few and far between. I have experienced this, my wife has experienced this, central lane position is no cure all to avoid collisions, and can make riding incredibly stressful in some contexts, again because some drivers exercise their power irresponsibly and often illegally to intimidate others. This is also part of the power dynamic that makes commentary that it’s so easy to just control the lane, come across so victim blaming.

          It is a false equivalency to compare tragic events such as this to a scuba incident or plane crash. Scuba divers are not typically struck by submarine operators, most planes are not struck in the air by much bigger and faster planes. The factors in such incidents are far different circumstances, and do not have the same power dynamics.

          I do believe focusing on enforcement of drivers is insufficient, and this incident and others involving an enforcement officer patrol vehicles, certainly casts doubt on the capacity to serve and protect. However, enforcement is far from the only tool available to improve safety outcomes, and it is a false dichotomy to make it appear our only options are just enforcement or a particular prescription for how to ride.

          In any case, the way certain voices love to harp upon the bicycling dead to advertise behaving according to their prescription, is frankly disgusting to me, and yes, reads as victim blaming.

          • We are actually largely in agreement. First of all, the sheriff is 100% responsible for the crash. The bicyclist was doing nothing wrong.

            But not being responsible for a crash avoid only about half of crashes, since motorists are primarily responsible in about half of bike-car crashes (your mileage may vary depending on which study you look at).

            I don’t practice or advocate riding in the center of the lane, period. The technique, described by John Franklin in his book Cyclecraft, is about using the full lane (what he calls the primary riding position by default). On roads with intermittent traffic the point I emphasize is to use the full lane during gaps in traffic – so that you’re there, conspicuously, when the next car begins approaching from behind, making yourself noticeable and relevant sooner rather than later. It’s also so that you can distinguish, with a mirror, motorists who notice you from those who don’t (when you’re at the road edge there is no way to make that distinction – since they don’t slow nor adjust for you whether they notice you or not).

            Once you’ve verified that you’ve been noticed, and it’s safe to do so, you do move aside to facilitate passing. The result of this kind of helpful communication and cooperation is almost always friendly, expressed in waves, nods, smiles and thumb’s up as they pass. That’s my experience anyway.

            • bikinginla says:

              What you describe is similar to how I’ve ridden for over 30 years — but only when necessary in the absence of a usable bike lane or shoulder.

              My experience — which is inarguable, as it is my personal experience — is that I am significantly safer riding in a bike lane than in a traffic lane without one. And that has been born out by numerous studies that show bike lanes reduce injuries for cyclists, as well as other road users.

              Do you have any studies to show that riding in a bike lane is more dangerous than riding in the traffic lane?

            • The choice on a road with a bike lane is not simply between riding in the traffic lane or riding in the bike lane.

              The choices are:
              1) Always ride in the bike lane
              2) Always ride in the traffic lane
              3) Ride in the bike lane except when necessary to leave.
              4) Ride in the traffic lane except when safe and necessary to let faster traffic pass.

              I advocate #4.

              I know of no studies that compare the safety of #4 to the other approaches. But in my experience using #4 with a mirror is obviously much safer than the other choices, by far.

            • Rick says:

              Cyclists get killed while riding in the bike lane because that’s where cyclists are riding. If they were riding in the motorized traffic lane, that’s where they’d be getting killed.

      • Rick says:

        What could be done in the future is for drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

        Or blame the victim when that is more convenient.

        • Most drivers have their eyes on the road most of the time.

          All drivers take their eyes off the road some of the time.

          We can maybe slightly change how often that happens, but basically this will never change.

          Blaming the driver, while just and rightful, does nothing to bring back the dead or prevent future incidents of taking eyes off the road. To actually save cyclist lives we have to do more than hand-wring about distracted drivers.

          Empowering cyclists with defensive driving techniques that ward off inappropriately timed attendance to distraction is not blaming the victim any more than advocating light and helmet use is blaming the victim.

          • Rick says:

            “To actually save cyclist lives we have to do more than hand-wring about distracted drivers.”

            Giving distracted drivers a pass isn’t doing anything. Neither is opposing protected bike infrastructure. Neither is blaming cyclists for getting themselves killed by drivers who are too busy and too self-important to watch where they are going. Neither is expecting people who want to ride to come to the high priests of vehicular cycling for pearls of wisdom about how not to get themselves killed by somebody who is driving while looking at his computer.

            • No one is suggesting giving distracted drivers a pass. My point is that going after distracted drivers, after the fact, is going to do practically nothing to reduce bike-car crashes. We have to do more, and I think ridding society of the belief that bicyclists belong at the edge of the road near all the edge hazards and where they are inconspicuous is the most effective thing we can do.

    • John Lloyd says:

      How tactless to use the tragic death of a cyclist to promote your anti-bike lane views. Besides, as far as I can tell from a google earth view of that stretch of road, there are currently no bike lanes there. Please go spout your V.C. extremism somewhere else.

    • danger says:

      When drivers see othr drivers go to jail for running other humans on bikes over and killing them on the road they will start to pay attention.

    • Marven says:

      How about you try this on for size before continuing to champion this ridiculous idea. If you can’t envision a grandparent and grandchild riding together in that area, it really isn’t safe for anyone to be riding in. I know for a fact that a traffic lane does not meet that standard 99.9% of the time. Especially out around SoCal.

  17. […] Biking In L.A. reports that Milton Olin Jr. was a practicing attorney since graduating from UCLA Law School in 1975, and worked as vice president of business development for A&M Records — which was chiefly responsible for the lawsuit that led to Napster’s bankruptcy. He also served briefly as the senior vice president for business development for Firstlook.com before joining Napster. […]

  18. Really? “Take the lane?” “Always?!”

    If the speed on a road is over 25 MPH, most cyclists are going to be going slower than that. If masses of cyclists insist on riding 18 MPH in a 40 MPH zone, we will really quickly see laws change to prohibit cyclists from doing this behavior.

    If there is a large bike lane, I’m happy to ride in it. If I’m nearing the speed limit, I will take the lane, but generally not when I’m significantly lower than the speed limit. Sharing the road doesn’t just mean we get to take the lane whenever we want. It means taking it when it we will either (1) not seriously impede the flow of cars or (2) when it is necessary due to lack of decent bike lane/shoulder.

    I’m believe that the development of wide bike lanes will make many more people comfortable riding bikes. Telling cyclists that the only safe way to ride is to ignore the bike lane and “take the lane” will only lead to drivers getting annoyed at cyclists and casual cyclists getting back in their cars.

    • Paul Perry says:

      3. When necessary to do so to avoid debris or other hazards
      4. When the lane is too narrow for driver and cyclist to to travel safely side-by-side.

      In the event of #4, I will ALWAYS take the lane.

      Otherwise, I do agree with you. Taking the lane is not always necessary. And when there are bike lanes, I stay out of the traffic lanes.

  19. This guy Mark is an internet troll. No one should respond to him.

  20. danger says:

    The bottom line here is that the cop was not paying attention to where he was going and when he does start paying attention he should find that where he was going is to jail!

    This will get the attention of other drivers and help them to pay attention.

    There ARE some times when bikes and cars collide and it can be truly called an “accident” but this is not one of those times.

    Whether the rider was in the bike lane or choose to “take the lane” the sheriff if he was paying attention to his driving should not have hit him.

    This is in MY neighborhood and I am going to be very mad if the sheriff gets away with this one.

    Seems to me like all you need to do to get away with murder today is run someone over, throw a bike on them and call the cops on yourself.

    If this is the case then I will have to go out and buy some used bikes.

  21. And when there are bike lanes, I stay out of the traffic lanes.

    Staying the bike lane doesn’t work. It’s what Mr. Olin did. It’s what all too many cyclists do every year who are no longer with us. I, for one, don’t want to face that fate.

    Instead, I use the traffic lane by default, even when there is a bike lane. I want to be noticed. I want to grab their attention. I am the distraction that distracts them from some other distraction.

    But I don’t just stay in the traffic lane. I use a mirror, and when I see them slowing for me, I temporarily move into the bike lane to let them pass. They like that.

  22. Erik Griswold says:

    “Mulholland Drive and the other millions of miles of roads will not be lined with cycle paths in the next hundred years…”

    And why not? It only took the Dutch 30 years to build similar infra on their entire network.

    • Rick says:

      30 years that we wasted listening to VC ideology. And the results are in. Societies that built protected infrastructure have more cyclists and greater safety for cyclists and drivers. Societies that relied on telling cyclists to mix it up with motorized traffic have fewer cyclists and less safety for cyclists and drivers.

      It’s time to stop doing what doesn’t work and start doing what does work. It’s time for protected infrastructure and laws that privilege cyclists and pedestrians.

  23. David Huntsman says:

    Looks like the Sheriff Department’s initial press release, embedded in the “apology” linked in Update 4, is the source of the VC Star report that the cyclist collided with the car, as opposed to being struck by the car.

  24. Drunk driving is very different from inattentive driving.

    With blood/breath tests, drunk driving can be objectively verified even with no collision. You can’t hide being drunk; you can easily hide being inattentive. You don’t have to actually crash to be caught drunk driving. Inattentive driving is virtually undetectable without a crash. Only if you’re blatantly attending to a distraction like a phone, and a law enforcement sees you, will you get caught for distracted driving. All other types of distracted driving, like thinking about work while driving, are undetectable.

    That said, maybe they need to put something on those damn police car computers so that they can’t be operated while in motion.

  25. I don’t know if you caught this one yet but it seems Olin was hit by the only cruiser in the LCSP inventory without a dash cam. http://www.toacorn.com/news/2013-12-12/Front_Page/Sheriffs_deputy_strikes_kills_cyclist_on_Mulhollan.html

  26. Marven says:

    Might I also point out another grim stat to add to your counter: the second Olin killed this year. Kevin Olin was killed in Apple Valley earlier this year in an eerily similar manner: struck from behind while riding [helmeted, mind you] in the bike lane.

    As for the reporting, it’s really a bunch of rubbish. Most cars still do not drive themselves. Therefore, CARS DON’T HIT CYCLISTS/PEDS/OTHER DRIVERS. DRIVERS hit cyclists/peds/other drivers. They just happen to be in a car. We as a society don’t allow people to go around with guns shooting distractedly. When will we stand up and treat cars the same way?

  27. richard says:

    I’m glad you’ve switched to your own address as children in LA county libraries can’t visit the blog site! I specifically tried to visit your blog after I heard about this ‘accident.’

  28. […] which on the surface makes sense to most. While the intent of this exemption makes sense to me, a recent case has caused me to seriously reconsider the implications of an unrestricted […]

  29. […] which on the surface makes sense to most. While the intent of this exemption makes sense to me, a recent case has caused me to seriously reconsider the implications of an unrestricted […]

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