Man on bike killed when he’s run down by driver on Calexico highway; police blame victim for riding legally

Never put it past the police to blame a victim for riding legally in the traffic lane.

That appears to be the case in Calexico, where an unidentified man was killed while riding his bike on a local highway just before sunrise Tuesday.

According to KYMA-TV, the victim, who appeared to be in his early 30s, was riding his bike somewhere on Highway 111 when he was struck by a southbound van driver.

A spokesman for the Calexico Police Department stressed that the victim was wearing dark clothing, and “was not riding off to the shoulder, as bicyclists should be riding.”

Except there is no requirement under California law that says how someone on a bicycle has to be dressed. And absolutely nothing requiring bicyclists to ride on the shoulder, which is not legally considered part of the roadway.

It’s true that people on bicycles are required to ride as far to the right as practicable. But as far as the law is concerned, that requirement ends at the white line.

It may be wiser to ride on the shoulder, in some cases, but many people prefer the traffic lanes to the broken glass and rocks that collect on unswept shoulders.

Even the DMV says that bicyclists may ride in the center of any substandard lane for increased visibility; drivers are expected to not only see them, but move to the other lane to go around them.

Dark clothing or not.

And substandard is defined as any lane too narrow for someone on a bicycle to safely share with another vehicle, while leaving a minimum three-foot passing distance.

Frankly, there is something terribly wrong when the people who are charged with enforcing the law appear to be so ignorant of it.

And don’t get me started on the local TV station insisting on showing the victim’s blood running off the highway.

This is at least the 70th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in sparsely populated Imperial County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

6 comments

  1. JJD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the victim.

    • Jim G says:

      Hope it wasn’t the guy that I’ve seen thousands of times at that time of morning with the “moonlit” lite. A light that extends above your helmet giving you lite from above that is highly visible. If this guy was a cyclist..in this region he had to be well illuminated. Dark clothing is better constrasted by good lighting. It’s a fact. That’s why Leo’s wear black or dark blue. Whomever made the comment regarding dark clothing as a justification was douchebag.

  2. Edward Gallegos says:

    Was the bicycle equipped with a rear reflector or light?

  3. james says:

    In the minds of most police officers riding a bicycle, like walking, is so far outside of their idea of normal behavior that they will do everything they can to blame a person who is injured or killed while defying norms. It isn’t about the law or traffic engineering concepts. It is all about feelings about what is normal. People who make the mistake or walking or riding a bicycle are so abnormal that you need only offer judgement not consider the text of the law. If he had lights then it was his fault for not wearing reflective clothing. If he did everything the police want him to do including riding in the gutter then it was his fault for riding on a dangerous road in the dark. They’d prefer we only ride on the sidewalk use crosswalks at every intersection and will of course blame us when we are hit riding in the crosswalk.

    • Sarah says:

      His name was Kevin he was not in his mid 30s like they said he was 18 going to 19 on jan.06. He was on his way to calexico when he got hit. I personally dont understand why the driver didnt get off his car and checked on him or took him to the hospital he wouldve probably still been alive today if he would have done so!!

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