Morning Links: AB 582 raises fatal hit-and-run penalties, grading CD14 candidates, and tilting at Major League windmills

Sometimes I get it wrong.

After a friend alerted me to a bill in the California legislature that appeared to lower the penalties for hit-and-run in the state, I went on Twitter to raise the warning like a digital Paul Revere.

Except in this case, the Red Coats weren’t coming.

While the marked-up text of AB 582 made it look like a number of assembly members had signed on to a bill to reduce prison sentences for hit-and-run causing injury or death, it was actually sort of the opposite.

As currently written, the bill would leave the penalty for misdemeanor hit-and-run — not resulting in serious injuries — just the same as it is right now, with up to one year in jail and/or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

The penalty for felony hit-and-run causing serious, permanent injury would also stay the same, from a minimum of 90 days in county jail to up to four years in state prison.

However, under AB 582, the penalty for a fatal hit-and-run would go up slightly, ranging from 90 days in county to up to six years in state prison, rather than the current four.

Which sounds good. But it’s a big drop from six to eight years in prison, as the bill was originally written.

So while it’s nice to see the legislature finally address the hit-and-run epidemic, AB 582 won’t do a damn thing to keep drivers from hitting the gas after a crash, and leaving their victim bleeding — or dying — in the street.

If they really want to do something, it will either take a dramatic increase in prison time, or a more creative alternative approach to sentencing.

And don’t get me started on why a driver who fails to kill his victim should get rewarded with a lower sentence, when the intent was exactly the same.

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The good folks at Bike the Vote LA grade the candidates for the March primary in CD14, but decline to make an endorsement in the race.

The big surprise is that former Senate president pro tem Kevin de León graded so highly.

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LA Councilmembers “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and Paul “Killer” Koretz once again demonstrate that they have apparently solved all the real problems in Los Angeles, and have nothing better to do than tilt at Major League windmills.

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Get your headshots out.

Here’s your chance to break into cycling cinema.

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CiclaValley offers a recap of last Saturday’s LA Tourist Race, which set gravel bikers, mountain bikers and combined riders on a route-less dash cross the San Gabriels.

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A new ebike introduced at CES folds down small enough to fit in a backpack.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who stole a paralyzed Phoenix man’s wheelchair from his driveway.

An off-duty New York cop was hit in the face with a bicycle chain in an apparently random attack while riding the subway, which does not necessarily mean the attacker was one of us. And no, New York Post, calling a large black man a “brute” isn’t racist at all. No, really.

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Local

Street closures will be in effect in DTLA Saturday for the annual Women’s March, as well as an anti-abortion march held the same time; other marches will take place in Riverside, Hemet, Idyllwild, Coachella and Yucca ValleyIf you’re planning to attend, leave the car at home and take transit or ride a bike.

A Pasadena writer says the Rose City needs its own Green New Deal, including better options for walking and bicycling.

Overall thefts are up in South Pasadena, while bike theft remains high.

Redondo Beach may not be the scene of a Women’s March this Saturday, but it will be home to a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation, so ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits line.

 

State

Streetsblog has more on Tamika Butler’s unexpected resignation from the California Transportation Commission after just four months.

Santa Maria Police will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation today, so the usual protocol applies. See Redondo Beach, above.

This is what a Fresno ebike thief looks like. Note to Fox26News: If you’re going to do a story about a bike thief caught on video stealing an ebike, maybe you should, you know, actually show him stealing the ebike. Just a suggestion.

A Fresno man was shot in the leg as he was riding his bike; he’s reportedly not cooperating with investigators.

 

National

Bicycling finally gets around to addressing the Deloitte study that says ebikes and bikeshare will lead to a doubling of bike commuters around the world in just the next two years; we mentioned it here nearly two weeks ago. And the magazine offers yet another reminder to get medical care ASAP if you’ve had a head injury.

The new China trade agreement eliminates tariffs on kids bikes and ebikes, but leaves a 25% tax on most other bike-related products.

Forget the fight for bike lanes on the street; where we really need them is on LEGO streetscapes.

A Chicago man was killed in a drive-by shooting while apparently riding his bike home from the market.

An Illinois man is suing Walmart for $50,000 after a tire on his new bike exploded, throwing him to the ground; the other tire had exploded before he even left the store.

An Ohio bike rider redefines collateral damage by ending up in the hospital when he’s struck by a flying deer after it was hit by a car.

A five-year old Virginia boy refuses to let getting hit by a car keep him from riding his bike, getting back on it just weeks after getting out of the hospital for breaking “everything” but his “brain.”

 

International

Toronto’s best known ghost bike disappeared without a trace after ten years in place, then reappeared with a new lock and a fresh coat of paint. The bike honors bike messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard, who was killed as he was holding on for dear life after he was hit by the provincial Attorney General at the time, who repeatedly swerved in an apparent attempt to shake him; needless to say, the AG wasn’t held accountable in any way.

Speaking of Toronto, the city is rocked by allegations that bike lanes get priority over regular traffic lanes when it comes to clearing snow. Which could just be because it takes less snow to create dangerous conditions for bicycles than motor vehicles.

A cross-border bike trail could bring bike financial benefits to the US and Canada. If Trump doesn’t decide we need a wall there, too.

Josh Quigley, the 27-year old round-the-world bicyclist who miraculously survived a high-speed crash in Texas last month, is finally preparing to fly home to Scotland.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a hit-and-run driver who left his victim lying in the street walks with a lousy four months probation and a two-year driving ban.

Curbed examines how the City of Lights became an unlikely bicycling success story, setting an example American cities can and should follow. Especially Los Angeles, which doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the Olympic host city just before us. Right, Mayor Garcetti? 

Muscular Bollywood star Salman Khan is one of us, taking to his bike to shuttle between sets in Mumbai.

Now that’s a close pass. An Aussie bike rider is literally bumped by a passing trailer after the driver cuts it way too close.

A new proposal calls for bike lanes in Shanghai, with bicycle expressways in suburban areas.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Santos Women’s Tour Down Under kicked off today, which is already yesterday there; Australia’s Chloe Hosking took the first stage. The men’s race kicks off on Monday.

Former pro Ted King offers a tourist guide to his Healdsburg hometown.

Who knew he was a bike racing fan? His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, rushed to the aid of a cyclist who fell during a women’s race in Dubai Wednesday.

 

Finally…

When you want to ride around the world, but can’t live with a hot espresso. Your next bike could be copper plated, 3D printed and cost $9,500 — and without a seat tube.

And nothing like a little Welsh chariot bike racing.

 

2 comments

  1. Andy Stow says:

    Can’t live without a hot espresso?

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