I have to work fast to get a new post online every night.
But sometimes, the need for speed forces me to link to stories I haven’t had a chance to fully read.
That’s how I missed the heart of this piece by San Diego’s KPBS when I included a link to it earlier this week.
The story dealt with victims’ families too often feeling like they’ve been let down by the justice system when killer drivers get off with a slap on the wrist, if that.
But what I missed was the focus on the wife of fallen bicyclist Matt Keenan, who was killed by a wrong way driver while riding in Mission Valley last year.
The county district attorney’s office decided not to charge the driver with a felony, after she claimed she hit Keenan head-on because she’d thought she was on a one-way street.
Call it barely plausible deniability.
Driver who killed my husband getting misdemeanor charge, despite wrong way driving for 100 yrds & into bike lane, not seeing him or breaking. No clear definitions of gross negligence or felony vs misdemeanor, leave DA with subjective decision-making power. Sharing to spur change. https://t.co/ByGptJ30C9
— Laura Keenan (@keenan_bike) February 22, 2022
The driver told police she thought the street, Camino Del Rio South, was one-way, and that she never saw the cyclist coming.
Keenan does not buy those excuses. She asked the San Diego Police Department to search the driver’s phone records for evidence that she was distracted, but never heard back on that request.
“Something had to make (the driver) extremely distracted, and really, what that is shouldn’t be the issue,” Keenan said. “She was so distracted that she did not see my husband and his extremely bright lights. She never hit the brakes.”
One problem is that police have to get a search warrant to examine a driver’s phone, which requires probable cause to believe a crime took place.
In other words, before they can get a judge to agree to let them see a driver’s phone, they need evidence that the driver was using it.
A legal Catch 22.
The law should be changed to require implied consent, just as anyone with a driver’s license is assumed to have consented to a blood alcohol test if police suspect they’re under the influence.
Merely possessing a driver’s license should give police the right to examine a phone following a collision to see if it had been in use at the time of a crash.
Failure to turn over the phone should result in an automatic loss of license, combined with a presumption of use.
Only then will we see justice for victims of distracted drivers.
And maybe even stop them from doing it in the first place.
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.
Peter Flax gets it.
But we already knew that, right?
These are not members of different bike tribes. They are people riding bikes. We are not defined as riders by what we wear and have way too much in common to be distracted by trivial differences. pic.twitter.com/ZJ33P7rZNO
— Peter Flax (@Pflax1) February 23, 2022
Together we ride, separately.
Join a virtual ride to mark International Women’s Day in two weeks.
Together WE ride. Together WE mediate. Come join us on the 3rd Annual Together We Ride to celebrate the 111th Anniversary of International Women’s Day with a bike ride and meditation session @diversecycling Details in link in bio. #inspyrdmovement #togetherweride1 pic.twitter.com/lUYFeNNzQp
— Together We Ride (@TogetherWeRide3) February 23, 2022
Hats off to Isla Bikes for going the extra mile to solve a problem of inclusivity no one else has addressed.
As long as we’re on the subject of inclusivity, meet Sister Shred, a legally blind Colorado woman who has never met a slope she wouldn’t carve on her mountain bike or snow bike.
And Bicycling profiles a man suffering from a rare degenerative disease, who vows to keep riding his recumbent tricycle until he no longer can. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.
But only young, able-bodied people can ride bicycles, right?
A before and after view of a formerly dangerous Toronto street shows the difference good infrastructure makes.
That feeling when a YouTube TV series about recovering stolen bicycles is really just a cleverly disguised ad for Van Moof.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
Sadly, bike lane opponents seem to be the same the world over, as an Irish mayor reports that supporters of a bikeway were “denigrated as crazy cyclists” who don’t work or pay taxes, while the real crazies were the opponents who called her with death threats.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Once again, someone riding a bicycle has shot out a Queens traffic cam, firing 16 shots at a red light camera to knock it out of commission.
Sixty-eight-year old Congresswoman and LA mayoral candidate Karen Bass is one of us, riding her bike along the Venice bike path to get a firsthand look at the area’s homeless problem.
No bias here. Hermosa Beach police report they busted a trio of teenaged ebike-riding taggers, even though their mode of transportation had nothing to do with the crime; they could have just as easily walked or ridden regular bicycles to the places they spray painted.
Metro Bike is teaming with the LACBC to offer a virtual bike safety class this Saturday.
A handful of San Francisco bike riders formed a people-protected bike lane to protest the city’s continued inaction on Valencia Street, where bike lane-blocking drivers continue to put people on bicycles at risk.
Democrats in the Washington state legislature are proposing a 16-year Complete Streets plan to reimagine the state’s roadways, as traffic deaths climbed to a 16-year high last year.
Missouri is expanding bike and ebike access on service roads and multi-use trails managed by the state Department of Conservation. Although maybe someone should tell them that ebikes are bikes.
It has to be the epitome of NIMBYism to oppose a combination walkway and bikeway in front of Connecticut homes that don’t even have a damn sidewalk. Or want one.
Congratulations to a Charlotte NC website, which somehow managed to write a five point plan for bike safety, in which four of the points don’t mention wearing a bike helmet. Once again, don’t get me wrong. I always wear a helmet when I ride. But helmets should always be seen as the last resort when all else fails, not the first, last and too often only steps for bike safety.
A pair of South Carolina state legislators make the case for why the people of Charleston County deserve a roadway that’s safe for everyone, after a businessman and community leader was killed in a collision while walking along it.
Cycling News offers advice on how to upgrade your bike without breaking the bank.
Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a driver got just two and a half years for the drunken, high speed crash that killed a man riding a bike; he was driving at twice the legal alcohol limit even though it was the middle of the day. His victim was a father who founded a nonprofit to build a school and medical clinic in his native Zambia.
An 80-year old British man is on trial for fatally running down a bike-riding man in a dump truck; he also faces charges for failing to stop after the crash, and failing to give his name or the owner of the badly maintained vehicle. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive. And why the hell an 80-year old man was behind the wheel of a heavy duty truck in the first place, let alone one that wasn’t safe to drive.
Horses will now get the same protection as bicyclists and pedestrians under Britain’s newly revised Highway Code.
Italian cycling legend and three-time Grand Tour winner Gino Bartali is the star of a new animated movie for the kid set, focusing on his heroism saving Jews in WWII.
Bike riders in Kolkata, India turned out to welcome and ride along with a British cancer survivor riding a tandem over 12,000 miles through 28 countries, from the UK to Beijing
Cycling Tips argues that, Chris Froome’s comments to the contrary, time trials run on road bikes aren’t really any safer than those using specialized time trial bikes.
A new report says the handlebar that snapped on Australian cyclist Alex Porter’s track bike at last year’s Tokyo Olympics wasn’t adequately inspected or tested, leading the country’s cycling authority to apologize.
Seven-time gold medal winning British cyclist Jason Kenny is calling it a career as the country’s most decorated Olympian.
If you’re a convicted felon carrying a sawed-off shotgun and a flare gun engraved with a swastika on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign, already. Riding in the metaverse means you only have to worry about virtual drivers.
And it’s only ten days late for Valentines Day. Then again, there’s no expiration date on love.
Bike of the day! This beaut was spotted near the ferry terminal on the Rock. pic.twitter.com/ooWljg01kr
— Streetsblog New York (@StreetsblogNYC) February 23, 2022
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.