Life is cheap right here in California, too.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 29-year old Eric Monte Burns pled guilty to killing 68-year old Bradley “Brad” Allen Catcott as he fled from police in Carlsbad last year, agreeing to a four-year term behind bars.
Burns was attempting to evade a Carlsbad State Beach ranger while speeding along Carlsbad Blvd on his motorcycle last August, with a 22-year old woman on his bike, when he slammed into the victim’s bicycle as Catcott was merging into the turn lane from the bike lane.
Catcott died at the scene, while both people on the motorcycle suffered serious injuries.
With good behavior, Burns will be out in less than two years. Meanwhile, Catcott received the death penalty, and his loved ones have been sentenced to a lifetime without him.
A similar crime in some other states could result in a decade or more of hard time.
But California’s too lenient traffic laws too often allow killer drivers to escape with a relative slap on the wrist.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.
In the same story, The Union-Tribune reports that ebike injuries have dropped considerably since Carlsbad declared a state of emergency last year, allowing city officials to “expedite increased attention and expenditures for enhanced enforcement efforts, new traffic safety measures and safe driving education programs.”
There were just two ebike-related injuries reported last month, compared with ten the previous February.
However, a 14-year old girl is recovering from serious injuries after she was struck by a turning driver on the first day of March.
The victim suffered a skull fracture, concussion and several broken teeth while riding her ebike on Carlsbad’s Tamarack Ave, near where Christine Embree was killed by a driver while riding an ebike with her 16-month old daughter last August.
LADOT installed a sign honoring Monique Muñoz, who was killed by a teenage driver in an overpowered Lamborghini SUV traveling at over 100 mph.
Yesterday we joined @CD5LosAngeles in unveiling a memorial sign at Olympic and Overland to honor Monique Muñoz, whose life was taken too soon by an act of speeding on our streets. This sign serves as a reminder to drivers to slow down and practice safe driving behavior. pic.twitter.com/DYpk8rpKp2
— LADOT (@LADOTofficial) March 8, 2023
But as others have noted today, a far better memorial would be to fix the streets so drivers can’t travel at speeds that would be illegal on any highway in the state.
The LAPD released security cam video showing the car that killed 51-year old Oscar Montoya in San Pedro shortly after midnight Saturday morning, although initial reports mistakenly located the collision several miles away in Venice.
Police describe it as a possible light-colored Toyota Scion, though it looks more like a Kia Soul to me.
The driver reportedly paused briefly after the crash before hitting the gas and disappearing out of view.
Meanwhile, Guy Piddock described the terror he feels riding the less than one-third mile gap in the bike lane on Pacific Ave where Montoya was killed.
https://t.co/d8IUcJi9oP video just released by local news with an interview with the family after.
— Guy Paddock (@gpaddock) March 8, 2023
A video from Not Just Bikes calls for banning dangerously oversized SUVs larger than WWII tanks.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. A San Diego TV station reports that a new protected bike lane and dedicated bus lane on Park Blvd will improve safety and connectivity, while opening the street up to all road users. But all they seem to care about is the loss of hundreds of parking spaces.
No bias here, either. A Sonoma County man can’t believe the CHP didn’t even cite the reckless driver who rear-ended him on his bike; the cop mistakenly blamed him for not riding as close to the right edge as practicable, while ignoring the section of the law allowing riders to take the lane when it’s too narrow to safely share. Proving once again than no one understands bike law less than the CHP.
Or here. Seattle bike riders are getting the blame for the city’s plan to remove eight aging cherry trees near the iconic Pike Place Market, even though the project will downgrade bicycling facilities while increasing space for cars.
But sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.
A Montana man faces charges for using his bicycle as a weapon to attack a truck driver, after allegedly crashing his bike into the truck, then striking the victim several time before slamming the bike over his head. Three witnesses reported the victim, who apparently has major anger management issues, crashed his bike into the side of the passing truck, even though it’s more likely the driver passed too close.
Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is working with LADOT to make the Angeleno Heights neighborhood safe from fans of the Fast & Furious franchise, who try to recreate racing scenes from the original movie while putting residents at risk.
Carlsbad fire officials suspect a lithium-ion ebike battery was the cause of a recent garage fire.
A 17-year old Ocean Beach boy calls on the hit-and-run driver who left him in a wheelchair with a broken pelvis to turn themselves in, saying the driver who fled after hitting his ebike “took everything from” him.
That’s more like it. A new mixed-use housing project in Imperial Beach will give you a free ebike and reduce your rent if you don’t have a car.
San Luis Obispo is preparing to break ground on a $6 million bike lane project, although, as usual, local residents decry the loss of parking.
Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick argues that a planned $200 million bike and pedestrian bridge connecting an 800-foot gap over an estuary between Oakland’s Jack London Square and Western Alameda is just too damn complicated; the plans call for a drawbridge mechanism to make room for passing boats, but Rudick says just build a higher bridge with elevator access.
Streetsblog reports the Biden administration has caved to Republican legislators, and removed the Fix-It-First requirement for using federal infrastructure funds to improve the safety and condition of existing roads before building new ones or expanding existing roads.
Ebike maker Velotric compiled a field guide to different types of bicycling infrastructure common in the US, from sharrows to bike paths and protected bike lanes.
A Boise public radio station examines the origin of the Idaho Stop Law, which has been rapidly spreading across the country in recent years. Except in California, where our governor vetoed it.
Life is cheap in Missouri, where a convicted hit-and-run driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a 50-year old man riding a bicycle, after the judge gave him five years probation and a lousy $500 fine.
A Massachusetts judge has dismissed a lawsuit by opponents of a Cambridge bike lane demanding the return of parking spaces that were removed to make space for it; the dismissal also allows the city to move forward with additional bike lanes that had been in limbo because of the lawsuit.
Lawyers concluded their closing remarks in the death penalty trial of convicted Manhattan bike path terrorist Sayfullo Saipov; jurors will begin deliberating tomorrow whether he will be executed for killing eight people as he plowed down the bike lane in a rented truck, or spend the rest of his life in a high security prison.
New York is attempting to reduce ebike battery fires by banning the sale of ebikes without UL-listed batteries.
A New York op-ed argues that the city’s dangerous streets should be illegal.
Relatives of a fallen North Carolina bike rider worry that evidence against the alleged drunk driver who killed him could be thrown out of court, after the state trooper who collected the evidence was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. Although what one has to do with the other is beyond me.
Kindhearted Coral Gables cops gave a new BMX bike to a 13-year old boy from Honduras who crossed the Mexican border with his brother two years ago, before his mother was able to join them last year.
Cycling Weekly rates the best women’s road bikes, while noting that not every woman wants or needs a bike designed for feminine riders.
Cyclist explains how to select the right tire pressure for your bike.
Hundreds of people turned out to ride for safer streets for women in London, where they make up less than a third of bike riders. Meanwhile, Strava data shows British women are less likely to ride after dark. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.
A London bike rider is attempting to overcome windshield bias by posting his bike cam videos online with a dashboard overlaid on it to make it look like it was filmed inside a car.
A woman in the UK has filed an appeal over her three-year sentence for knocking a 77-year woman off her bike and into traffic, where she was killed, for the crime of riding her bike on the sidewalk to avoid a dangerous street. But the British press is trying to paint her as the victim, stressing the dificulty she’ll have in prison while suffering from partial blindness, cerebral palsy and a deformed right foot — even though none of that kept her from pushing the victim off her bike.
British Cycling warned the country’s bike riders that bike helmets don’t prevent concussions, and urge riders to sit out for awhile after a substantial bang on the head.
A the overwhelming majority of UK residents support the concept of 15-minute neighborhoods, despite the bizarre conspiracy theories.
Bergen, Norway is preparing to open the world’s longest purpose-built bike and pedestrian tunnel, stretching nearly two miles beneath the city’s Løvstakken mountain; it’s expected to take around ten minutes to bike through.
Aussie cyclist Caleb Ewan’s Lotto Dstny team is demanding proof the sprinter lost Sunday’s GP Monseré in a photo finish, challenging the grainy image that awarded the win to Intermarché-Circus-Wanty’s Gerben Thijssen.
Ouch. Cycling great Tom Boonen says two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is being held back by Colnago, arguing that the UAE Team Emirates’ bike sponsor hasn’t mastered the “super-hyper-aero stuff yet.”
That feeling when you take your last ride in a rainbow wicker coffin on a tricycle hearse. Probably not the best idea to ride your bike up to a lawyer while swilling wine and threaten to kill the judge that sent your dad to prison.
And that feeling when St. George is a sword-wielding girl on a BMX bike, slaying the dragon holding girls back.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.