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Old 04-24-2013, 03:44 PM   #1
colodak OP
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Update to fatal crash post

IN March I posted the following about a friend who recently died from injuries sustained in motorcycle crash last year. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=871782

Thought I would post an update and some new details. Some new details that I have learned about the above accident, that I wasn't aware of previously and some new changes.


The scumbag in the accident was originally charged with Careless Driving, in January he was offered a plea bargain which he didn't take. The charge has now been updated to Careless Driving Resulting in Death. The max penalty, is 12 points 1 yr in Jail, and $1,000 fine. If he has no priors, he will probably get $500 in fines, 4 points, and 30 days.

Scumbag in question is 20 yrs old, he pulled out in front of my friend, a distance of less than 3 car lengths. Even after being struck he tried to drive off, but was stopped because his car wouldn't drive properly and witnesses. He had been out partying the night before, but the levels of marijuana in his system were not high enough for that to be considered an amplifier to his charges (which is interesting vs. if it had been alcohol).
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:58 PM   #2
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....Scumbag in question is 20 yrs old, he pulled out in front of my friend, a distance of less than 3 car lengths.
That does sound like Careless Driving. And it did, unfortunately, result in a death. Not like the guy got out of bed and decided "I'm gonna go find me a motorcyclist to kill!"

Sorry about your friend, he's still just as dead.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:53 PM   #3
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there is hope that it could be upped again to vehicular manslaughter, but that is unlikely
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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there is hope that it could be upped again to vehicular manslaughter, but that is unlikely
I don't understand the law and driving. Had he driven over a pedestrian would the charge be the same? Or walked up and punched your friend? Why are motorcycle and bicycle riders on their own? The word accident should be removed from the lexicon. In the local paper, A motorcycle was run over by a semi last week in Wyoming on I80. The truck driver didn't see him driving straight in his lane overtook him and drove right over the bike, rider died at the scene. No charges have been filed yet.
Sorry for your loss.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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I don't understand the law and driving. Had he driven over a pedestrian would the charge be the same? Or walked up and punched your friend? Why are motorcycle and bicycle riders on their own? The word accident should be removed from the lexicon. In the local paper, A motorcycle was run over by a semi last week in Wyoming on I80. The truck driver didn't see him driving straight in his lane overtook him and drove right over the bike, rider died at the scene. No charges have been filed yet.
Sorry for your loss.
Because the penalty is not a deterrent in cases like this I would presume.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:46 AM   #6
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Because the penalty is not a deterrent in cases like this I would presume.
Don't think that's the case, as the penalty isn't a deterrent in many ways. You'd think the death penalty would stop killings... not so much.

My take is that judges etc look at these as "yeah, those motorcycles are hard to see". And it's hard to prove otherwise. A perp will simply swear up and down they didn't see them... without alcohol etc to prove negligence...

This is why I always advocate doing what you can to "be seen". It's critical for us.

Sorry about this OP, it really does suck.

Cheers
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:47 AM   #7
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Don't think that's the case, as the penalty isn't a deterrent in many ways. You'd think the death penalty would stop killings... not so much.

My take is that judges etc look at these as "yeah, those motorcycles are hard to see". And it's hard to prove otherwise. A perp will simply swear up and down they didn't see them... without alcohol etc to prove negligence...

This is why I always advocate doing what you can to "be seen". It's critical for us.

Sorry about this OP, it really does suck.

Cheers
I don't have a criminal mind, but if I had one, I would take into account the chance I wouldn't get caught as well, as far as murdering goes. I would be surprised if deliberate murders didn't go up if the country abolished the death penalty and surprised if it didn't go down if every state adopted it.

With these SMIDSY deaths, the drives aren't calculating anything, they never intended or desired to kill anyone, unlike a murderer. So on one hand, there's no deterrent needed. Additionally to that, their minds literally do not register the bike being there, so even if the death penalty was applied to it, it would not make a difference, they're still going to kill the biker. What does severely penalizing the driver do? Costs more tax dollars, that's about all. They aren't a dangerous driver, all drivers are dangerous, what does it matter which one takes you out?
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by shaddix View Post
I don't have a criminal mind, but if I had one, I would take into account the chance I wouldn't get caught as well, as far as murdering goes. I would be surprised if deliberate murders didn't go up if the country abolished the death penalty and surprised if it didn't go down if every state adopted it.

With these SMIDSY deaths, the drives aren't calculating anything, they never intended or desired to kill anyone, unlike a murderer. So on one hand, there's no deterrent needed. Additionally to that, their minds literally do not register the bike being there, so even if the death penalty was applied to it, it would not make a difference, they're still going to kill the biker. What does severely penalizing the driver do? Costs more tax dollars, that's about all. They aren't a dangerous driver, all drivers are dangerous, what does it matter which one takes you out?
Anyone out there understand this guy's line of reasoning?

This is the kind of attitude that puts dangerous drivers back on the road.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:31 PM   #9
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Anyone out there understand this guy's line of reasoning?

This is the kind of attitude that puts dangerous drivers back on the road.
Every driver on the road is dangerous, none of them intend to or want to kill anyone. They are going to pull out in front of bikes and kill riders and there's absolutely nothing the law can do about it. Nothing. You could make it so the punishment is 10 years of torture and their whole family gets killed by the state, wouldn't matter. Everyone would be terrified of hitting a rider, but they would still do it, because there's nothing the driver can do about it. Given that fact of life, by charging each one that is unlucky enough to kill a rider with manslaughter, you aren't improving the situation for riders by doing this at all. You would simply be exacting vengeance and wasting money.

For the folks that are deliberately negligent and kill a biker, such as speeding 20 over around a blind corner and killing a rider waiting to turn left, lock them up forever, sure. But performing a normal maneuver because they literally can not see the rider shouldn't be grounds for any kind of severe punishment.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by shaddix View Post
Every driver on the road is dangerous, none of them intend to or want to kill anyone. They are going to pull out in front of bikes and kill riders and there's absolutely nothing the law can do about it. Nothing. You could make it so the punishment is 10 years of torture and their whole family gets killed by the state, wouldn't matter. Everyone would be terrified of hitting a rider, but they would still do it, because there's nothing the driver can do about it. Given that fact of life, by charging each one that is unlucky enough to kill a rider with manslaughter, you aren't improving the situation for riders by doing this at all. You would simply be exacting vengeance and wasting money.

For the folks that are deliberately negligent and kill a biker, such as speeding 20 over around a blind corner and killing a rider waiting to turn left, lock them up forever, sure. But performing a normal maneuver because they literally can not see the rider shouldn't be grounds for any kind of severe punishment.
Seriously?

Nothing?

Huh?
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by shaddix View Post
Every driver on the road is dangerous, none of them intend to or want to kill anyone. They are going to pull out in front of bikes and kill riders and there's absolutely nothing the law can do about it. Nothing. You could make it so the punishment is 10 years of torture and their whole family gets killed by the state, wouldn't matter. Everyone would be terrified of hitting a rider, but they would still do it, because there's nothing the driver can do about it. Given that fact of life, by charging each one that is unlucky enough to kill a rider with manslaughter, you aren't improving the situation for riders by doing this at all. You would simply be exacting vengeance and wasting money.

For the folks that are deliberately negligent and kill a biker, such as speeding 20 over around a blind corner and killing a rider waiting to turn left, lock them up forever, sure. But performing a normal maneuver because they literally can not see the rider shouldn't be grounds for any kind of severe punishment.
So that makes sins of Omission different from sins of COmission? If someone can't drive responsibly, just remove him from driving. Problem solved. Nobody has an absolute right to drive. One qualifies by driving responsibly. If you don't, better move someplace with good public transportation so you can get to work. Didn't see the rider in time to stop? The charge is "Failure to stop in the assured clear distance ahead".
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:53 PM   #12
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Seriously?

Nothing?

Huh?
Maybe you need to read up on the psychology behind SMIDSY accidents. It isn't that the driver saw and didn't care. To them, it was as if nothing was there at all, therefore no threat by the law will make any difference. The only thing that helps is increasing conspicuity. Another option would be a second person in the car with them to help them look for bikes, or I think I saw there's something on fancy cars now that applies the brakes for you if you try to turn across oncoming traffic, has radar that tells the computer when there's vehicles coming. I think if it's another fancy car it automatically flashes the oncoming vehicles headlights too.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:55 PM   #13
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So that makes sins of Omission different from sins of COmission? If someone can't drive responsibly, just remove him from driving. Problem solved. Nobody has an absolute right to drive. One qualifies by driving responsibly. If you don't, better move someplace with good public transportation so you can get to work. Didn't see the rider in time to stop? The charge is "Failure to stop in the assured clear distance ahead".
I think you're still missing the point, if you removed all the folks that have the potential to kill a rider due to a SMIDSY, you would have nobody left on the road except for other riders. *Everyone* has the potential to SMIDSY you, just because they haven't done it yet does not mean they are a responsible driver. Just because someone has done it doesn't make them an irresponsible driver.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:00 PM   #14
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I think you're still missing the point, if you removed all the folks that have the potential to kill a rider due to a SMIDSY, you would have nobody left on the road except for other riders. *Everyone* has the potential to SMIDSY you, just because they haven't done it yet does not mean they are a responsible driver. Just because someone has done it doesn't make them an irresponsible driver.
I've been driving/riding for 50+ years. Never guilty of a SMIDSY. The difference is that I pay attention when driving.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:09 PM   #15
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I've been driving/riding for 50+ years. Never guilty of a SMIDSY. The difference is that I pay attention when driving.
How do you know? Maybe you have just gotten lucky so far. I've never been guilty of a SMIDSY either. The experts on this stuff tell us that people who are guilty of a SMIDSY literally did not realize anything was coming despite the fact they looked directly at the rider and were paying attention. Something about a looming effect, a gentle weave in the lane is supposed to help dispel it. Given that information, I look both ways three times and even more as I continue into an intersection. Still may not be enough and someday I might kill someone even being as diligent as possible...


Anyway I think that's the logic behind not charging all the offenders with manslaughter, there was no negligence involved, it is literally a case of an invisible vehicle in the drivers mind and it's a fact of being a human and the way we are wired to see movement.
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