Friday, June 11, 2010

can we be real?

Crap.

Here we go again:

http://bikeportland.org/2010/06/11/hit-and-run-on-se-division-leads-to-serious-injuries/#more-34753

If you scroll down to the comments you'll note that too many of the readers have little faith in law enforcement and the courts (which recent handed down a sentence of probation to a driver who threw his car into reverse to hit a guy on a bike last year, leaving the bicyclist with severe head injuries).

I'm glad they found the motorist in this case, but I admit that I, too, have little faith in the justice system to address the imbalances between bicyclists and motorists whom the law insists must "share the road".

How many of you have wished that justice for scofflaw motorists who injure bicyclists got something closer to Instant Karma to deal with? How many of you have fantasized a bike mob going to the home of a motorist who killed a kid on a bike (because he was drunk, or careless, or raging) and got off with [bleeeeep]-ing probation, and, well, calling him out and demanding that pound of flesh?

I have. I admit it. I dream of this every time someone kills or seriously injures a bicyclist with a motor vehicle and gets little or no meaningful punishment.

Suspending someone driver's license is meaningless. people drive with suspended licenses all the time.
Sending the driver to a few days of "Anger Management" counseling (as was the case in a few recent road rage cases) is useless when most experts agree that such counseling needs months of application to begin to have a positive effect.
Fining the driver is useless if s/he is unemployed.
In all these cases, irresponsible and dangerous motorists always seem to find ways to get behind the wheel of a car and start driving again. And sooner or later, another bicyclist or pedestrian is killed because of a driver's stupidity, ego, or rage.

When the hell are we going to pass a Vehicular Homicide law in Oregon?

1 comment:

EvoDavo said...

I was in Davis, CA for a ride just ahead of the TOC. They call Davis Bike City USA. The drivers yield to bikes as if there were roaming lynch mobs waiting to hang a driver who didn't give way for a cyclist. It was refreshing, almost unreal. I found it hard to get used to being treated with respect on a bike. It made me realize how much I feel like a target when I'm in traffic...