[*BCM*] Police: Didn't see a bike? That's "reasonable and prudent."
jim_bcm at xuth.net
Wed Jun 2 15:44:37 EDT 2010
I think you're forgetting that it was already perfectly legal for cyclists
to pass cars on the right. The the right hook verbage was just to add
clarification because in a right hook, the cyclist ends up running into
the car. In this case the driver of the car failed to look to the right
and drove into the cyclist which has always been illegal. Per MGL chapter
85 section 11B:
Every person operating a bicycle upon a way, as defined in section one of chapter ninety, shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth and the special regulations contained in this section, except that: (1) the bicycle operator may keep to the right when passing a motor vehicle which is moving in the travel lane of the way, (2) the bicycle ...
Note that while it is perfectly legal and the auto driver was clearly at fault, passing on the right is never a safe thing to do.
On Wed, Jun 02, 2010 at 05:14:28PM -0400, Dave Atkins wrote:
> Loophole in new cyclist bill of rights law: rule against right hook
> does not apply if the motorist DID NOT PASS the cyclist. However, the
> fact that a cyclist is riding to right is not a DEFENSE to motorist
> who causes accident. Did the motorist signal her turn? How are any of
> the undoubtedly confused statements of the injured cyclist relevent to
> the officer's judgement of the situation? I can tell you from personal
> experience how when you been hit by a car you will probably say things
> to minimize the situation. These accidents should not be within the
> discretion of a police officer to simply wave the motorist on her way
> because, in his mind, she was "reasonable and prudent." That is a
> legal standard, not a situational judgement call.
> Dave Atkins
> On Jun 2, 2010, at 4:19 PM, Jym Dyer <jym at econet.org> wrote:
> > http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/features/x338990898/Bystanders-lift-car-off-Watertown-cyclist-Newton-driver-not-charged-in-accident
> > Bystanders lift car off Watertown cyclist,
> > Newton driver not charged in accident
> > By Dan Atkinson / Newton TAB staff writer
> > Wicked Local Newton | Posted 01-Jun-2010 @ 04:31 PM
> > Last update 01-Jun-2010 @ 04:37 PM
> > NEWTON -- A driver ran over a cyclist and attempted to back up
> > with the cyclist still under the car last week, and the cyclist
> > was only freed after bystanders lifted the car off him. But the
> > driver was not at fault in the accident, according to police.
> > According to police reports, a 40-year-old Watertown man was
> > cycling east on Commonwealth Avenue in the 2300 block at about
> > 5:20 p.m. on May 27. The cyclist told police he was traveling
> > in the far right of the lane at about 15 mph, passing cars that
> > were stuck or moving slowly in traffic.
> > Off-duty Wayland Police Officer Tyler Castagno was in his truck
> > on Commonwealth Avenue near the Mobil station when he saw the
> > cyclist go by. Suddenly, Castagno said, a red Toyota Corolla
> > swerved to the right to enter a driveway, knocking the cyclist
> > over and pulling him under the car.
> > "All I could see of [the cyclist] was his knees to his feet,"
> > Castagno said. "Everything else, the car was on top."
> > Castagno's fiancée dialed 911 as he tried to lift the car up
> > off the cyclist. Three youths from another car came to help,
> > and they and Castagno banged on the car when the driver, a
> > 38-year-old Newton woman, "gunned it in reverse" with the man
> > still underneath. The group then lifted the car off the stricken
> > cyclist.
> > "We started moving it as high as we could so we wouldn't scrape
> > his body," Castagno said.
> > Castagno did not think the man was breathing as they moved the
> > car past his torso and head. But other drivers had stopped and
> > provided first aid, and Newton firefighters and EMTs quickly
> > arrived and got him breathing again. The man was taken to Beth
> > Israel Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
> > Castagno, a Wayland resident who's been a police officer for
> > two years, had been on his way to his aunt's house in Waltham
> > to help her move some things, but when he got there his back
> > went "spazzy" because of lifting the car. He had no complaints,
> > though.
> > "It was pure adrenaline, I didn't think about it," Castagno
> > said. "I knew if the car stayed on him, he was going to die."
> > Lt. Bruce Apotheker said the actions of Castagno and other
> > bystanders helped save the cyclist's life. And according to
> > the investigating officer, Apotheker said, the driver was not
> > at fault for the crash.
> > "The cyclist's actions, which were confirmed by his own
> > statements, contributed to the crash," Apotheker said.
> > The driver told police she never saw the cyclist, and because
> > he had not previously passed her, she had no reason to expect
> > he would be there, Apotheker said. She was not cited for
> > improper operation.
> > "The officer felt a reasonable and prudent person would not
> > be expecting someone on their right," he said.
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