Jury Applies No Penalty to Speeding Driver For Killing Cyclist Jake McDonaugh

This article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

Streetsblog New York City: Jury Applies No Penalty to Speeding Driver For Killing Cyclist Jake McDonaugh

by Ben Fried on October 28, 2011

A Brooklyn jury has found defendant Michael Oxley not guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the 2010 death of Jake McDonaugh, the Post reports.

Oxley was speeding behind the wheel of a Dodge Caravan when he ran down cyclist McDonaugh at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Duryea Place last April. The investigation and prosecution were unusual for a vehicular violence case — police followed up with witnesses, and the Brooklyn District Attorney applied a felony charge. But the jury cleared Oxley of homicide as well as reckless driving, a misdemeanor. A closer look at the case is in order.

At 9:20 a.m. on the morning of April 14, Oxley was driving on Flatbush when he struck and killed McDonaugh, who was bicycling eastbound on Duryea. Oxley, 28 at the time, was observed traveling at an excessive speed, and a witness saw him run a red before killing McDonaugh, according to court documents [PDF]. He was driving with a suspended license and according to the Daily News had racked up three license suspensions for failing to pay fines for speeding and improper turns.

[ Keep Reading... ]

A New Breed of Lawyers Focuses on Bicyclists' Rights

This blog article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

The New York Times: A New Breed of Lawyers Focuses on Bicyclists’ Rights

By J. DAVID GOODMAN
Published: August 19, 2011

AT the law firm Rankin & Taylor, everybody’s a cyclist.

Scott Charnas, a personal-injury lawyer, has handled many cases involving New York cyclists.
One recent day, the lawyers there parsed bike-law issues, like “dooring zones” and when is it legally acceptable to ride outside a designated lane, while downstairs, each of their bikes were expertly locked to a scaffold along Broadway in TriBeCa.

The small firm is preparing to bring a class-action suit against New York City on behalf of cyclists over summons handed out for what it contends are phantom violations — bike behavior that it says is not illegal in the city. It is another sign that New York’s bike fights are moving from the streets to the courtroom.

[ Keep Reading... ]

Curing Car Vs. Cyclist Road Wars With A New Rule: "Just Don't Steal The Right-Of-Way"

This blog article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

Treehugger: Curing Car Vs. Cyclist Road Wars With A New Rule: "Just Don't Steal The Right-Of-Way"
by A.K. Streeter, Portland, Oregon on 08.18.11
CARS & TRANSPORTATION (bikes)

Though a world-class cycling city, Portland lacks a bike share system similar to those in other great cycling cities such as Minneapolis, Montreal, Paris, Barcelona. Though bike sharing is considered to be important to attract new cyclists onto the lanes, lack of funds has hampered planning efforts. At first, 2011 seemed to be the year the city of Portland would fund bike sharing. But then, as a vote neared, opposition arose from Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who claimed she couldn't support funding bike sharing due to...bad bicyclist behavior.

"I may support a bike sharing program downtown when I see bike riders using downtown streets and sidewalks in a safe manner. Daily, I see cyclists in the Light rail and bus lanes in front of my office. I see cyclists riding on the sidewalks, endangering and harassing pedestrians. I see cyclists running red lights and making illegal turns off the bus mall. And these are presumably experienced cyclists. I believe a bike rental program downtown would only add to these unsafe behaviors." - Amanda Fritz, via Bike Portland

Though the idea of withholding funding to a system until all users agree to strictly follow the rules is a new line of logic (imagine canceling road improvements until car drivers were caught speeding), bashing scofflaw cyclists, or course, isn't unique to Portland or Commissioner Fritz.

In fact, holding cyclists to a "different standard" is rampant, says bicycle attorney Bob Mionske, author of the book Bicycling and the Law.

"It is hypocritical, but cyclists are held to a different standard," Mionske said. "Meanwhile, 7 out of 10 motorists admit to breaking the law."

[ Keep Reading... ]

"A Driver's" (Windshield) Perspective

Any cyclist who has ever read an online news story about cycling is familiar with this phenomenon—the comments section, where drivers vent their fury at cyclists, regardless of facts or circumstances. In fact, the actual facts of the news story are as irrelevant to these internet-ragers as the law. The article could be about a law-abiding cyclist being hit by a law-breaking motorist, for example, or it could be about a law-abiding cyclist being assaulted by a motorist in violation of the law. No matter. The inevitable Pavlovian reaction from these rageaholics will be to recount how “this one time I saw some other cyclist break the law.”

[ Keep Reading... ]

Blaming The Victim

Picture this: A pedestrian is standing on the curb, waiting for the light to change. The light changes, and the pedestrian steps out into the crosswalk and begins crossing the street. Before the pedestrian can reach he other side, a motorist runs the red light and hits the pedestrian. The pedestrian survives, but has sustained some injuries, and is transported to the hospital.

Police report that the pedestrian had been walking “too fast,” and hit the car.

The media dutifully reports this fact. Outraged by this incident, an op-ed column suggests that “the only solution” to this problem is to require pedestrians to be licensed and insured.

Does that sound far-fetched? Of course it does. That would never happen.

But suppose that, instead of a pedestrian, we are talking about a collision between a motorist and a cyclist. Does that sound so far-fetched now?

[ Keep Reading... ]

Staying safe while biking in traffic

This blog article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

The Chicago Tribune: Staying safe while biking in traffic

By Julie Deardorff
Tribune Newspapers
1:06 p.m. CDT, July 27, 2011

Biking in traffic isn't as treacherous as it might seem. Cyclists rarely get mowed down by motorists from behind — a common fear — and in fact, most accidents don't involve motor vehicles at all.

[ Keep Reading... ]

Sending A Message

“It sends the wrong message.”

That’s how Denise Hudson described a decision by the Supreme Court of South Australia’s to slash the sentence of the careless driver who killed her husband.

[ Keep Reading... ]

The Chicago Tribune: Bike safety: My 6-year-old was 'doored'

This blog article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

The Chicago Tribune: Bike safety: My 6-year-old was 'doored'

By Julie Deardorff, Tribune Newspapers
July 7, 2011

Last weekend, my 6-year-old was doored — the driver of a parked car flung open the door in his path -- while riding his two-wheeler with me in a designated bike lane in downtown Evanston. My son wasn’t hurt, but the driver took no responsibility for the incident and said, “I hope you learned a lesson, young man.”

[ Keep Reading... ]

Road ID: Rules of the Road

To see the entire Rules of the Road series of videos and tips for cyclists (and drivers!), visit Road ID: Rules of the Road.

Advice for Drivers- Road ID Rules of the Road

 

More Entries