This from Baltimore Spokes via someone who went to the trial.
After the collision, the driver made a statement to Maryland State Police that she had just left home and had cleared a portion of the left windshield of morning dew but left the fogged up right side to be cleared by the car’s heater. The windshield had not yet cleared and she was busy searching for a cigarette lighter in her purse (the car’s lighter didn’t work) when she ran into the cyclist. “I just didn’t see him”.
The judge found her guilty of negligent driving. When the driver asked for a reduction in the amount of the fine because of lack of personal funds, the judge rolled his eyes and said “Your negligence has caused the death of a human being. I’m going to require the maximum fine plus costs”.
Maximum fine $287.50 plus $25.50 court costs for a total of $313.00 due on January 4, 2010. And that was it.
While walking out of court, I approached the investigating officer and mentioned that the law actually states that a cyclist must stay as far to the right as safe and practicable not as far to the right as possible. He replied with a grin “Practicable, possible, it’s all the same thing and that’s the law. If you don’t like it, try to get it changed.”
She was ticketed in November and I missed it. She decided to fight the charge.
The ticket issued to 20-year-old Kathy May Lee states that the alleged infraction contributed to the Oct. 5 accident, and it was issued after state troopers conferred with a county prosecutor.
The prosecutor said there were no indications that Lee was sending a text message or otherwise using a cell phone when the collision occurred, and that there were no contributing circumstances amounting to gross negligence, a wanton and reckless disregard for human life.
"She momentarily looked down," Riddle said. "There was no alcohol, no indication of speeding [and] no indication of anything that would amount to reckless driving. We’re nowhere near the gross negligence standard."
The prosecutor reiterated earlier police comments that a bicyclist is required to ride on a roadway’s shoulder if it’s usable or as close to the edge of the roadway as possible.
"It appears from the [accident investigation’s] reconstruction that he was in the middle of the road," Riddle said.
But being in the middle of the road didn't cause the accident. It has nothing to do with this case (and isn't even illegal).