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The Diehl case shows how pointless that new law is. The biker got a very nice settlement from the insurance company, without a civil suit.

Subsidizing civil suits seems like a pretty stupid path to go down. If there are damanges, the insurance company wlll pay. If there isn't an insurance company, good luck getting a judgement.

Why would bicyclist advocates lobby for such a law without including pedestrians, who are killed by drivers roughly 20 times as frequently and are no less vulnerable to reckless drivers. The issue is human decency, not what type of sustainable transportation the victim is using.

Darlene,

The law started as an-anti harassment/assault law. It was cyclist specific because only cyclists get harassed by drivers because of their status. Has there ever been a case in which a pedestrian has been assaulted or harassed due to their status as a pedestrian? I've never heard of one.

@charlie: That partly answers my question about why there was no evident allocution. If prosecutor held up the plea deal until after the settlement, then in effect, he looked out for victim.

Next question: Will insurance company go after the driver since insurance does not cover assault or battery?

@Darlene: To answer your question one needs more background. What are
you doing to extend this protection for pedestrians. (I assume that you are probably working on this or you would not ask why cycle advocates are not.)

Once we understand what you are doing to move the cause forward, it will be easier to evalulate how we can help.

I can not imagine WABA opposing you on this. But of course, WABA takes the lead on bicycle matters, not pedestrian matters.

washcycle, FYI: the link to ABC coverage on the Custis mugging seems to have gone missing.

Darelene: I think that most people on this site want stronger protections for pedestrians too. I do. But, we can only do so much.

GGW missed some low hanging fruit -- a relatively modest investment in a connected bike trail network around major employment areas and connecting with transit centers throughout the region could be a huge transportation improvement. CaBi has been great for the already-dense areas, but bikeways could support low-impact, low-cost growth outward, especially for close-in more suburban to urban connections.

A bigger challenge for MD and VA is converting their developed but often deteriorating inner and near-beltway suburbs toward a denser, semi-urban feel, with complete streets instead of arterial car sewers, and streetfront shops, sidewalks, and bike lanes instead of drainage ditches, utility poles, parking lots, and drive-through stuff (banks, fast food, gas station/quick marts). It's as much economic (re)development as transportation policy, but would be an enormous boon to both states in my opinion.

Requires a big investment to bury the power lines, relandscape the streets etc. and will take time for businesses and mixed use developments to fill in. But worth getting the process started, and should be on planners' priority lists, right up there with major transit projects like the purple line.

If I recall that Diehl case correctly, wasn't that a cop who did the hit and run? For some reason, that's how I remember it.

Step one for DC prosecutors is the MPD to actually issue citations. All too often they try to use every excuse in the book to avoid it--including blaming the cyclist. Those of us who have dealt with them know it's pulling teeth to even get them to file the damn charges with the prosecutors, let alone get followup.

At the same time, there is a moral responsibility among us to make the police report this stuff. It may only seem like a minor bump or bruise, but the next time they may hurt someone or worse. If you don't lay a paper trail then the prosecutors (or police) can pull the Diehl situation.

Honestly, WABA should (and I think they are) continue to blow up the Diehl situation. The guy has the video recording proof and yet it's a slap on the wirst. If that's the justice system, then why don't we all rob banks? We'll get charged with felony theft over $250 but below $500. I'm pretty sure if you haul in $10k each time, you'll make out in the long run.

Had I only read one posting below, I would have seen it does mention Diehl was a former cop. Good news is my memory isn't quite gone yet.

@Darlene: To answer your question one needs more background. What are
you doing to extend this protection for pedestrians. (I assume that you are probably working on this or you would not ask why cycle advocates are not.)

Once we understand what you are doing to move the cause forward, it will be easier to evalulate how we can help.

I can not imagine WABA opposing you on this. But of course, WABA takes the lead on bicycle matters, not pedestrian matters.

Translation: I cannot defend your criticism on its merits,so I'll attack you instead.

@Darlene: because they're the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Not trying to be smart,but they're a cycling lobby so why wold they be interested in peds? Also,peds don't mix with traffic(well,they're not supposed to) like bikes do;we're actually out in the street among the cars.

Re Diehl case: driver was a retired cop. Absolute BS with the video evidence. Pro Tip:if you want to kill somebody,don't shoot,stab,or poison them. Just have an acquaintance run them down,stay on-scene,and claim they didn't see them. No hard time,just a fine,maybe.

dynaryder: you don't need an acquaintance to do it. I doubt the police look much beyond DUI. The Alice Swanson case had a guy with prior record (IIRC) and an outstanding immigration warrant, but that only came out from serious digging.

Here's another comparison. Diehl's hit and run, deliberate assault, and lying to the police gets him about the same punishment as that guy in Colorado who was driving behind cyclists tooting his horn.

@Christopher Fotos: Would you care to explain? I did not think that Darlene was criticizing anyone, but that she was instead trying to understand advocates' strategy, to better accomplish her objectives. Are you sure this was not her intent?


And how you read an attack into what I wrote is even more difficult to discern, since I merely asked her to better explain her efforts.

For that matter, even if it had been a criticism, I went ahead and explained that WABA takes the lead on bicycle matters. If you disagree, might I suggest that you explain your disagreement with WABA's approach rather than trying to find criticism where none is intended?

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