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too bad.

thats an understatement to be sure.

ive ridden that stretch countless times. I DO NOT RIDE IT ANYMORE. in fact, there are MANY roads I dont ride on, despite my having the legal right to do so...

when i did ride that stretch you can be DAMN sure i was in the center of the lane BLOCKING and yelling and telling motorists to go fuck themselves...and thats why im alive after 30 years, and 15,000 miles a year, in many places on the globe, in some of the most hostile areas on earth and in the USA to bikes.

being polite will get you killed. riding on the right edge will get you killed. thinking law enforcement will do anything will get you killed.

maryland is more hostile to bikes than alabama and florida, which is really saying something..ive tried EVERY way to get to annapolis from DC and there simply isnt a good way: there are some routes but they are UGLY b/c they are kinda safe.

another person killed because they road a bicycle. throwing the driver in jail wont do shit...


biike advocatess are clueless. they need to be social scientists..and theyre too arrogant and lazy to do that...

"theyre too arrogant and lazy to do that.."

Says the guy who doesn't do anything at all.

If it wasn't for the advocates giving up there personal, family and work time, we would be in a far worse situation.

The real problem are the politicians, developers and extreme environmentalists who water down the laws and stop road shoulders, trails and sidewalks from being built.

Would a lawyer or other knowledgeable person comment on how criminal prosecution affects the ability recover in civil court in such cases? Coming from the medical world, it seems to me that big judgements might be effective penalties and deterrents on their own.

No sentence short of losing driving privileges for life. This person should never be allowed by society to drive a motor vehicle again.

Bad Driver + Bad Infrastructure = Cyclist Death

Well put jeffb! We need t-shirts and placards with that on them!

Greenbelt: Part of the problem, IIRC, is that it is hard to attack their driving privileges unless there is a criminal conviction. Of course, most juries aren't willing to put someone in jail, and destroy their life, over reckless driving. I am willing that most juries would be willing to ban people for driving for life, however. Even in AA county.

As for civil v criminal: civil has a lower burden of proof than criminal. You can still go after civil penalties whether or not there is a criminal conviction. There are two problems, however.
1. Civil damages are $, trial is expensive, and so its usually not worth suing the perp unless they are rich (e.g. OJ).
2. One point of criminal law is to show that society disapproves of certain behavior. It's a shame that we have to resort to civil prosecution because the criminal prosecution won't protect us.

Back to this particular case: prosecution here would be tough in AA county. We need to make the victim particularly noble. If the driver has a previous bad traffic record, insurance problems, drug or alcohol problems, it can be spun and might be worth it. But a 12 person jury is not going to jail a suburban soccer mom in a minivan for a "mistake" that they can see themselves making.

I sent e-mails with my concerns and here are the responses I received.


Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns and input on this
matter. Traffic fatality cases can be extremely frustrating as it takes
a considerable amount of time for the police department's traffic safety
division to complete their reports. It is not unusual for their reports
to take 8 weeks or more before they are presented to our office.
Accident reconstruction, subpoenas, analysis and related investigation
consumes a great deal of time but it is done so that we have all the
information possible to make the right decision.

I have forwarded your letter to our Deputy State's Attorney who reviews
the final reports and assists in making the determination as to
appropriate charges. Please let me know if there is anything further
with which I may be of assistance to you.

Thank you again for your time.

Very truly yours,

Kristin Fleckenstein
Communications Director
Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office
7 Church Circle, Suite 200
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 222-1740 ext. 3845
kfleckenstein@aacounty.org

and...


Thank you for your letter regarding the death of Patricia Cunningham.
We have received numerous letters such as yours and review each and
every one of them. I fully respect members of the cycling community
calling for an in-depth review of the factors in this matter. I assure
you that the Anne Arundel County Police Department will provide us an
extremely thorough review so that this office can make the decision as
to whether or not criminal charges are appropriate in this case.

When traffic fatalities occur, members of the Traffic Safety Division
of the police department conduct a lengthy and meticulous investigation
of the accident. They then complete an extremely detailed report which
is forwarded to this office. Due to the immense amount of analysis and
review that goes into these cases, reports on them typically take eight
to ten weeks and sometimes longer to complete. It is difficult for
those awaiting the results to have patience during such a timeframe.
Please be assured it is necessary so that we have all factors required
to make the important decision as to appropriate charges if they are
warranted.

In the meantime, please know that we appreciate your taking the time to
reach out to this office. There is very little we can comment on at
this point in time as we do not have a final report. Once we do have
it, however, we will be able to make a determination as to whether or
not the evidence is present for criminal charge.

William D. Roessler
Deputy State’s

greenbelt is right on again!!

the deputy state dude is clueless: WE DONT WANT A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION!!! WE WANT THE FUCKING EXTANT ROAD LAWS ENFORCED!! we want that section of road closed in one direction until it is fixed to be safely ridden...OR WE WANT THE FUCKING ROAD CLOSED TO BIKES WITH BIG SIGNS TELLING US THAT THIS ROAD IS TOO STUPIDILY DESIGNED to be used by both bikes and cars!!

we should be criminally prosecuting the state attorney if they continue to not carry out the laws of the road!!!! ENFORCE THE GOD DAMN SPEED LIMITS...this is not rocket science!!

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