Yesterday I reported that a 2nd cyclist was killed at the Matthew Henson Trail crossing of Viers Mill Road, that the driver in the last incident was charged with "Passing a vehicle stopped for pedestrian at crosswalk" and acquitted. Pulling it up from the comments on that post, WUSA reported that the reason the driver was acquitted was that
The judge said because Towers was riding the bike, instead of walking it, in the crosswalk, he was not protected by the same law that protects pedestrians and people in wheelchairs.
It's a quirk in the legal code that both the Montgomery County State's Attorney and Towers' friends are now looking to change.
That's unbelievable. Cyclists can legally ride in the crosswalk
21-1103b3: "In a place where a person may ride a bicycle on a sidewalk or sidewalk area, a person may also ride a bicycle from the curb or edge of the roadway in or through a crosswalk to the opposite curb or edge of the roadway."
The law that the driver was accused of violating was 21-502 c (in the section for Pedestrians' right-of-way in crosswalks)
Passing of vehicle stopped for pedestrian prohibited.- If, at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, a vehicle is stopped to let a pedestrian cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear may not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
And a pedestrian in Maryland is defined as a person afoot. There is no definition for a "cyclist" as near as I can tell.
If this is accurate, then there is no law requiring drivers to not hit a cyclist in a crosswalk because they don't have the right-of-way. This doesn't apply to cyclists
Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.
so there is no need to exercise due care.
Basically livestock crossing the road have more legal protection than cyclists do.
Does anyone know of any other judgements that decided that cyclists, when legally using a crosswalk, are entitled to the same protections as a pedestrian?
[And the balls on that driver. Going in and arguing that he did nothing wrong, because he killed a cyclist, not a pedestrian. How does he sleep at night?]