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Of course, if you hit someone powerful it's different:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/03/reids-wife-and-daughter-sent-t.html?hpid=moreheadlines

[Harry Reid's wife and daughter rear-ended, driver charged with reckless driving.]

The "I didn't see them" defense doesn't apply when it's a senator's family!

I applaud stronger legislation giving more protection to cyclists and cracking down on distracted driving.

Hitting a car in rush hour traffic and hitting a lone cyclist in the middle of the road when there is a perfectly wide enough shoulder to ride on (talk about "substantial deviation from the standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonable person") are the exact same circumstances that merit the exact same punishment.

Keep on playing the unjust victim card - its really working for you guys. Contrarian - you should get your own afternoon talk show.

See example of how nice, positive, coverage about bicycle advocacy reads. Note distinct lack of cynicism, sarcasm and automobile driver bashing:

http://bikeportland.org/2010/03/11/ray-lahood-rouses-summit-crowd-with-tabletop-speech/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BikePortland+%28BikePortland.org%29

Jonathan Maus runs a world-class blog. No doubt about that. Luckily we aren't competing (which is good because he does his full time). Please set me straight and show me where I've been cynical, sarcastic (unwarranted) or bashed drivers.

Hitting a car in rush hour traffic and hitting a lone cyclist in the middle of the road when there is a perfectly wide enough shoulder to ride on (talk about "substantial deviation from the standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonable person") are the exact same circumstances that merit the exact same punishment.

Keep on playing the unjust victim card - its really working for you guys. Contrarian - you should get your own afternoon talk show.

Who's being sarcastic now?

O2 did hit on the real difference between the two cases though (and it's not the presence of a shoulder). Nor do I think it's about hitting a Senator's family. It's that you can't get away with saying you didn't see a car - but you can say that about a bike.

1. I wasn't referring specifically to the Leymeister case, rather the general reluctance of the police to charge drivers when they hit anyone -- pedestrian, cyclist or another car -- unless there are egregious circumstances. Or the person hit is famous or connected.

2. In the Leymeiester case the driver was charged and convicted.

Convicted of carelss driving, with a fine of less than $300 plus costs. I applaud a law that would permit harsher penalties for careless driving, especially when there is death, and regardless of whether the victim is driver, pedestrian or cyclist.

I wonder what the implications of this new law would be on the ability for victim's families to get remedy in civil courts, and if there is any hope that there might be some longer, more draconian driving license suspensions to accompany such a conviction? More than fines or jailtime, those two items would be my primary concerns if I or my family were on the plaintiff side of that unfortunate circumstance.

Doing 50mph in a 35mph school zone and hitting a car crossing the street is the exact same circumstances as hitting a kid trying to cross the street. That is not the issue, the issue is being reckless and killing someone.

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