An interesting question arose from a thread on the SF Cyclist who admitted to manslaughter:
San Francisco Cyclist Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter
Posted by Kevin C on July 23, 2013 at 11:17pm
July 23 (Bloomberg) — San Francisco bicyclist Christopher Bucchere pleaded guilty to felo…
Family of victim didn’t want jail time.
I keep running into cyclists who seem quite unable to understand the rudiments of physics or economics for that matter.
Reply by Jeff Schneider 10 minutes ago
I am curious – is this sentence similar to what he might have been given if he had killed the pedestrian with his car? I would hope and expect so.
Since, compared to injuries and deaths caused with cars, those caused with bicycles are so very rare, we tend to forget that a fast-moving cyclist has the potential to inflict serious injury. I would bet that this reckless cyclist didn’t imagine how easily he might end up killing someone.
Cyclists are seemingly at best primitives in a world of technology that they either avoid or simply do not understand and thus fail to embrace. I ran into several folks like that this weekend. You can tell they have a failing understanding of aerodynamics every time they question whether a fairing on a bicycles will help when riding into a heavy headwind. Yikes!
Our schools are failing us. When a cyclist who drives a car cannot understand that of all the situations in which a fairing would be helpful that is the one where it has the greatest potential (other than having a tailwind) it means that males are simply lost when in comes to understanding why their plastic bicycles have tubing shaping to taper to the rear or why their plastic handlebars do the same. I would suppose too that they have not put two-and-two together where the shapes of their helmets and rims are concerned.
But for a cyclist not to understand that he might end up killing someone is too much of a stretch for me. After all it is cyclists who throw ‘hissy fits‘ every time they see an open door in the bike lane. They see these doors as ‘looming death‘. And why then would hitting one of these at speeds under 20 MPH cause death but hitting an ‘un-armed‘ pedestrian with your bike not result in death? That has to be the single biggest bit of willful ignorance imaginable.
Reply by T.K. 6.5 mi 1 minute ago
@Jeff, it mentions the sentence in the article : “Under California law, a felony conviction for vehicular manslaughter can carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison” He received a lower sentence at the request of the victims son.
Being flat, Chicago is going to prevent most cyclists from ever reaching speeds of 30+mph. Regardless, hopefully this serves as a lesson to everyone in the community that cyclists running red lights can have harmful consequences for others. Be safe.
Let’s smack down this bit of bullshit thinking in its tracks. I routinely reach speeds in excess of 30 MPH virtually every time I descend an overpass. On a street like Roosevelt where it intersects with Michigan Avenue I could kill several people on my way down and never pause to take a deep breath. Faster riders than I on flats here in Chicago are well above the 25 MPH speed level using fixed gear bikes and these yokels don’t even have brakes! So why would you doubt their ability to exceed speeds of 30+ MPH?
Now you do not have to take my word for any of this speed talk. You can go an follow my speeds on Garmin Connect since I post the same kind of data that Mr. Bucchere was collecting the day he mowed down his victim. The big difference is that when I am on the flats I try and moderate my speed to take into account the kinds of things that happen when you are riding in the Door Zone on Milwaukee Avenue even with brakes. I simply cannot imagine trying to ride that or any other stretch of Chicago streets without brakes. And when you realize that riders who are impatient will pass you while you are stopped at an intersection waiting for cars to cross and pedestrians to empty the crosswalk (as happened a few weeks ago on Damen Avenue – check out the video and watch the knucklehead pass me while I was waiting at a 4-way stop) you understand why the Chris Bucchere’s of the world kill people.
As yet there has still been no mention of the 72-year old lady killed in Arlington Heights by an 11-year old boy on a MUP around Lake Arlington. On the ChainLink deaths like these are never mentioned because they contradict the ‘narrative‘ we craft for ourselves. We have it all figured out when we read articles titled ‘Bikes Don’t Kill, Cars Do‘. And frankly given the kinds of conversations that go on around glasses of ale at the Revolution Brewery I would not be surprised learn that the cyclists who rode over from Detroit to attend our Critical Mass Ride are in total agreement with that sentiment.
The real lunacy here is that we rant and rave against ‘salmoning‘ (largely because it is people of color who practice it, except in Evanston where even white mothers pulling buggers do it) and then go practice the same thing during a Critical Mass Ride. Don’t take my word for it, simply review the videos that these yokels make to document their bad behavior.
I used to wonder why Nazis would bother to record their bad behavior. Now I understand the mentality. It has survived to this day in the great grandsons and granddaughters of the victims of Auschwitz. It would seem that humans have an innate need to document their existence and cannot possibly understand the impact of it especially when recorded.
Too Bad He Did Not Have A GoPro Hero 3
At the risk of sounding ghoulish Chris Bucchere would have done us all a great favor by having a GoPro Hero 3 on his handlebars or his helmet when he crashed into the pedestrians on the sidewalk that fateful day. Why?
We need something other than words to help convey the horror of that moment. There are lots of cyclists who will drink their ales tonight and be as detached as the tormenters of their great grandparents at Buchenwald simply because they cannot see for themselves what recklessness looks like from the right side of the handlebars.
You need to hear the crunch of bone and screaming to get the real impact. Otherwise you are free to order another ale and call me an Uncle Tom and smugly laugh at the idea of routinely obeying traffic lays. And in a world like ours even when you see things that are horrific it still seems that the purveyors of hatred can talk you out of believing what you just saw.
But had we been looking at the killing of Trayvon Martin from two GoPro Hero 3 cameras (one worn by George Zimmerman and the other by his victim) all of the blather about who was shouting and screaming and who was stalking and all the rest of the crap that went on in that trial would have possibly been much clearer. Being in an immersive environment is sometimes the only way to push past the blather to the truth.
But Simply Obeying The Law Should Be Sufficient
But instead of having to witness the next death by bicycle perhaps we could all take Chris Bucchere as a cautionary tale figure and learn to observe the traffic laws. Perhaps we could simply decide to slow down on city streets and let pedestrians cross in front of us in the crosswalk. There is really nothing that any of us has to get to in record time that would prevent us from taking the time to be safe. And if that is not true then we need to be in ambulances with sirens to ensure that we are going to get there on time.