Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On Blaming the Victim

(in which Lynne actually Steps Up On A Soapbox)

http://www.velonews.com/article/74470/legally-speaking-with-bob-mionske---blaming-the-victim

Read this article. Consider the contents. If you are a family member, consider what you are going to say the next time you see me. I do not break the traffic laws. I obey every traffic control device. I signal my turns. I use more-than-sufficient lighting. I wear a helmet. I ride predictably. I wave at small children. There is not a separate speed limit for bicycles, so even though I'm going at what some consider a "high rate of speed", I'm still NOT exceeding the speed limit.

2 comments:

John Henry said...

Very good post. While am not a pure as you (as least in terms of obeying traffic controls), I do try to give a good impression my fellow road users (powered or not). Last night, I was westbound on Childs road heading into Lake Grove. I realized that there was a vehicle behind me, and stayed to the right as far as I could, but the vehicle did not pass me; the vehicle waited until it was very safe to pass. As I had forgotten my eyeglass mirror, I only had a vague idea of what kind of vehicle it was behind me. When it finally passed me, I saw that it was a black Hummer H2. Let's just say that one of my stereotypes was bashed!

Be safe!

beth h said...

When I was involved in a bike-truck collision 12 years ago I sustained serious injuries and underwent two surgeries and 9 months of PT. The driver was in the wrong -- she admitted guilt at the scene in front of a witness and called an ambulance on my behalf -- but my lawyer urged me to seek a settlement and NOT let the case go to trial.

She told me that juries are statistically 50/50 in bicycle collision cases. When polled, an overwhelming response that comes up is that jurors who drive see adult bicyclists as somehow "refusing to grow up", and there is a certain level of resentment that cannot be swept aside by "maturity" or "impartiality". THAT may have something to do with anti-bicyclist bias on the part of police officers and other drivers.

I ultimately settled out of court and received a judgment that covered all my medical costs, time-loss and damages (including a new bike frame to replace the one that was totaled). But what a hassle! I hope it never happens again.