Monday, December 04, 2006


I cannot believe how you can hit and kill a cyclist because you were downloading ringtones while driving and the worst you are charged with is Improper Lane Usage.

Here is a quote from the article:
[Matthew Wilhelm] 25-year-old former Champaign resident, a University of Illinois mechanical engineering graduate working for Caterpillar in Peoria, died on Sept. 8 from head injuries he received Sept. 2 when Stark hit him with her car because she was downloading ring tones to her cell phone instead of paying attention to driving.
And about the (completely inadequate) punishment:
State's Attorney Julia Rietz made the call not to lodge any more serious charge than improper lane usage against Stark, saying that the legal definition of recklessness, to sustain reckless homicide or reckless driving, did not fit her actions.

But Rietz argued for the maximum sentence of six months of conditional discharge a form of probation without reporting to an officer a $1,000 fine and traffic safety school.

"This is a tragic case and one which has demonstrated to us there are many things we can't adequately resolve in this building, unfortunately. The law doesn't give us an adequate remedy to address the loss to the Wilhelms and society," she said.

I can't believe how the State's Attorney could say: would be hard to prosecute 'willful and wanton' (behavior) and the driver could have 'no reasonable expectation of a bike on the side of the road,'
This is just one more example of how we as cyclists have less than second-class status on America's roadways.

Careful out there.

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