Saturday, 19 September 2009

Injustice in Arizona

Featherman’s brother Jerome was killed on his bicycle Sept. 3, a month before his 85th birthday. Jerome was about a mile from the home he shared with his brother when he was struck from behind by a Toyota Camry driven by Dave Armstrong of Green Valley.

Jerome, a cyclist for about 10 years, was in the bike lane wearing a helmet and reflective vest.
Armstrong, who was not impaired, was cited for driving in the bike lane and for not giving a cyclist three feet of space, both civil violations. It’s unlikely he’ll face additional charges. In the eyes of the law it was just an awful accident.

Jean Gorman understands. Her son Brad was killed on his bicycle 10 years ago this month.
The driver in her son’s case, who was leaning over to change a CD when he struck him, received a $66 ticket for unsafe passing.

Erik Ryberg, a Tucson attorney who has represented cyclists for five years, says the tool is in place to criminally prosecute in such cases but nobody is willing to use it.
Ryberg says negligent homicide would be a reasonable charge but has never been applied when a cyclist has been killed by a driver.