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Archive for Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lawrence man ticketed after clipping elbow of bicyclist

January 17, 2012

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A rural Lawrence man was ticketed Monday afternoon after he clipped the elbow of a bicyclist while trying to pass a group of riders south of Lawrence.

Sgt. Steve Lewis, a Douglas County Sheriff’s spokesman, said the cyclist, Michelle Jensen, 36, of Lawrence, had a possible injury but was not taken to the hospital from the scene.

The incident occurred at 2:50 p.m. Monday in the 900 block of County Road 458 southwest of Lawrence. Ronald Wilson, 63, the driver of a 1987 Chevrolet pickup truck, was attempting to pass a group of four cyclists while headed east, but the truck’s side mirror struck Jensen’s left elbow.

Lewis said Wilson was cited for passing on the left with insufficient clearance.

Comments

Alan Tabula 2 years, 8 months ago

Was Wilson cited for violating the 3-plus-foot passing law (8-1516)? Or is "passing on the left with insufficient clearance" a different statute?

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OnAir 2 years, 8 months ago

Time to see if our prosecutor is going to finally do something to protect cyclists....

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 8 months ago

Yes, cyclists should be protected.
The driver was ticketed. There is nothing in this article to indicate this was an incident of road rage, as has happened before. It doesn't say he left the scene of the accident. And the injury appears to minor, thankfully. Given these apparent facts, a ticket and a fine seems to be the most appropriate response to this "accident".

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

From earlphoto's post below, it's pretty clear that they were drafting off of each other in a paceline, i.e., riding single file. So, no mitigating circumstance, just road rage.

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George Diepenbrock 2 years, 8 months ago

cheeseburger, The sheriff's office says she was in the front, left position in a pack of four. George

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

I'll bet they were riding 2 abreast, got his tag number and lied to the cops. I seldom see cyclists riding single file on county roads unless they are by themselves.

If you can't do the speed limit, then stay off the highways. If you choose to take a knife to a gunfight, then you get what you get.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

It's perfectly legal to ride two abreast (and doing so takes up no more of the road than a motor vehicle does.)

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I think that's not true.

According to the relevant statute, bicyclists who aren't going the speed limit are supposed to ride as far to the right as practical. That suggests to me that they're supposed to ride single file, not 2 abreast, in that situation.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't know where you heard that, but the relevant statute makes no mention of speed.

c) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

http://www.ksdot.org/burrail/bike/biking/KsBicyStatutes.asp

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Read the "a" section of that statute.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

That merely means that when riding two abreast, they must keep it compact-- i.e., not stretching any further into the lane than necessary. If it meant anything otherwise, the section I cited above would not exist.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

That's not how I read it.

I read it as an instruction to be as far to the right as it practical, which means single file in that circumstance.

And the next part as allowing 2 abreast in some, but not all, circumstances, including the one above.

But, it could be clearer - perhaps we should contact somebody at the state and ask them for clarification.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

Whether cyclists are riding two abreast or single file should have no effect on how a motorist drives when they approach them. Even if they are riding single file, there is still no room to pass safely if there is oncoming traffic. If there is no oncoming traffic, then all the driver has to do is pass in the other lane, just as they would do when passing other vehicles.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Could be.

But, if cyclists are supposed to do something, then they should do it, just as automobile drivers should.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, but I think I'll contact somebody at the state level.

The statute discussed is quite clear in it's directions to ride as far to the right as is practicable, which would mean single file, not 2 abreast.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

The statute that very distinctly allows riding two abreast would seem an even clearer refutation of your interpretation.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

I disagree.

That part simply says that bicyclists are not allowed to ride more than two abreast, in any circumstances.

It doesn't give them the right to do so in all circumstances, and the a section seems to me to clearly call for them to ride single file in some cases.

We could easily contact someone at the state, and ask them - why don't we do that?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

And really, why the violent metaphors, other than to threaten cyclists who exercise their right to use public highways?

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 8 months ago

Because my XXX is bigger than your XXX!

or something like that.

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earlphoto 2 years, 8 months ago

Well, Cant-have-it-both-ways, I was in that group. This man stopped after he buzzed and then struck the cyclist. The sheriff responded to the call. We didn't lie about anything. This was a potential tragedy that was narrowly averted. What does it matter if we were riding 2 abreast (which is legal, by the way) or pedestrians were strung out across the road? That doesn't give someone the right to take the law into their own hands and become judge, jury and executioner. It doesn't give someone the right to hit you. This guy had the entire other lane in which to pass, the sun at his back and visibility for a long ways with no vehicles approaching. It was totally uncalled for and appears to be absolutely premeditated to "teach" us a lesson. The driver's actions were about as stupid as your response. Next time you might want to have all the facts before you throw in your 2 cents worth.

Earl Richardson

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grimpeur 2 years, 8 months ago

The fact that you think it's a fight out there explains most of our road rage problems.

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 8 months ago

Clearly a case of good ole' boy whose manhood threatened by the mere presence of spandex. Should have his knife (excuse me), his truck shoved where the sun don't shine.

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Sewlucky58 2 years, 8 months ago

AMEN to that Pastor! And for more reasons than just this, anyone who has had the misfortune of meeting RW knows exactly what I'm talking about. Keep a protective eye on your elders ... is all I'm saying.

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Avery Pearson 2 years, 8 months ago

Is every interaction on the road a fight for you? you must be a very poor driver.

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Chris Golledge 2 years, 8 months ago

So, what you are saying is that being inconvenienced by having to slow down or move all the way into the other lane to pass gives you the right to cause bodily injury to another person.

Your time = someone else's life. Wow.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 8 months ago

I believe this is the same RW you were wrong about last week. But you are consistant(ly) wrong.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 8 months ago

Assuming they do is as wrong as assuming they don't

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tolawdjk 2 years, 8 months ago

its_just_math calling someone else a primadonna.

The irony is thick, rich, and tasty with a cup of coffee.

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broddie 2 years, 8 months ago

@earlphoto: Can you be more specific in your description of the incident, since you were a witness? "Stopped after he buzzed?" I don't think anybody reading this has any idea what you mean. By "buzzed" do you mean "honked the horn?" If that's the case, then I can sort of picture it. He slowed down behind the group rather than passing normally, honked angrily and then sped up and purposefully clipped the cyclists. Can you tell us how fast he was going when he passed you?

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broddie 2 years, 8 months ago

Okay, I think I get it now. Goes like this: the driver passes the group of cyclists, then stops, waits for the cyclists to pass him, and then speeds up, passes them again, intentionally clipping on of them. No accident there. It was an intentional act. The driver should get more than a traffic citation. It's assault with a deadly weapon or at least reckless endangerment.

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earlphoto 2 years, 8 months ago

For at least 15 seconds as he approached he honked his horn continuously. We were riding in a tight group and we waved him around. As he approached us he moved ever so slightly to pass us. When he passed us he was merely inches away from the rear cyclist in the 4-person group. He moved close as he neared the front cyclist and struck her. At this point we were traveling at about 25mph and he was well above that. He essentially committed an assault with a deadly weapon. And he did all of this with an entire lane and a half in which to pass. I'm still shaking my head at his stupidity and disrespect for human life. As an aside, as two of us rode in single file, we were buzzed by a large Jeep, honking and screaming. They passed within a foot or so. Again, with an entire lane to the left in which to pass with no oncoming traffic. There are certainly some sick folks out there who don't care if they kill a cyclist. And it seems to be getting worse.

Earl Richardson

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

Sounds to me that instead of a traffic ticket, he should have been hauled to jail and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, and maybe even attempted murder.

Let's hope the prosecutor reviews this carefully.

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broddie 2 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, Earl for clarifying. So it's pretty obviously a case of unwarranted road rage. The D.A. should press charges.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 8 months ago

I always like to look over at bicyclists as I pass.

Because there is nothing like the friendly wave that you get after you move into the passing lane to pass them, giving them the entire lane that they are entitled to. Apparently they're not used to that.

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Horace 2 years, 8 months ago

By and large, cyclists are a public nuisance. A bunch of grown men wearing jester outfits who think they're Lance Armstrong and own the road.

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Alan Tabula 2 years, 8 months ago

Isn't your "Lance Armstrong" reference a little out of date? Guy's been retired for some time now. Maybe a new stereotype is in order...

And cyclists do own the road. Just as you do. Just as we all do. It's a public road, and everyone is entitled to use it safely.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 8 months ago

By and large, automobilists are a public nuisance.

They show off their cars, burn up fossil fuel, and pollute the air. And many of them are doing nothing but driving around.

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KELVISA 2 years, 8 months ago

I think this was tragic and could have been avoided by just driving on the other lane. But I do come accross riders that are not two and will not move. If bikers want to be treated like vehicle drivers then they should follow the rules like drivers. I think you should get license for your bikes and start paying for some of the road repairs like the vehicle do. Also think if you are going to be out highways and roads over 45 you should get insurance. We used to have to get bike license when I was a kid. If the state would get $5 for each bike a year on the highway then maybe they could put in a bike lane.

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Alan Tabula 2 years, 8 months ago

Bicycle registration and license schemes have been dropped by most cities (Topeka last year, Wichita two years ago, for instance) because they cost more to administer than they bring in. Most cyclists already have insurance through their auto coverage or their homeowners/renters coverage. Most roadways are funded primarily with property and sales tax, which we all pay, one way or another.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

"If bikers want to be treated like vehicle drivers then they should follow the rules like drivers."

It isn't just a matter of what "bikers want." It's a matter of the law, which says that bikes are vehicles entitled to use the roads, and should be treated with respect.

And you apparently believe that there should be collective punishment of all cyclists simply because some of them occasionally irritate you. (and you're clearly not alone in this.)

BTW, the vast majority of cycle riders pay just as much towards the construction and maintenance of roads as you do. Your suggestion that they must buy insurance and licenses is mostly just a way to make bike riding an onerous proposition to keep bikes off the road, and would do nothing improve safety.

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bd 2 years, 8 months ago

jUST FRICKIN GET IN SINGLE FILE WHEN YOU ARE APPROACHED FROM THE REAR BY A FASTER VEHICLE! tHAT IS ALL WE ASK!

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 8 months ago

Or you'll take the law into your own hands? Really manly.

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 8 months ago

Or you'll take the law into your own hands? Really manly.

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mestk421 2 years, 8 months ago

why? 1st of all its within the ks st law to ride 2 abreast, 2nd its safer to ride 2 abreast, i don't know how many times cars have passed me on a blind hill when a car is coming headon, and the cars both blame me for the car passing me illegally making the oncoming car swerve to miss the illegally passing car. when ur riding 2 abreast cars think twice about passing when its not safe! i've discussed this with a few bike cops and they all agree.

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parrothead8 2 years, 8 months ago

Just give us more than two feet! That is all we ask!

It's a lot easier for a driver who can SEE the bicycles ahead to plan for a safe maneuver around them than it is for a cyclist who can't hear the faster vehicles behind to move into single file quickly. Also, it's legal to ride two abreast.

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KELVISA 2 years, 8 months ago

Don't get me wrong. I treat them with respect as do a lot of drivers. But you have those drivers that don't treat bikers or other vehicle drivers with respect. I am just saying that we all should be aware of others on the road no matter what you drive. If you are on a bike you don't have that protection around you like a vehicle. And no I'm not dense just wanted to put some thoughts out there. If you have ever come up to an accident on the highway where the biker, rather motorcycle or cyclist has been hit you look at things differently. I ride a motorcycle and I am always watching out for the fool on the road that thinks he is bigger and bader expecially if he is honking at me. Doesn't make it right, just makes me aware.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 8 months ago

"you don't have that protection around you"

That applies to other situations also. I really don't know exactly what happened on that clear sunny day in Missouri a few years ago, all I can state with certainty is what I saw. It had happened less than two minutes before.

Someone was driving a blue Colt Vista 4WD and was involved in an accident with a semi truck.

I couldn't see any damage on the front of the semi truck.

But, the blue Colt Vista 4WD was only about six inches tall, except for the rear hatch back, which was still standing and therefore thankfully blocking my view of most of it.

There were three adults looking at the six inch tall blue Colt Vista 4WD. I will never forget the looks on their faces.

For every vehicle on the road, there is something bigger. For semi trucks that are pulling three trailers, there are trains.

Keep that in mind when you drive, and keep your eyes on the road.

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earlphoto 2 years, 8 months ago

Wow. Some of you have an amazing disregard for your fellow man and the law (as well as no knowledge of Kansas Statutes). It leaves me gobsmacked. I sure hope me or my family ever meets you on the road. On a bike or in a car. Earl Richardson

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 8 months ago

The good ole' boys often view themselves as guardians and enforcers of "their" roads and lifetstyle. They are threatened by the mere sight of a cyclist, who represents a lifestyle and priorities far different than what they can achieve from their pickup trucks. Through road rage and intimidation they wish to act as gatekeepers and to dominate those around them. The victim here should pursue punitive damages from this twit, and his license should be permanently revoked.

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earlphoto 2 years, 8 months ago

I meant to say I sure hope me or my family never meets you on the road. On a bike or in a car.

Earl Richardson

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

There was no "threatening verbiage" in his post.

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mestk421 2 years, 8 months ago

speeding cars shouldn't drive around speeding cars, they could get hurt.

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 8 months ago

Speeding cars weren't the problem here. A honking, impatient road-rager using his vehicale as a violent weapon was the problem.

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parrothead8 2 years, 8 months ago

We don't know that to be the case. The driver may have simply misjudged the distance between his truck and the cyclists. The story mentioned nothing about "a honking, impatient road-rager" or anything of the sort.

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 8 months ago

Read the account of Earl, who witnessed the event.

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 8 months ago

Read the account of Earl, who witnessed the event.

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 8 months ago

Read the account of Earl, who witnessed the event.

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juma 2 years, 8 months ago

I am not against the cyclists and believe that all should have to right to travel as he/she pleases. But, do remember that roads are paid by taxes and a big part of that tax comes from the fossil fuels that cars burn; not bicycles. So who is the guest?

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 8 months ago

We are all guests on planet Earth.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 8 months ago

"So who is the guest?"

That brings up quite a few issues, of which I will address only one with this posting.

The only reason that gasoline is not in the $7 to $8 a gallon range, or even higher, is because of the huge expenditure of the US military involvement in the Middle East, which is done for one reason: To secure access to the crude oil that is being extracted there.

If most of our crude oil supply was not coming from the Middle Eastern countries, we would have very little interest in their problems.

So, everyone that is paying any income tax to the Federal government is paying for the US military to secure our access to our supply of crude oil, which makes the fuel that our mobile society consumes so inexpensive.

So, talking about bicyclists being "guests" on the roads is simplistic at best. But, that's what is to be expected on this forum.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 8 months ago

Any thinking person has to wonder how much longer the wars in the Middle Eastern countries would go on if every military tombstone had this for an epitaph:

Here lies an honored member of the United States military, who gave his life for cheap gasoline

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

The roads are built on public right-of-ways. That they are over-constructed for the utility of multi-ton monstrosities does not mean that other forms of transportation should be excluded from them.

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earlphoto 2 years, 8 months ago

Juma, I'm a cyclist and I pay taxes on my business, three cars and two pieces of real estate (houses). Is that enough in the way of taxes to satisfy you? Your argument is not a winner. Most everyone I ride with payes plenty of taxes. So, most of cyclists are not guests on the road.

Earl Richardson

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earlphoto 2 years, 8 months ago

Juma: Oh, and my wife and I buy plenty of fossil fuels, paying taxes on those. Again, we're not guests on the road in either a car or on a bike. This argument pops up every time something like this occurs. Not sure when people will quit positing this red herring. It's irrelevant and illogical.

Earl Richardson

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parrothead8 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm with you, Earl. I'm also a cyclist who pays taxes on my vehicles, my home, my income, and everything else I buy (including fossil fuels.)

In addition, juma's argument raises a dangerous assumption that those who pay more somehow deserve more rights or input into matters of public interest. That's not how this country is supposed to work, and it's part of what makes it great. I get just as much access to the roads as someone who makes less than me or more than me.

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geoismeo 2 years, 8 months ago

I hate bicycle riders over the age of 16.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

This isn't a confessional booth. But say a couple of hail mary's, if it makes you feel better.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

For anybody that's stayed with this conversation, according to someone at the DL bureau, I am correct.

When riding on a highway slower than the speed of traffic, cyclists are supposed to ride single file as far to the right as practicable - riding 2 abreast in that situation is incorrect.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

Then, as Earl points out below, why does that clause exist at all? It makes no sense.

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earlphoto 2 years, 8 months ago

jafs:

Here's what the legislature has to say on the issue:

Kansas Statute 8-1590:

Riding on bicycles or mopeds; riding on roadways and bicycle paths. (a) Every person operating a bicycle or a moped upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, except under any of the following situations when:

(1) Overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; (2) preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or (3) reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving bicycles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or narrow width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand edge of the roadway.

  (b)   Any person operating a bicycle or a moped upon a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near to the left side of the roadway as practicable.

  (c)   Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

  (d)   Wherever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

  (e)   For purposes of this section, "narrow width lane" means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane.

  History:   L. 1974, ch. 33, § 8-1590; L. 1995, ch. 188, § 7; July 1.

If you're riding two abreast, as near as practicable does not mean single file. It would mean that if you're riding two abreast, you should really tighten up your group. I don't have any case citations to support either the single file or two abreast argument. I'll look for them. Think about it, the statute allows riding two abreast. If the legislature had meant single file, they would have likely specifically stated it. It makes no sense to allow cycles to ride two abreast in one breath and then take that away by stating that if a cycle is on a road in which it is moving slower than other traffic, cyclists shall ride single file. They're just contradictory if read it in that fashion. Just a reading of the statute and experience and training with statutory interpretation in a previous career leads me to the logical conclusion that the person at the DL is wrong. A an aside, I practiced law for several years before returning to my previous vocation. I'm guessing that the DL person is only repeating what a supervisor has told them, which seems to be directly at odds with the statute.

Look around DgCo. I know of at least one location (just north of Vinland) where single file riding on bikes and motorcycles is required. If single file was the law, there would be no need to post such sign.

Earl Richardson

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earlphoto 2 years, 8 months ago

It makes no sense to allow cycles to ride two abreast in one breath and then take that away by stating that if a cycle is on a road in which it is moving slower than other traffic, cyclists shall ride single file. I can't think of many situations in which bikes wouldn't be moving slower than other vehicular traffic. If it were interpreted and enforced this way, it would render K.S.A. 8-1590 (1)(c) a nullity.

Earl Richardson

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