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Law Suit Filed in Jack Yates case

Law Suit Filed in Jack Yates case

The Sun reported the filing of this suit today:

Attorney claims driver of truck was negligent; police found victim, 67, at fault

By Liz F. Kay | liz.kay@baltsun.com

March 5 2010

The family of a bicyclist killed last year in a collision with a truck on Maryland Avenue in Baltimore has filed a $5 million wrongful-death lawsuit against the driver and his employer.

The complete article can be viewed at:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryla … ist05mar05,0,5488044.story

Any comments on what the police are claiming and what the family are saying?

ed

Ed Hopkins
ed.hopkins@verizon.net

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Re: Law Suit Filed in Jack Yates case

The way I am reading it, the police are saying bicycles cannot legally ride in a parking lane (never mind that this is a combo travel/parking lane.)

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Re: Law Suit Filed in Jack Yates case

I guess it comes down to the video which interestingly was not mentioned at all in the article.  If the truck started the pass then slowed down and turned without giving the cyclist time to react then I cannot see how they would find the cyclist at fault.  However if Mr. Yates started a right pass and the truck turned, then the cyclist bears some responsibility.  But without all the facts I'm not saying who was responsible.

Just as with cars, you cannot expect someone who just got passed to slam on their brakes because the other driver tried to turn right without providing proper clearance, so should be true with cyclists.

If anything good comes out of this we all should be very careful when passing slowed vehicles on the right.  From what little I've gleamed this classic right hook scenario is all too common.

~Ride safe, ride hard!~
cctrekker@gmail.com

Terry Harrigan
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Re: Law Suit Filed in Jack Yates case

Terry, If this was a shared lane situation I might have some empathy for your position but if this was a pedestrian that passed the truck on the right then got nailed in the intersection would your position change? Or if it was a truck making a right turn from the middle travel lane without turn signals would your position change? If you were riding in an empty parking lane and got a ticket for failure to obey traffic signs would your position change? This case has all of these elements.

While I will agree that cyclists for their safety to exercise extreme caution around trucks especially because light and large trucks kill more cyclists then cars (damn inadequate commercial drivers training) but even so I have a hard time faulting the cyclists for failure to exercise the maximum safety precautions any more the the truck should be at fault for not having their headlights on during the day (a maximum safety precaution.)

I will also note per the letter of the law a cyclist at this intersection has to be as far right as practicable since there is no right turn only lane.

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Re: Law Suit Filed in Jack Yates case

The main point I was making Barry is I don't have access to all the facts so could not make a statement one way or the other.  Understand is it my suspicion that the driver was at fault but there is not enough information in the article to make that statement. For instance, there is nothing in the article that indicates who initiated the pass one way or the other.  Certainly the video of the event would clarify things in this matter.

~Ride safe, ride hard!~
cctrekker@gmail.com

Terry Harrigan
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Re: Law Suit Filed in Jack Yates case

One time Bob Moore gave me a lift to a meeting and as we were passing a truck (on the right) the truck made a right turn in front of us without signaling. Who would  at fault if there was an accident? We know from other sources that the truck did not signal and it was the cyclist that was passing the truck (at the time but I wounder if the truck did not pass the cyclist at some point earlier.)

I guess some of my frustration with this is all the publicity about scoff law cyclists and here is a truck that disobeyed the law by not signaling and essentially people are making up laws to put the cyclists at fault.

IMHO the cycling community should be outraged ether at the police for faulting a cyclists obeying our far right law or at our far right law that puts cyclists at risk.

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Re: Law Suit Filed in Jack Yates case

There is no doubt in my mind that Maryland cycling laws are imprecise, disjointed, contradictory and unfair for cyclists. So much could be done by having a task force review and standardize related laws as related to cyclists and insure the resultant code is unbias.  But we all know that the political system will get in the way with specific representatives favoring their own pet peeves over the safety of their constituents.  Today's reality is we have to look after each other and ourselves.

I've said it here before and it may well be happening already, but I think first making sure enforcement agencies are well schooled in the existing code and having advocacy groups taking whatever action is necessary in facilitating same.  Even to the point of having special enforcement representatives called to the scene when a cycling incident occurs.  The social pressures outside the educational system are just too strong to ensure proper implementation of the existing code.  I've witnessed this myself with the incident at a Glenelg Gang ride last year.  Certain actions to appropriately identify if the motorist has sufficient time / distance to see cyclists riding down the road were not taken.  Instead the officer just assumed based on the comments from the offending driver and placed blame on both.  Since when it is "ok" to claim "I did not see the pedestrian in the cross walk".  So should it be for the cyclist.

I long for the day that local legislators look across the pond to see what works and what does not for the safety, health and well-being of all on the roads and those who's health is affected by same.

~Ride safe, ride hard!~
cctrekker@gmail.com

Terry Harrigan
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