Bicyclist behavior in the news after pedestrian struck and killed

speed_limit.jpgA 59-year-old Connecticut mother, was died of her injuries after being struck by a bicyclist who was riding recklessly in Central Park last week. Jill Tarlov was birthday shopping with her daughter when a bicycle ridden by Jason Marshall struck her.

It is unknown how fast Marshall was riding his bicycle at the time Tarlov was struck but records he post online shows that he routinely rides at speeds above 25mph speed limits. The New York Post said that Marshall competes in triathlete events.

Witnesses said that Marshall did not appear to stop his bicycle at all when he saw Tarlov in the intersection but yelled, “Get out of the way! Get out of the way!”

Following Tarlov’s death, an Op-Ed article described some cyclists as “Assassins in Spandex” and called for serious consequences for reckless bicycle riders. In the Op-Ed, Andrea Peyser writes:

They’re terrorists on wheels.
Assassins in Spandex.
The bicycle menaces must be stopped.
It’s already too late.

Landmark Bicycle-Pedestrian Accident Case

This bicycle-pedestrian accident brings to mind a landmark bicycle-pedestrian accident case in San Francisco in which Chris Bucchere plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter after riding his bicycle recklessly and hitting and killing a pedestrian. Bucchere escaped jail time but he was sentenced to 3 years probation and 1000 hours of community service. An e-mail Bucchere wrote about his accident circulated widely before his sentencing:

“I was already way too committed to stop. … I couldn’t see a line through the crowd and I couldn’t stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find.”

While it is not common for a bicyclist to strike and kill a pedestrian, that was the case in 2010 when an 83-year-old Renton, Washington woman was struck by a bicyclist while she was walking on the Cedar River Trail.

In communities such as New York and San Francisco where there are many bicyclists, there are several pedestrian killed in bicycle accidents every year.

It seems clear that just as cars and bicycles should not share roads that bicycles and pedestrians should not share paths. While Seattle and Bellevue are pushing for more bicyclists, complete streets need to be designed, ones that accommodate and separate different types of traffic. Until then, bicyclists should be reminded that Washington State Vehicle Code RCW 46.61 provides that bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists and that they must adhere to posted speed limits and traffic signs.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group
. We are a personal injury law firm located in Bellevue, Washington and we represent people who have been seriously injured by the negligence of motorists.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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