Tuesday, July 17 2012 @ 05:03 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
A 13-year-old boy was sent to The Johns Hopkins Hospital Friday after he collided with a car while riding his bike at 7:14 p.m., police said.
“The bicyclist was heading west on Academy Avenue,” said Lt. Stephen Doarnberger, assistant commander of the Baltimore County Police’s Franklin Precinct. “The car was traveling north on Highfalcon [Road] and the bicyclist did not stop at the stop sign.” [B' Spokes: How do we know this? Driver testimony only?]
The teen was thrown from his bicycle after colliding with the 2005 Acura TL, which was driven by a 60-year-old Reisterstown man. The severity of his injuries is unknown, but he was conscious at the scene and able to speak with police officers, Doarnberger said.
No charges will be filed in the incident.
[B' Spokes: I am under the opinion that at fault discussion should exist on both sides of car/bike collisions, so I am concerned that there is no mention (consideration) that the driver may be at fault in this case. Granted this is a kind of intersection that cyclists might be prone to not fully stop for but I will assert we rarely ride in front of a car that we can see coming.
My next assertion is that motorist in Maryland rarely obey the speed limit, with 10 to 15mph above the speed limit being rather typical, and that is rarely seen as illegal behavior by the police, this concerns me a great deal especially on roads where cyclists and pedestrians are present. Speed can make the critical difference between life and death and between a crash and no crash.
It is known in traffic engineering circles that intersections need "daylighting" (be free of obstructions) so cross traffic can get an adequate look down the road so they can cross safely. How much clear space is needed depends on the speed of the road. But what if the cross traffic speed is exceeding the designed speed of the clear zone? The cross traffic would be invisible until it was too late to react.
And that's what I speculate might have happen here (or more correctly, I would feel a lot better if the speed of the motorist was carefully looked into.) From my Google Earth snapshot below I drew a 4 second line (2 second reaction time + 2 second stopping time) for a car that is traveling 35mph. It looks to me as the cyclist approached from the east (top of photo) a 35mph motorist was hidden behind the tree but would have been visible if the motorist was traveling 25mph.
§ 21-101.(t) Right-of-way. -- "Right-of-way" means the right of one vehicle or pedestrian to proceed in a lawful manner on a highway in preference to another vehicle or pedestrian.
I'll note that I have yet to see this portion of legal code applied to crashes with cyclists and pedestrians, to summarize, a motorist loses their legal right-of-way when breaking the law (such as speeding.) My point in this is a cyclist/ped should not be at fault if a motorist zips around a corner and hits them. We need time to react to traffic and we should not have the legal obligation of having to yield to traffic traveling too fast for conditions.
Conclusion: Cyclists, please keep in mind that not all low traffic intersections are created the same, some hide speeding traffic too well and give you very little time to react, use your hearing to hear approaching traffic. Motorists, please 35-40mph in residential is not acceptable. Police, please enforce the traffic laws. Thanks to all who help make this world a little safer.]
http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php?topic=42800.0;wap2Cokinos, who was 23 at the time, was speeding at 56 miles an hour in a 30-mile-an-hour zone when he struck Luis -- who was crossing Springtown Road in front of his home.
Seven months later in November, a Montgomery County District Court judge found Cokinos not guilty of negligent driving or contributing to an accident.