Was fatal car-bike collision on Riva Road a homicide?

by Jim Titus, Annapolis Patch

Two years ago Maryland created a new crime of vehicular negligent homicide in Maryland, which allows prosecutors to seek criminal penalties when a sober-but-aggressive driver causes an accident that kills someone. Anne Arundel County prosecutors should be seriously thinking about using this statute in the case of Patricia Cunningham, an Annapolis high school coach who was killed August 21 on Riva Road.

Aggressive drivers who kill are rarely prosecuted unless they are drunk or leave the scene of the accident. Perhaps because many “respectable people” drive aggressively, it is hard to feel comfortable sending people off to jail when they accidentally kill someone while driving in a way that most people drive. But it is also hard to feel good about the idea that killing someone has no legal consequence. Courts and the Maryland legislature have wrestled with this paradox for decades.

<a href="http://annapolis.patch.com/groups/use-the-full-lane/p/was-fatal-carbike-collision-on-riva-road-a-homicide_d66e038b">http://annapolis.patch.com/groups/use-the-full-lane/p/was-fatal-carbike-collision-on-riva-road-a-homicide_d66e038b</a>;

[B' Spokes: This is a very good article and goes into some detail about our laws and how they are supposed to work. I'll add from what I have seen drivers that leave the scene of an accident are rarely prosecuted, sure if they do bring up the charge for a fatality it &quot;helps&quot; to get stiffer penalties. There is a local case where the hit-and-run car was IDed but not the driver so the police took no action against the owner of the car.

I'll also note that Bike Maryland put out an action alert that looks like it has been very effective for this stage of the investigation. If you are inclined to also write to the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's office see <a href="http://bikemd.org/page.php?id=623">http://bikemd.org/page.php?id=623</a>; but my main point here is to give a thank you for Bike Maryland in helping rasing awarness of this issue, a job well done.]

by B' Spokes

Like most people I live a hectic life and who has the time for much exercise? Thanks to xtracycle now I do. By using my bike for daily activities I can get things done and get an hour plus work out in 15 minutes extra of my time, not a bad deal and beats taking the extra time going to the gym. In case you are still having trouble being motivated; the National Center of Disease Control says that inactivity is the #2 killer in the United States just behind smoking. ( http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/bb_nutrition/ ) Get out there and start living life! I can carry home a full shopping cart of groceries, car pool two kids or just get lost in the great outdoors camping for a week. Well I got go, another outing this weekend.
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