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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Enquirer - No charges in crash that killed 3

Hopefully this link will work, but here is the story. About a month ago, three motorcyclists were killed when a driver went left of center, and plowed in to them. The riders were part of about 100 bikes on a charity ride. Apparently the car in front of this guy stopped, he freaked, lost control of his car and killed three people.

The result? According to the prosecutor, it was an accident. He did nothing that transcends normal traffic laws. He will lose two points on his license, probably lose his driving priveledges for a few months, and receive a fine of no more than $1K.

I honestly don't get it. I have a sneaking suspicion that had he plowed into a Toyota Sienna, and killed a couple of kids, the outcome would be different. I hope I am wrong, I truly do, however, it does seem as if when one of us gets hurt, as much blame is put on us for deciding to ride. Maybe I just need to vent. This is just one of a number of higher profile motorcycle fatalities around here this Spring/Summer, and all it has done is provide fodder for those who want to tell me how dangerous it is.

Am I nuts on this one? Do I need to go back on my medication, so I don't feel so paranoid, or is it true that in the eyes of the general public, we are just a bunch of morons, because we chose to ride?
 

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MODERATOR X
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That's right..take it from me, when some nitwit center punches you, and you get mortally f*cked up, the cops just chalk it up to "the driver didn't see you" or "motorcycles are dangerous".

The guy who naled me got off with just a ticket for an illegal lane change. My riding days are over. Invest in some good back protection amigo, but nothing really helps when you become a hood ornament.
 

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Would it make you feel better?

Really?

I've felt like Killing before. In fact, it was just tonight. The more I think of it, the more I'm likely to do it, too. I wonder if I'd get 25-to-Life for Murdering a convicted Sex-Offender?
 

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Snuggles
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Hey, WHOAH! I never said anything about killing. I just simply sent a link to something Cuddy might be interested in since he got a few bucks from the insurance company.

You know, working on long range targets is a soothing and relaxing hobby.

I'm just sayin'
 

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The Toad
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You asked....

....is it true that in the eyes of the general public, we are just a bunch of morons, because we chose to ride?
... and the answer is yes. However it's better to be a moron for riding than a juiceless drone who rattles his cup against the bars of his cage, you know, the average non-rider.
 

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The problem is Indiana law. Not the cops, not the DA.

Some states have statutes that allow criminal prosecution for traffic deaths, either felony or misdemeanor depending on the degree of negligence. Indiana isn't one of them. Breaking a traffic law there is the same whether you harmlessly cross the centerline on a vacant piece of road or snuff out three lives. (The exception is DUI. I think all states can charge drunks who kill on the road with a felony.)

AMA's Justice for All program targets states like Indiana that don't prosecute those who kill with motor vehicles: "This campaign seeks to enhance penalties, including fines, driver's license suspensions and jail time, for those who commit traffic offenses that injure or kill others..."

I think the occasion of the '08 GP at Indianapolis would be a good opportunity for the AMA to highlight their initiative in that state. Every motorcyclist who rides to Indy for the GP should be aware of the deficiency in Indiana law and of this case, where a careless driver got nothing more than a f**king ticket for killing three motorcyclists.
 

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Civil penalities

Ok there is some Civil law remedies in this case.. Because he received a traffic citation he was at fault so he is then liable in civil court. So he can be sued for damages..Now most states require only a min of $10,000 in liability insurance. In mscuddy's case that is all the driver had and mscuddy settled out of court for that. Now if the driver had land or other assets, you could go to court ask a jury for a judgment. In WA state if a judgment is awarded by the jury you can get his insurance and his assets (including his house but in some states like Florida he can keep his house that is why OJ moved to Florida from California. If the sum total of his assets is still less than the judgment you can garnish his wages up to 10% of his income until the judgment is paid.
 

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Now most states require only a min of $10,000 in liability insurance. In mscuddy's case that is all the driver had and mscuddy settled out of court for that.
More and more states are requiring $25k in liability. My own Agent (State Farm) recommended double that to me - reason being that there are a LOT of vehicles out there worth much more than $25k, and it's only like 10% more to double it.

And in mscuddy's incident, the driver had NOTHING - it was $10k from a State-run fund that he accepted, IIRC. It was that, or a very high chance of nothing at all.

I'd still feel like Murder, or at least a good maiming............
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My folks were hit on my dad's bike a while ago, and the guy who was driving was a yound, inexperienced driver, with no money and no insurance. My folks got totally hammered on that deal.

I often wish that actual driving skills were taught and encouraged, and not just learning how to pass the test, but I keep forgetting that U.S. citizenship guarantees the right to drive a car. It must have been made an ammendment to the Constitution, because that's how everyone seems to act. As for a mode of transportation that actually requires skill and knowledge, like motorcycling, well we are just stupid for not swathing ourselves in a steel cocoon and allowing the car to park itself.
 
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