I'm inclined to agree with SBP on this one. Why would new laws make any difference when the old laws are already ignored by many motorists? A 250 dollar fine, and a couple of points on one's driving record are a joke when compared to the injuries incurred by the victim in a car vs motorcycle collision. Injured partys already have redress through civil tort actions.
More laws are not generally the answer for all of society's ills. VWW
Generally I'd agree with the above. But these offensives currently only count as reckless driving which is a cheap (relative) fine and one point against your license in CA. This would at least make it stiffer, if not by much.
If we want the general driving public to be better more aware drivers as far as motorcycles are concerned then we need to;
a. Improve the level of training needed for a driving licence over the laughable joke that is required now.
b. Make motorcycle specific amendments to existing laws; If you make an illegal turn in front of a car the fine is $100, if you do it in front of a motorcycle it's $1000! Hitting people in thier pocketbooks always makes them pay more attention.
with 3x that for hitting a "vulnerable road user" ie. pedestrian, motorcyclist, and bicyclist provided the latter wasn't doing something illegal like jay-walking in the middle of the block or running red lights (eg. bike messengers).
Japan recently enacted a $3000 automatic fine for a DUI. oh and a $5000 death clause. A resulting death should lead to charges of vehicular manslaughter or negligent homicide. American society is entirely too cavalier about the 40,000+/yr murders that occur on our roads. Vietnam's bloodiest year was 11,000 dead as I recall.
Well, I don't want to debate the broader issue of "no new laws," but to answer your question of "Why this [law]"...
This law deals specifically with right-of-way violations. Right-of-way violations can have more onerous consequences for the victim. This law would make the consequences more onerous for the perpetrator, too.
Let's just consider the case of Bill Janklow and Randolph Scott. That case was "easier" because that idiot Janklow was traveling 70 mph when he ran the stop sign and killed Scott.
But what if Janklow had been traveling 15 mph when he ran the stop sign? And what if Randy Scott had only suffered a broken collar bone as a result?
Under existing law, Janklow might get a $50 fine. Under the new law, he would get a higher fine plus two points on his license.
The idea is to specifically discourage right-of-way violations. Considering that motorcyclist are more vulnerable to such violations, is the new law such a bad idea?
You're "not sure" the proposed legislation will solve anything, but you are sure your seat-of-the-pants plan will? You said "we need to...", as if this is the only solution that will work.
You're opposed to a law that will be enforceable and has the support of the public at large, law enforcement, and motorcycle advocacy groups, but you are in favor of expensive, unpopular, impossible-to-implement programs like mandatory additional training for motorists or complex laws that will have to be worded like hate-crime legislation to be enforced?
I don't mean to sound catty, but these guys at ABATE and the AMA have been spending many, many hours researching and advocating for laws to make our lives a little better and safer and their efforts get dismissed with no research in a very off-the-cuff, knee-jerk kind of way.
I don't mean to wax pedantic here, lest someone may call me a lawyer again, but we already have criminal negligence laws on the books. I understand where those of you that favor this law are coming from, but it would seem that the standardization of such minimal punishment for actions that seriously injure, and often maim others does not further the goal of deterring the perpetrators of these acts. We would be better served if District Attorneys brought charges against the perpetrators of these violations, and prosecuted these cases with the threat of severe penalties for those who negligently harm others. Once the public a large came to understand that there would be SERIOUS ramifications for negligence you would see a drop off in these kind of occurrences.
This would necessitate some political will on the part of those wishing to change the public sentiment to a degree that will cause prosecutors to get off of their collective asses, but the efforts of those pushing for the passage of this Bill would be better spent doing that than supporting a fairly meaningless feel good Bill that would likely have minimal effect on our desired goal. VWW
Yes it is. Right of way violations are already subject to being cited. Furthermore you are subject to civil action (which in California has a relatively high chance of success). Making things "easier" for police and prosecutors is not my desire nor is it among most of those who share a libertarian view of the world.
You're right that civil actions are available. And those will be available whether this bill passes or not. But they are an entirely different arena. As a side note, I hear it's very difficult to collect on a civil case.
But to get to the crux of your objection (I think), how does this bill make things "easier" for police and prosecutors?... "Easier" to do what?
I understand your philosophical objection, but do you have any specifics?
I'd agree that prosecution would be the preferred method, and that overall, this bill is a token effort. (Very similar to several motorcycle rules that my command, PACAF, has enacted; but that's off topic.) I just won't hold my breath. Real changes take a real long time.
Can't argue about this one. Law Enforcement already has plenty of tools to deal with this.
Motorists get away with killing bikers because the courts and jury's buy the "I didn't see him" excuse. Add the fact that most people think that riding a motorcycle is "asking for it" I don't think that any new law is going to make any difference.
Why the new law? Because Calif has a full time legislature and they've got to keep busy somehow, right?
What's an extra $100 Bush dollars for great bodily harm? Nothing. And the points as well. A law suit with a large civil judgement on the other hand would mean a lot more. Having had some (bad) experience in this matter maybe a camera in the fairing activated by sudden deacceleration would be useful.
I'm super pro-motorcyclist, but this law is just dumb. There are already so many traffic laws that are arbitrary and bizarre that you are almost definitionally committing a crime every time you step behind the wheel - why tangle things up even further?
Further, the penalties described sound trivial.
I don't like it, not one bit. SBP is on the money here.
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