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This is happening too d@%! often!(11 posts)

This is happening too d@%! often!Caseysdad
Aug 16, 2003 7:52 AM
Just received an e-mail from a local rider here in TN who was struck by a car during a Saturday morning ride along a back road that many local cyclists travel on a regular basis. Fortunately (?!?!), he managed to come away with just a broken leg and some "back problems" and expects to be more or less back to normal in 2-3 months. According to the rider's e'mail:

"A old 76 man... hit me on my bike on Saturday at 10 AM. He has been in 7 accidents of this type in the past years per the trooper. He did not stop after he hit me. He was tracked down by a lady who was driving behind him."

How many things are wrong with this picture? Are the police waiting for him to chalk up an even dozen before they pull this guy's license? Does anybody else think that leaving the scene might warrant some kind of consequence???

Fortunately, our local cycling club tends to be very active when it comes to advocacy and speaking up on riders' issues in the local government. I anticipate that we'll be following the outcome of this situation very closely and calling down fire and brimstone if this guy is allowed to get back behind the wheel anytime before his 100th birthday.

Sad, sad situation. All the more so because it may have been avoided if something had been done after, oh, the fourth or fifth incident.

Be safe out there...
Was there a farmer's market nearby ? nmfiltersweep
Aug 16, 2003 8:09 AM
Could the government be sued???Sprint-Nick
Aug 16, 2003 8:17 AM
Its ridiculous to have an old man who has had multiple accidents still on the road without even a suspended license. Since you people have been known to sue for anything in the states I see this as one of the better reasons. Would there be any legal grounds for such a case?

-Nick
Could the government be sued???Caseysdad
Aug 16, 2003 10:07 AM
I don't doubt that a lawyer could make a pretty good case out of this - from any number of angles. Time will tell whether the parties involved decide whether to pursue that course of action. I just think it's pathetic that a growing number of people seem to have the attitude that it's fine to continue doing things that are blatantly dangerous, stupid and often lethal to others until someone forces them to stop through legal action.

I'm not against allowing older people to drive. My wife's grandmother is in her mid 80s, but is sharp as a tack and could pass as twenty years younger. She regularly drove herself around until just a few months ago, and stopped because she no longer felt 100% confident in her abilities. No incidents. Not even a traffic ticket. She probably could have gone on driving for a few more years, but decided to play it safe - in spite of the fact that it created no small inconvenience for her to stop driving - and hung up the car keys. I have utter respect for that kind of self-regulation and find it reprehensible that it isn't the norm.

Welcome to America - Land of the free and home of the people who ought to know better.
leaving the scene certainly should warrant some consequencebiknben
Aug 16, 2003 8:46 AM
I've grown to accept that not everyone is always paying attention at all time when beihnd the wheel. Even I change radio stations and look at my kids in the mirror.

What I have no tolorance for is hit and run. Injury or not, it is completely unacceptable to leave the scene. The thought of laying in a ditch somewhere, without help, is one of my greatest fears.

In NJ, leaving the scene of an accicent, where you cause injury, will get you arrested. There are really stiff fines too. Non of those consequences are going to make an injured person feel any better as he hopes a good samaritan stops to help him out.

Causing injury, intentional or not, and just leaving them to suffer is truly the signature of true scum.
re: This is happening too d@%! often!Birddog
Aug 16, 2003 10:34 AM
Generally, it's the Insurance Carrier that causes one to quit driving because the rates get too high. They usually accomplish this with a "non renewal" for the Insured. My worst fear is that this old gent was out there without insurance because of the previous accidents. Coverage for a senior with a history of accidents can get pretty pricey. In other words, unless the guy violated the law, it's not the State's responsibility to just suspend the license. A suspension may not stop them from driving anyway, many repeat DWI offenders are still on the road. I am in favor of annual renewals for seniors at some point though, complete with a driving test.
Birddog
re: This is happening too d@%! often!rogue_CT1
Aug 16, 2003 10:43 AM
The police have nothing to do with the guy loosing his license or not. That is up to the Department of Revenue and the legal system. The police have no power at all to just "pull" a person's license. In my state the driver has to be listed on a driver condition report to the Department of Revenue by a family member, neighbor, Doctor ect... Then the DOR or in our case the Highway Patrol has to conduct an investigation to determine the facts such as the drivers record, witness interviews with the individuals Doctor, family and friends and then an interview with the person themselves, if they are willing to cooperate. Then the findings are sent back to the DOR for revue. If enough probable cause exists then the driver in question is ordered to be re-tested by the Driver's Examination Office. At that point, if they do not pass the eye test, written test and the driving skills test the Department of Revenue will revoke their license. It is a long process that takes months and months to finally resolve.

Please don't simply point the finger at the Police and say it is their fault. I have done dozens of these Driver Condition Reports. They are time consuming and difficult as I try to do a thorough and complete job. Nothing is worse than seeing an elderly person drive the wrong way on the interstate and have no clue as to what he/she is doing wrong and to be absolutely powerless to do anything other than issue a ticket and at best have a family member drive them home. We then complete the condition report which in a large beuracracy takes forever to have any effect.
re: This is happening too d@%! often!filtersweep
Aug 16, 2003 1:27 PM
Most countries in Europe and the police pull the license on the spot while they investigate (may take a few weeks to get it back). Of course they actually have pubic transportation almost everywhere. Licenses often cost a ton of money in the first place.

There are a ridiculous number of oldsters who drive the wrong way on the freeway... I know a highway patrolman - the stories he tells.
"Pubic" Transportation??? Do you have any info on this?The Walrus
Aug 16, 2003 3:27 PM
I know I'd give up driving if we had that around here...
need retesting for licenseCritLover
Aug 16, 2003 3:00 PM
It's amazing that they don't retest for licenses yet in this country (at least here in the east). C'mon, it's just a good idea, period.

Maybe the old dude really didn't realize what he did, but 7 times... I don't think so. He's definitely a hazard on the road, does he have to kill somebody before they take away his license?
Interesting thing happened this morning on my ride. (long)c722061
Aug 16, 2003 7:58 PM
It was so hot for the last few days so this morning I woke up at 5 am to get an early start. About 20 miles in the ride, I came up on a hill and saw a half of a red car hung on the embankment. I immediately thought that someone had had some accident.

Sure enough I threw my bike on the grass, took off my cleated shoe and ran over to see a car was almost went to the pond below. There was an old man in a car he looked stunned when I reached to the door and asked if he was OK. He was fine and the engine was still running, tranmission was still in drive, lucky for him the front end was siting on thick bushes and the tires lost traction so the car stopped.

I called police and paramedic for help. Why waiting for them, I keep talking with the man to keep him alert. He said it was so hot and he went to the park early to catch some realief and eat his breakfast. On the way to the park he just passed out and did not remember what happened until I came and talked to him. I did not think much untill I read your message. Had I gone there a minute earlier I would have been hit because the car would gone my way. I was lucky too.