Carnage

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Thursday, July 16, 2009
By Yokota Fritz


Do you remember Reardon Sullivan? He's the guy who famously declared that "one of the major hazards on our roadways in Montgomery County right now [are] bicyclists."

The San Francisco Chronicle apparently agrees, printing several anti cycling screeds in the Letters To The Editor section while ignoring a hit and run involving a 4 year kid on a bike. The SFPD also apparently agrees, because they've completely ignored tracking down driver in spite of a personalized plate and car description (and an update on that: a private citizen apparently has tracked down the hit and run driver).

Here's a very quick sampling of some recent traffic carnage around the United States.

Man drives his Jaguar through the front window of a toy store in Palo Alto. Vrooom!

Big crash Tuesday morning on Highway 17 across the Santa Cruz Mountains tied traffic up for hours. Two helicopters landed on the highway to transport the victims, and CHP, firefighters and tow operators had to clean up the mess.

Warrensburg, Missouri hit and run kills 1, sends two to the hospital. [Photos]

Elderly driver in Medford, MA runs over children. Elsewhere in Masschussetts, this driver runs down a child in a crosswalk.

Fort Myers Florida: Pedestrian hit by passing car.

And FTW! Out of control driver smashes a non-insured Ford Bronco through the front door of a bike shop. Bike shop now doing a "Door Buster Sale" and offering discounts to everybody with a proof of insurance card. What about car free folks who don't need to carry auto insurance?


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Comments:
I hate to sound negative, but it really is getting worse out there.

We desperately NEED higher gas prices to turn the traffic fatality numbers in this country around.
 
here in santa fe, we just lost four beautiful, promising teenagers when a drunk driver, driving on the wrong side of the road, plowed into them. his blood alcohol was twice the legal limit, and he has a previous dwi on his record. our entire city has been devastated by this tragic loss. cars are coffins.
 
Hey, you can't just casually mention that somebody found the hit and run driver and not give us any more info.

In reference to the personalized plate, I actually did verify with a couple of my friends in law enforcement that indeed special characters cannot be searched in the DMV database, so they've just got the KAY to search for. Still seems like it would be easy to cross reference against vehicle type but never underestimate the shoddiness of government technology.
 
The front line of law enforcement: An Illinois state trooper was sending and getting e-mails and talking by cell phone to his girlfriend moments before his patrol car slammed into an oncoming car on a southwestern Illinois freeway, killing two sisters.

Trooper Mitchell was traveling 126 mph and blamed the collision on a “phantom” white car that caused him to go out of control.
Jack

http://www.injuryboard.com/national-news/trooper-facing-24-million-lawsuit-in-death-of-two-teens.aspx?googleid=238968
 
Did someone really track down the hit & run driver from Valencia Street? I fervently hope so - such a callus individual needs to be brought to justice.
 
Kit & Brinkman: Rumor only right now so it could be bad info, but I heard (I think from Murph) that somebody from SFBC managed to find a match to the partial plate and vehicle description and passed that along to SFPD.
 
...w/ the advent of the cell phone, a law should have been introduced wherein fone manufacturers & vehicle makers cooperated on a project that only allowed cell fones to work in a non-moving vehicle...
...incoming calls would go straight to "messages"...

...everyone could see the convenience of the cell but no one anticipated the dangerous situations they would ultimately create w/ their proliferation...

...of course, cell fones are just one of the distracting elements in our society of short attention spans...
 
The fact that motorists crash and burn does not excuse the behavior of many cyclists that causes hazardous conditions on our streets, sidewalks and crosswalks.

Not a day passes that I do not witness bicyclists in Santa Cruz riding on the sidewalks, crosswalks and the wrong way in the bike lane, not to mention blasting through stop signs and stop lights.

Here's an example of the result:

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x863182677/Norwich-man-struck-by-SUV-while-riding-bicycle
 
Busted!

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/08/06/arrest-made-in-hit-and-run-of-bicyclist-and-young-son-on-valencia-street/comment-page-1/#comment-21401
 
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