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  1. #1
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    Sidewalk Bikecommuter Facing Homicide Charges


  2. #2
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    It makes a sexy headline, but I don't think riding on the sidewalk was the issue...since the person he killed was another cyclist who was also presumably on the sidewalk. I think recklessness is the concern.

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    Sidewalk Bikecommuter Facing Homicide Charges

    Reckless homicide seems a bit over the top but maybe Norway's definition of homicide differs from the US.

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    ^+1 The charge seems a little inflated, though I'd have no problem with giving him 30 days. He does need to be punished for riding recklessly and such but to hang a homicide rap on him (even if it is 'only' negligent homicide) is a bit over the top.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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    The responses here about leniency are an interesting study in perspective. If the woman had been caused to swerve into traffic by a car pulling out of a driveway, or a car trying to pass her too close, would we all be willing to give the driver a pass?

    Surveying the constant stream of blog posts about drivers who have "gotten off" after causing cyclists injuries or death, I think the answer is "no".

    It seems to me that he was acting in a reckless manner and his actions directly resulted in the death of another. To me, he's no less accountable than the person who doors a cyclist, or nearly doors them and causes them to swerve into traffic and be hit.

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    To be fair, I don't think someone who isn't paying attention and doors a cyclist, with the cyclist dying as a result should be charged with HOMICIDE, either (reckless or not). Someone who maliciously doors a cyclist, who dies as a result? Sure. Get the difference? The difference is intent. I think 30 days in the pokey is getting off light. And I'm not arguing that the guy should not be held responsible.

    Also, what happens when an unimpaired but reckless auto driver causes a wreck that results in fatalities? It's not pretty for the driver at fault, but it doesn't result in HOMICIDE charges. This is a bike-on-bike version of the same thing, essentially.

    Quote Originally Posted by ubernerd View Post
    The responses here about leniency are an interesting study in perspective. If the woman had been caused to swerve into traffic by a car pulling out of a driveway, or a car trying to pass her too close, would we all be willing to give the driver a pass?

    Surveying the constant stream of blog posts about drivers who have "gotten off" after causing cyclists injuries or death, I think the answer is "no".

    It seems to me that he was acting in a reckless manner and his actions directly resulted in the death of another. To me, he's no less accountable than the person who doors a cyclist, or nearly doors them and causes them to swerve into traffic and be hit.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    To be fair, I don't think someone who isn't paying attention and doors a cyclist, with the cyclist dying as a result should be charged with HOMICIDE, either (reckless or not). Someone who maliciously doors a cyclist, who dies as a result? Sure. Get the difference? The difference is intent. I think 30 days in the pokey is getting off light. And I'm not arguing that the guy should not be held responsible.
    Just to be clear, I said nothing about a driver who intentionally doors a cyclist. That's a whole other situation, and *definitely* calls for a stiffer charge and sentence.

    As for "reckless homicide", I think there might be a perceptual issue here based on the name. Many states call the same act "involuntary manslaughter". In either case, it's generally defined as a reckless act that results in an *unintended* death.

    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Also, what happens when an unimpaired but reckless auto driver causes a wreck that results in fatalities? It's not pretty for the driver at fault, but it doesn't result in HOMICIDE charges. This is a bike-on-bike version of the same thing, essentially.
    Actually, it often does result in homicide charges:

    " Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Homicide.

    A person who unintentionally kills an individual without lawful justification commits involuntary manslaughter if his acts whether lawful or unlawful which cause the death are such as are likely to cause death or great bodily harm to some individual, and he performs them recklessly, except in cases in which the cause of the death consists of the driving of a motor vehicle, in which case the person commits reckless homicide." (Emphasis added by me.) (Reckless Homicide Law & Legal Definition)

    From Wisconsin law, for example: (Wisconsin Legislature: 940.02)

    940.10  Homicide by negligent operation of vehicle.
    (1) Whoever causes the death of another human being by the negligent operation or handling of a vehicle is guilty of a Class G felony.

    Many other states apparently have similar statutes that *specifically* relabel involuntary manslaughter as homicide if the death was caused by the reckless use of a car. So, if this is the bike-on-bike version of that, shouldn't it also be called involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide, depending on the jurisdiction?

    BTW, we're definitely in agreement that 30 days in the clink is getting off easy, no matter what the offense is called.

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    Agreed. I meant that while punishment is definitely in order (and yeah 30 days is light), homicide/murder/manslaughter is a heavy burden to lay on someone. Yeah he did wrong, and he's gotta pay the piper, I just don't want put more at his feet than he actually deserves. Maybe Norway has a different perception of these things, but being an idiot shouldn't put him on the same level as a real killer (a'la Manson, Dahmer, Gacy, etc...).
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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    It is nice to see prosecutors there admitting "Reckless cycling has been a major issue in Oslo lately, and cyclists must learn to obey traffic laws like all others, prosecutors claim, even though they admitted hes no killer ."

    Wish our courts were like that. In any case I ride across a bride on the sidewalk every day and I plan to continue. The roadyway is a divided highway and it is too dangerous. I always try to be very polite to anyone I meet. Usually no one, but today 1 pedestrian and one cyclist.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
    ...In any case I ride across a bride on the sidewalk every day and I plan to continue. The roadyway is a divided highway and it is too dangerous.
    I'm hoping that's a bridge you're riding across every day!

  11. #11
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    Not saying he does or doesn't need to be charged, but homicide is a little much either way.

    Punishment must fit the crime and not necessarily the result of the crime.
    Comparing reckless cycling to reckless motoring is like comparing apples to oranges.
    Most people don't think or are even aware that recklessly riding a bicycle could kill somebody because the rarity of it actually happening. However, most people who drive a car know that killing somebody is a very real probability if they do so recklessly.

    Difference between a bb gun and and real gun.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Difference between a bb gun and and real gun.
    That's how I feel too.

    First and foremost, a cyclist should not be treated any worse than a driver would be. The "Cyclist Murderer!!! Burn Them All!!!" articles would seem to be in favor of that, but thankfully the courts probably aren't that stupid.

    But beyond that, I genuinely don't think a reckless cyclist should be penalized as severely as a reckless driver. A bike is fundamentally much less dangerous than a car: 5~10% of the mass, a much lower top speed, and unlike a car a cyclist will deform during a collision with a pedestrian.

    Killing someone with a car is easy (or so I would assume). Killing someone with a bike requires not only recklessness, but also bad luck. The outcome may be the same, but the actions aren't generally equivalent.

  13. #13
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    I heard about this on the radio and think he deserves more than a month. Norway doesn't work like other countries, norway is like the exact opposite of the usa/nsa/surveillance state of your choice, people are free to do what they want, no one will interfere. But with this freedom comes responsibility, you are expected to not do stupid ****. And if you do, and get caught, like riding into somebody that gets hit by a bus and dies only because of you and your stupidity, then you deserve more than a month imo. And from what I've heard it was a busy street, the rider should have gone slower, showed bad judgement (its the judgement its about) and now its time to pay. I don't see the problem here really, except I think a month is too short.

    A month is mandatory for drunk driving, you get a 3 part sentance for drunk driving. first prison, then a fine, typically approx 3k equilvalent, and they take your licence. If you drive like 30km/h over the speed limit there is a good chance you will be doing some time (again for showing bad judgement). In norway its quite common for people that drive without a licence or under the influence of drugs repeatedly to lose their right to own a drivers licence FOR LIFE. At least once a month i hear about it or read about it somewhere.

    Norway is the least corrupt country in the world imo (even if you dig). I think the sentences are generally too short but at least well deserved. He should have known better, case closed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubernerd View Post
    The responses here about leniency are an interesting study in perspective. If the woman had been caused to swerve into traffic by a car pulling out of a driveway, or a car trying to pass her too close, would we all be willing to give the driver a pass?
    In norway they don't get a pass. No one gets a pass.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    Sidewalk Bikecommuter Facing Homicide Charges

    Car bone, that was the kind of thing I was wondering. Different country, different legal system, different penalties for being a dumb@$$.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
    It is nice to see prosecutors there admitting "Reckless cycling has been a major issue in Oslo lately, and cyclists must learn to obey traffic laws like all others, prosecutors claim, even though they admitted hes no killer ."

    Wish our courts were like that. In any case I ride across a bride on the sidewalk every day and I plan to continue. The roadyway is a divided highway and it is too dangerous. I always try to be very polite to anyone I meet. Usually no one, but today 1 pedestrian and one cyclist.
    Glad you are polite. Keep safe using that bridge. It's funny somehow when we knowingly do something wrong and when something bad happens,we don't want to accept the consequences ? I believe there are speed limits over there because almost half ride bikes.

  18. #18
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    In oslo many people ride bikes yes, but its not like other big cities, such as copenhagen, most swedish cities and germany/netherlands, maybe half-1/4 of that.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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