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Discussion Starter #3

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Discussion Starter #5
What should she have been charged with?
Distracted driving or what ever the current equivalent is in Iowa. Right now the law is vague and hard to understand an interprite with out effort by law enforcement. Until it is made more clear and the job of law enforcement is made easier by a new law that makes it clear drivers will continue to not be held accountable for their bad decisions and behavior.

Some drivers know the law is not real clear on what they can and cannot be charged with and have used that as carte blanche to harass cyclists on purpose.

Right now a lot of it boils down to how much effort an LEO wants to put into researching what a driver can be charged with. I think a lot of the time they are lazy and unless it is obvious and celar what a drive can be charged with they do not bother to consult with what ever resources they have at their disposal.

I do not expect them to know and memorize every single traffic law on the books. I do expect, if they have a question or do not know, to admit they do not know and tap into their resources to find out. Every police law enforcment car in Iowa is equipped with an on board computer with access to the internet and access to their version of an intranet that only they have access to. I cannot believe if they have a questions as to what a driver should be cited or charged with they do not have a resouce to consult with on the spot that would only take a few minutes to do so.
 

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Slowin it up.
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Accidents happen. It sucks, but not everything requires a charge. What punishment would have fit this? What law would have prevented it?
 

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According to this
decorahnews.com - Decorah news NOW! Decorah, Iowa | Traffic charge has now been filed against motorist in car/bicycle accident
on Monday she was charged with Following to Closely.

Traffic charge has now been filed against motorist in car/bicycle accident
Posted: Mon, Oct 4, 2010 9:24 PM

A charge of "following too closely" has been filed against 55-year-old Sherri Heckstein of Decorah in the wake of an accident that injured a bicyclist last week.

50-year-old John Condon was riding his bike north on Locust Road around 4:00 p.m. last Tuesday. Heckstein of Decorah was driving her car north on Locust Road, when some items fell off the visor of the car, distracting her. When she struck Condon, he was thrown from his bike, landing ten feet away and suffering minor road rash and contusions on his left shoulder, left side and right calf.

Heckstein was not immediately ticketed in connection with the accident, but traffic charges were formally filed against her on Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Accidents happen. It sucks, but not everything requires a charge. What punishment would have fit this? What law would have prevented it?
This was not an accident. An accident is unavoidable. This was easily avoidable. It was a collision, unintentional or otherwise but a collision none the less, NOT an accident.

If you really need to know how this could have been avoided re-read the article to see what she told police as to how it happened. She even admitted how and why it happened, thus admitting guilt.

A citation with a fine would have fit this. Perhaps she has other collisions on her record and after the next one her insurance rates would increase and perhaps this was the next collision that would her rate to increase if there was damage to her vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I can almost guarantee that the reason heckstein was charged is there was pressure put on law enforcement by cyclists. Who or what group of cyclists, I don't know. I do know the Iowa Bicycle Coalition has put pressure on law enforcement in the past to make sure justice is done as it should be. Did the IBC act on this incident? I do not know.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Well, I have yet to meet a perfect motorist or cyclist. That's an odd charge, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

For what it's worth, getting a ticket rarely changes behavior.
 

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Good thing for drivers like this one that no one has a law on the books about "driving stupidly."

Sorry, but the visor isn't the glovebox or console.....
 

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Well, I have yet to meet a perfect motorist or cyclist. That's an odd charge, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

For what it's worth, getting a ticket rarely changes behavior.
I'd have to agree with you, myself included as both cyclist and motorist. As I have gotten back into riding I have become much more aware of the issues that face both cyclists and motorists sharing the road. I see a lot of cyclists do really dumb things and understand that they give us all a bad name. I have seen more than a few cyclists do really unpredictable things in traffic such as swerve to avoid pot holes. Just yesterday I overtook another cyclist on a busy two lane with almost no shoulder...he had the mirrors and the Yellow Safety Jersey but could not hold a line to save his life - he was wandering within about an 8 ft area and was completely unpredictable. He had no clue what to do when a car was pacing him and trying to pass. This guy belongs on a MUP - not the road!

I don't believe there are any laws punishments or enforcements that will make cycling any safer. I would never assume that any law or regulation would protect me. My best protection is my own education, training and awareness. As another asked - what law or regulation would have prevented this? How does a blog entry calling the police lazy help the situation?

It sounds like your area is a tough place to ride in so I definitely appreciate how bike friendly my home is!
 
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