Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Truck driver not charged despite 3-foot-clearance law

Expand Messages
  • Geof Gee
    For some reason, I recall that Maryland advocates were trying to get a 3-foot-clearance while passing law. That is, there needs to be at least three feet
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 1, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      For some reason, I recall that Maryland advocates were trying to get a
      3-foot-clearance while passing law. That is, there needs to be at
      least three feet between the cyclist and motorist.

      http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0920mr-bikefolo0921.html
      http://www.tucsonbikelawyer.com/2007/09/no-charges-in-death-of-mesa-cyclist.html

      Cyclist's death focuses on obscure road law

      JJ Hensley
      The Arizona Republic
      Sept. 20, 2007 07:03 AM
      Her death was tragic for friends and family, but little more than a
      rush-hour inconvenience to drivers making their way through west Mesa
      on the morning of Sept. 12.

      But for a group of bicycling enthusiasts in the Valley, the abrupt end
      to Linda Cleapor's life last week on the corner of Baseline and Dobson
      roads marks the beginning of a new campaign to bring awareness to a
      relatively obscure Arizona law.

      Arizona Revised Statute 28-735 states that if a motorist who overtakes
      a bicyclist on a city street fails to leave at least three feet of
      clearance, and the bicyclist is injured or killed, officers can cite
      the motorist with a traffic violation and a fine of up to $1,000.

      Mesa police say the driver of the oversized load who came into contact
      with Cleapor's bike just west of Dobson won't be cited, and that has
      bicyclists like Rich Rumer worried.

      "It's obvious she was on the road, that she has the right to be on the
      road and that he ran her over, so he did not give her three feet,"
      said Rumer, chairman of the board of the Coalition of Arizona
      Bicyclists. "We definitely would like to have (police) review it and
      reconsider the fact that they think they can't issue a ticket. The guy
      killed somebody. For the guy not to be issued at least a citation is
      an atrocity."

      Mesa Police Detective Chris Arvayo, a department spokesman, said
      issuing a citation isn't easy when detectives investigating the scene
      are dependent on eyewitness accounts.

      "Obviously, there wasn't three feet between them because she got hit,
      but that doesn't tell us where she came from or where she was on the
      roadway. In order for that detective to issue the violation, there's
      just got to be more there," Arvayo said.

      The eyewitnesses police have spoken to came back with conflicting
      reports on what happened shortly after the 7:30 a.m. accident, but
      police reports indicate the truck driver and Cleapor were going
      westbound on Baseline toward Dobson, with Cleapor on the sidewalk as
      they approached the intersection. The truck crossed through the
      intersection going no more than 15 mph, the report states, and lost
      sight of Cleapor. Another driver flagged the trucker down about a
      quarter-mile west of the intersection to tell him Cleapor was injured.

      The truck's right rear axle struck Cleapor "just west of Dobson, in
      the easement area of the roadway," according to a police report.
      Cleapor died at the scene.

      That information alone should be enough to cite the truck driver,
      whose name police haven't released, Rumer said.

      The more that tragic accidents like this occur without drivers being
      cited, the less other Arizonans know about the statutes on the book,
      and the legal requirements to give bicyclists safe passage on city
      streets, he said.

      "Our laws aren't too bad, it's the fact that you've got to issue the
      citation. You've got to use what's on the books," Rumer said. If
      there's laws that's one thing but you've got to enforce them. Without
      enforcement there's no education, there's no awareness."
    • Barry Childress
      FWIW I know they are looking into trying the 3 foot law again here in MD. -=Barry=- Geof Gee wrote: For some reason, I recall that
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 1, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        FWIW I know they are looking into trying the 3 foot law again here in MD.
         
        -=Barry=-


        Geof Gee <geoffreygee@...> wrote:

        For some reason, I recall that Maryland advocates were trying to get a
        3-foot-clearance while passing law. That is, there needs to be at
        least three feet between the cyclist and motorist.




        Cycling Advocate
        BaltimoreSpokes.org
        . . .o 
        . . /L 
        =()>()
         
        If what you are doing in your car is indeed that important the city would give you lights and a siren.


        Tonight's top picks. What will you watch tonight? Preview the hottest shows on Yahoo! TV.

      • Allen Muchnick
        Since the bicyclist had reportedly been riding on the sidewalk east of the intersection, this does not seem to be a typical instance of unsafe overtaking by a
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 2, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Since the bicyclist had reportedly been riding on the sidewalk east
          of the intersection, this does not seem to be a typical instance of
          unsafe overtaking by a motorist. Sidewalk and sidepath bicycling is
          a major risk factor for bicycle-motor vehicle crashes at
          intersections.

          Allen Muchnick
          Traffic Cycling Instructor
          Arlington VA


          --- In BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com, "Geof Gee" <geoffreygee@...>
          wrote:

          > http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0920mr-bikefolo0921.html
          > http://www.tucsonbikelawyer.com/2007/09/no-charges-in-death-of-mesa-
          cyclist.html
          >
          > Cyclist's death focuses on obscure road law

          > Arizona Revised Statute 28-735 states that if a motorist who
          overtakes
          > a bicyclist on a city street fails to leave at least three feet of
          > clearance, and the bicyclist is injured or killed, officers can cite
          > the motorist with a traffic violation and a fine of up to $1,000.
          >
          > Mesa police say the driver of the oversized load who came into
          contact
          > with Cleapor's bike just west of Dobson won't be cited, and that has
          > bicyclists like Rich Rumer worried.
          >
          > "It's obvious she was on the road, that she has the right to be on
          the
          > road and that he ran her over, so he did not give her three feet,"
          > said Rumer, chairman of the board of the Coalition of Arizona
          > Bicyclists. "We definitely would like to have (police) review it and
          > reconsider the fact that they think they can't issue a ticket. The
          guy
          > killed somebody. For the guy not to be issued at least a citation is
          > an atrocity."
          >
          > Mesa Police Detective Chris Arvayo, a department spokesman, said
          > issuing a citation isn't easy when detectives investigating the
          scene
          > are dependent on eyewitness accounts.
          >
          > "Obviously, there wasn't three feet between them because she got
          hit,
          > but that doesn't tell us where she came from or where she was on the
          > roadway. In order for that detective to issue the violation, there's
          > just got to be more there," Arvayo said.

          > The eyewitnesses police have spoken to came back with conflicting
          > reports on what happened shortly after the 7:30 a.m. accident, but
          > police reports indicate the truck driver and Cleapor were going
          > westbound on Baseline toward Dobson, with Cleapor on the sidewalk as
          > they approached the intersection. The truck crossed through the
          > intersection going no more than 15 mph, the report states, and lost
          > sight of Cleapor.
        • Geof Gee
          There seem to be conflicting reports regarding riding on the sidewalk prior to the intersection. From what I gather, however, she was riding in the shoulder
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 3, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            There seem to be conflicting reports regarding riding on the sidewalk
            prior to the intersection. From what I gather, however, she was
            riding in the shoulder on the west side of the intersection during the
            collision.

            Like many accidents reported in the media, there is a lot of missing
            information. It isn't even clear whether the truck passed the cyclist
            while on the street. Supposedly, the truck was going relatively slow
            ... ~15 mph. But given the wide load, my guess is that the truck in
            all likelihood drifted out of the lane.

            -G

            Google Map of the intersection:

            http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=W+Baseline+Rd,+Mesa,+Maricopa,+Arizona,+United+States&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=82.167262,104.765625&ie=UTF8&cd=1&geocode=0,33.378630,-111.864020&ll=33.378556,-111.878015&spn=0.001483,0.001937&t=h&z=19&om=1

            Video capture of the collision location

            http://www.optionnz.com/users/afs/acc.jpg

            Video capture of the truck stopped about a 1/4 mile past the accident.

            http://www.optionnz.com/users/afs/widetruck.jpg

            Video news report of the accident which includes some footage of the area.

            http://www.azcentral.com/phpAPP/multimedia/flash.php?path=rtmp://azcentral.com/news/0912fatalsemiweb','mediaplayer','toolbar=no,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,width=300,height=300'


            --- In BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com, "Allen Muchnick"
            <allenmuchnick@...> wrote:
            >
            > Since the bicyclist had reportedly been riding on the sidewalk east
            > of the intersection, this does not seem to be a typical instance of
            > unsafe overtaking by a motorist. Sidewalk and sidepath bicycling is
            > a major risk factor for bicycle-motor vehicle crashes at
            > intersections.
            >
            > Allen Muchnick
            > Traffic Cycling Instructor
            > Arlington VA
            >
            >
            > --- In BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com, "Geof Gee" <geoffreygee@>
            > wrote:
            >
            > > http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0920mr-bikefolo0921.html
            > > http://www.tucsonbikelawyer.com/2007/09/no-charges-in-death-of-mesa-
            > cyclist.html
            > >
            > > Cyclist's death focuses on obscure road law
            >
            > > Arizona Revised Statute 28-735 states that if a motorist who
            > overtakes
            > > a bicyclist on a city street fails to leave at least three feet of
            > > clearance, and the bicyclist is injured or killed, officers can cite
            > > the motorist with a traffic violation and a fine of up to $1,000.
            > >
            > > Mesa police say the driver of the oversized load who came into
            > contact
            > > with Cleapor's bike just west of Dobson won't be cited, and that has
            > > bicyclists like Rich Rumer worried.
            > >
            > > "It's obvious she was on the road, that she has the right to be on
            > the
            > > road and that he ran her over, so he did not give her three feet,"
            > > said Rumer, chairman of the board of the Coalition of Arizona
            > > Bicyclists. "We definitely would like to have (police) review it and
            > > reconsider the fact that they think they can't issue a ticket. The
            > guy
            > > killed somebody. For the guy not to be issued at least a citation is
            > > an atrocity."
            > >
            > > Mesa Police Detective Chris Arvayo, a department spokesman, said
            > > issuing a citation isn't easy when detectives investigating the
            > scene
            > > are dependent on eyewitness accounts.
            > >
            > > "Obviously, there wasn't three feet between them because she got
            > hit,
            > > but that doesn't tell us where she came from or where she was on the
            > > roadway. In order for that detective to issue the violation, there's
            > > just got to be more there," Arvayo said.
            >
            > > The eyewitnesses police have spoken to came back with conflicting
            > > reports on what happened shortly after the 7:30 a.m. accident, but
            > > police reports indicate the truck driver and Cleapor were going
            > > westbound on Baseline toward Dobson, with Cleapor on the sidewalk as
            > > they approached the intersection. The truck crossed through the
            > > intersection going no more than 15 mph, the report states, and lost
            > > sight of Cleapor.
            >
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.