Sunday, January 24, 2010

Assault on Cyclists = 5 Years Prison

Doctor sentenced to 5 years in prison - not enough says I...

A small bit of justice was served when driver Christopher T. Thompson, 60, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for slamming on his brakes and causing a group of cyclists to collide with his car in Los Angeles, CA. That is a small consolation for the number of cyclists that put up with abuse on the roads as they simply try to commute to work or ride for the benefit to their health.

This man caused one rider to slam through the rear window of his car, severely damaging the riders face - practically tearing his nose off. Another rider crashed to the road and sustained serious injuries. Mr. Thompson had told investigators that he slammed on the brakes to “teach them a lesson.” The sickest thing about the entire incident is that the driver in question had multiple incidents trying to “teach cyclists a lesson.” 

Now, let this be a lesson: When hostilities rise nothing good can come out of it. If the cyclists were riding all over the road impeding traffic, while not very courteous, does not excuse assault with a vehicle against another human being. A warning to would-be ass-hat drivers: you also run the risk of encountering some cyclist packing a gun.

Christopher here obviously had just “had it” with the cyclists taking up “his road” no doubt. Anyone who has ridden a bike of any sort on the PUBLIC roadways knows that there are some drivers out there who feel that such surfaces are their private property. But sorry they are not. Bikers are also most likely drivers as well - and thus help PAY for the roads they use like everyone else.

I throw out kudos to the prosecutors and officers in this situation. Cyclists are typically blamed first and drivers often times get away with near murder. 5 years is not much for this man, but its better than nothing.

Everyone, drivers AND cyclists, need to realize that we are all just trying to do the same thing: get somewhere safely. We are all on this rotting titanic of planet Earth together, so we should do what our mommas always asked and play nice with one another. 

If you are a rude cyclist you may be asking for an incident that you can never win. If you are a rude motorist you only empower the rude cyclists to try harder to be more rude to you. Just stop. Ride nice and drive nice - and we will all get there safely.

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