Sally Clark struck person biking in Tacoma + Why she should become leader for safe streets

Photo from Sally Clark's office.

Photo from Sally Clark’s office.

Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark was driving in Tacoma looking for a church when she made a left turn directly into the path of someone biking back in May 2012. Steve Fairbanks had the right of way and had no time to stop before colliding with the side of Clark’s Ford Escape, seriously injuring his left leg.

Fairbanks’ recovery has been long and painful, and his leg has been left permanently deformed. He has also lost sensation in places and deals with chronic pain, according to a claim filed against the City of Seattle this month.

Clark was acting in her official capacity when the collision occurred, opening the city to legal liability for any costs beyond the meager $25,000 covered by her car insurance.

Clark had not spoken publicly about the incident until Tuesday, when the lawsuit brought the incident to light two and half years later. She said she did not see Fairbanks before turning in front of him.

“I was in my personal car and taking a left turn just before arriving at the location,” Clark wrote in a statement reported by the Seattle Times. “I did not see an oncoming cyclist and he didn’t have time to stop before running into my passenger side door. I and others immediately called 911 and stayed with the cyclist until he was taken to the hospital. He had a clearly broken leg.”

Both Clark and Fairbanks were traveling on South 9th Street when Clark turned left onto South Market Street. Here’s a view of the intersection as it was in 2012:

Fairbanks is seeking $2.5 million in the claim. If a settlement is not reached, it could turn into a lawsuit against the city.

“This was an accident and a reminder of how quickly something like this can happen,” Clark wrote in her statement. “ As a driver and a cyclist — who rides my bike to work not often enough — I continue to be shaken by what happened. I’m thankful (if that’s the right word) that what was a bad outcome for the cyclist wasn’t worse.”

Of course, as a councilmember in a major city where a lot of people bike to get around town, Clark is in a special position to do more than simply apologize and pay her ticket (the Vulnerable User Law did not go into effect until a couple months after the collision, so the question of whether or not that law could have been applied in this case is irrelevant). While she has supported investments in cycling when they have come up for a vote, there is a whole lot of work to do before the city is truly bike-friendly.

Clark now knows firsthand what can happen when a dangerous street design is allowed to persist. Tacoma’s South 9th Street was and still is a four-lane street through a commercial area. Seattle has many streets like this desperately in need of a complete streets redesign.

Much like the collisions that killed Mike Wang and seriously injured Brandon Blake on Dexter Ave, people turning left from four lane streets have more pressure to make a quick turn and have less of a chance to see people on bikes heading in the opposite direction. Though Fairbanks’ injuries are bad, he is lucky compared to Blake and especially Wang. But it could easily have been even worse.

Clark lives in Rainier Valley, where the community and SDOT are trying to figure out how to prevent the huge number of collisions and injuries that happen on that four-lane street, which passes through several busy business districts. Speeding is rampant, and the street stands out as the most dangerous neighborhood street in the city.

Mayor Ed Murray attended a recent community meeting about it and stayed to listen to people’s concerns for the remainder of the meeting. The street is going to need bold action on the part of the city if it is going to become the safer and more complete street it should be. If the city does not take this action or their action is far insufficient to treat the core design dangers, then there will be more people injured and more people like Clark who were responsible for those injuries simply by making a driving mistake.

But these injuries will not be “accidents,” because the word accident implies that they were unavoidable. If the city can make the street safer and chooses not to, those injuries will be at least partly the city’s fault. And this is where Clark has a unique opportunity to take action.

The Seattle Times asked Clark whether she was worried the news of her collision will impact her standing with biking voters:

“Were I not a cyclist there might be some more traction with that,” [Clark] said.

“I’ve been a part of a lot of those conversations in trying to figure out how we make the investments in infrastructure and education in Seattle for everybody. I biked to work yesterday,” Clark added.

“I’m happy for the infrastructure that Seattle has and we need more of it and more recognition of sharing the road. But that’s a little bit separate from a particular, discrete accident,” she said.

While Cascade Bicycle Club was quick to absolve her of political responsibility — telling the Times “this could happened to anyone” — I don’t think the safe streets voters will actually be so forgiving. Instead, I think Clark is going to need to go above and beyond to be a leader on the issue of safe streets if she doesn’t want people to remember this when filling out ballots next year.

And Rainier Ave is the perfect chance for her to demonstrate this leadership by going out and spreading the word to her neighbors and gather support for the tough changes the city must complete there. Because while most people in her situation can do little more than say sorry and accept the tickets and legal ramifications of their mistakes, as a City Councilmember, Clark can do much much more. And she should.

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40 Responses to Sally Clark struck person biking in Tacoma + Why she should become leader for safe streets

  1. GlenBikes says:

    I found the quotes from Cascade to be surprising. While it may be true that the street on which the collision (not accident) occurred, that doesn’t absolve the driver of responsibility. Councilmember Clark is responsible for this collision and the impact it has had on Mr. Fairbanks.

    Let’s hope Clark steps up as a champion of safe streets but also takes responsibility for her actions and becomes a champion of safe driving as well.

    • sally says:

      As a Cascade member I am embarrassed by that response. Sally Clark was driving with woefully inadequate insurance, violates the law and seriously injures someone.
      Cascade calls it an accident and says it could happen to anyone.

      Then they Anne-Marije Rook goes on to praise Clark’s record. This is the woman who said she was following her convictions when she broke with the majority of the council and voted for less bike and ped money. Still Cascade endorsed her for reelection.

      When Cascade will be more effective when it decides that its goal is something other than to be loved by politicians.

      • Adam says:

        As a Cascade member I’m also embarrassed by that response.

        Says Anne-Marije Rook, Cascade spokeswoman:

        “She accidentally hit a bike. She’s a very avid bicyclist herself and has done great things for bicycling in Seattle.”

        “This could happened to anyone.”

        First off, she hit a man, not a bike. There’s a world of difference between slamming your car into a squishy human being versus hitting an inanimate object.

        And this isn’t something that “happened” to Clark. It’s something she did, whether or not it was her intention. She was the perpetrator, not the victim, and it pisses me off that Cascade could so nonchalantly say that it “happened” to her.

        If the group that’s supposed to be advocating for safer streets and responsible usage of said streets is still perpetuating the mindset of brushing these issues under the rug with an implicit absolution of the person behind the wheel by diluting actual fault and responsibility with an appeal to the everyman with an “it could happen to anyone” trope along with dehumanizing the now-permanently-handicapped-man into simply an inanimate object, then what chance do we have? It’s depressing.

      • ODB says:

        These responses seem a bit unfair to Ms. Rook. These were oral remarks made to a reporter. Would it have been better if she had said “bicyclist” rather than “bike”? Sure, I guess (assuming she wasn’t misquoted). But I wouldn’t leap to the conclusion that this suboptimal word choice has revealed a hidden agenda to “dehumanize” bicyclists that somehow exists within the heart of a bike advocacy organization.

        What about “This could happened [sic] to anyone”? The context of this statement is unclear in the article. In the preceding sentence quoted in the article, Ms. Rook refers to the need for better infrastructure for cyclists to be more visible to drivers.

        “Not being able to see the bike is probably the No. 1 response people have,” she said. “That happens all the time, which is exactly why we need infrastructure like protected lanes that provide clarity on where to expect other road users.”
        “This could happened to anyone,” said Rook.

        It’s not clear if these statements about visibility and infrastructure came immediately before “This could happened [sic] to anyone” as quoted in the article. Assuming that they did, “anyone” could refer to Sally Clark or Steve Fairbanks, or both of them really. The point being that poor infrastructure contributes to cyclists being struck by cars. Isn’t this in fact exactly what we want bike advocates to do–i.e., rather than pointing the finger of blame at a driver in a particular instance, to use the media attention generated by the incident as a platform for advocating for better bike facilities.

        As far as endorsing Clark, so did The Stranger, on grounds that “Her only real challenger, Dian Ferguson, is bananas.”

        I’m not a Cascade member, but if I were, I would be inclined to cut the leadership a little more slack.

  2. Rich says:

    Sorry, but I don’t buy the argument that bad infrastructure absolves Clark of responsibility. The street view image shows good sight lines in all directions. A bicycle entering the intersection in daylight should be quite visible. If Clark can’t notice an oncoming cyclist, what else might she miss? A pedestrian in the cross walk? Would she notice a motorcycle? A SmartCar? How big does a vehicle need to be to be worthy of Clark’s attention?

    A protected cycle lane wouldn’t solve the problem. As soon as you enter the intersection, you’re no longer protected from turning drivers. They actually need to be paying attention and see you. As we’ve seen on Second Avenue, a protected bicycle lane doesn’t prevent collisions at mid-block driveways. In fact it may have made them worse, since cyclists are now hidden from traffic and they have no ability to take the lane if appropriate.

    I’m all for Seattle developing a first class bicycle infrastructure. Even with the best infrastructure, however, individual attention and responsibility are still required. Clark should not get a pass on this.

    • Richard says:

      One point of contention – you say that protected lanes don’t help with these situations, but I’d argue that they do. The help comes not from the separation of the bike lane, but the attention it draws to the fact that there is one. A driver sees a green bike lane and will be more likely to remember that bikes could be passing through, which reduces the chances of the “I didn’t see him” crashes.
      It’s certainly not a fix for raw inattention, but it should at least help.

      I also agree that she shouldn’t get a pass, but I’m not sure I support real criminal penalties for passive negligence. What I mean by “passive” negligence is that she didn’t actively choose to ignore a law – she most likely made a negligent check for cross-traffic, looking only for cars, and this was clearly her fault (which she admits). She did not choose to run/ignore a red light, or ignore a crossing/crosswalk, she wasn’t speeding – there was no active choice that endangered people.

      I think penalties should be increased dramatically for situations where an active choice was made (such as caleb shoop’s killer, who chose to ignore the crossing and ignore the multiple vehicles already stopped – two distinct laws he actively broke). These should qualify as legal negligence, with all the impacts that entails – such as almost assuring application of vul, and opening the doors for negligent homicide.

      But for more passive neglect, failing to properly check cross-traffic for example, I don’t believe criminal charges and more extreme monetary penalties (or jail) are answers that help the situation.

      As an alternative, I would propose mandatory license removal when a person is found at fault in a crash – period. The term can be variable to fit the level of negligence exhibited, but we need to remove the perception that driving is an unassailable right.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I in no way meant to imply that the road design absolved her of responsibility. But she stayed, called 911, and paid the ticket she got, which is essentially pleading guilty. She also apologized to him. People do make mistakes.

      But since she is a City Councilmember, she is in a position to take things further by pursuing safe streets in her city with added zeal. And I’m arguing that due to this collision, she has an added responsibility to do so.

      • stardent says:

        “But she stayed, called 911, and paid the ticket she got, which is essentially pleading guilty. She also apologized to him.”

        As opposed to what, hit and run? Is that the expectation we have of people in general, leave alone a powerful city official? Sad.

      • Virchow says:

        I tend to agree with the substance and style of Tom here. She made a mistake, regrets it and the process is playing out… punishing people for show because they made a tough mistake seems unproductive. It won’t heal the victim’s leg or prevent people driving from making good faith errors.

        Would those who advocate a more putative approach pursue work place injuries in the same manner? After a certain point you are no longer promoting vigilence or dissuading negligence but just being vindictive. I mean can everyone here honestly say they have never made a dangerous mistake driving…

  3. Andres Salomon says:

    The collision itself doesn’t affect my opinion of Councilmember Clark. On poorly designed streets, these things are common and baked into the design. She stuck around and accepted responsibility.

    It is her comments that have changed my opinion of her. The victim-blaming “running into my car”, combined with the “accident” mentality. This wasn’t an accident, it could have been avoided with better road design, paying more attention, etc. Hearing her comments in response to the collision are disappointing.

    Take responsibility, and use the incident to learn about and push for safe Seattle streets instead of just shrugging your shoulder and saying that these things just happen!

  4. Stuart says:

    The responsibility was on her to become a leader in safe streets before this news came out. As a political leader she had the chance to impact the discussion, informed by her personal knowledge about how easy it is to injure or kill someone on a dangerous road. Combined with her complaints about cyclists taking the lane on 2nd avenue, you get the sense that she does not take safe streets seriously.

    This is all apart from the fact that she is quickly becoming one of the top three most conservative city council members. She needs to be removed from city council by popular vote.

  5. Al Dimond says:

    Once again, the response to a collision involving a driver making a turn includes calls for road layout changes that wouldn’t change the equation for drivers turning across bike traffic. Look at a typical road diet or protected bike lane diagram: someone going straight through on a bike and someone turning left across their path are in the same position relative to eachother as they were in the previous configuration!

    Road diets and protected lanes are useful for a lot of other reasons. Many protected lane layouts help protect people biking against movements in and out of parking spaces in areas where parking turnover is high; many road diets result in speed decreases for through-traffic; most bike lanes make it safer and a lot more comfortable to ride significantly slower than the speed of car traffic. All these things are great! But a lot of the worst collisions we actually hear about involve turning drivers that failed to yield. We need to turn some attention and research toward what’s effective in getting turning drivers to see oncoming bike traffic and yield correctly.

    • GlenBikes says:

      Al, changing a 4 lane road with 2 lanes in each direction to one with 1 lane in each direction and a center turn lane does help avoid this type of collisions. With a center turn lane, left turning drivers have less pressure to turn fast (not backing up traffic behind them) and they are only turning across 1 lane of opposing auto traffic so they are more likely to notice a bicycle in the bike lane or a pedestrian on the sidewalk.

      Now, you are right that nothing can completely solve inattention of drivers. We do need to decrease the number of turning conflicts and reduce speeds so that collisions will be more likely to be near misses rather than serious injuries.

  6. David says:

    Please clarify, was the cyclist travelling the same direction as CM Clark (as written)? That doesn’t sound right, if the collision was to the passenger side of the car.

  7. William Wilcock says:

    I am glad I am not a member of the Cascade Bicycle Club – they can put on some nice bike rides but are rather lacking in credibility when it comes to advocating for cyclists.

    It is very concerning that Ms. Clark seems unwilling to accept the blame for hitting a cyclist and all too willing to minimize the incident. Why didn’t she see the cyclist? Was she on the phone, reading a map or just not looking because she was focused on her upcoming appointment? I think she needs to explain what happened.

  8. Cheif says:

    Any person who thinks that “this could happen to anyone ” needs to never be allowed to drive again.

    • Virchow says:

      I think that the notion that all mistakes can be eliminated from a system by imposing sufficient penalties and controls is a flawed concept.

      Is it possible for a motorist (or cyclist, or pedestrian or a person engaged in an activity) to make a mistake, admit the mistake, submit to penalty, learn from their mistake and move on? What do those calling for “greater responsibility” from Ms. Clark want exactly and does holding feet to the fire get us there?

      I do believe that our transport infrastructure and laws protecting non-motorists from aggressive driving has a long way to go but I also think that as long as its people that are doing the driving/walking/biking, that bad things will happen.

      Finally from a purely political point of view, we would be better off sympathizing with drivers who make a mistake and feel bad and want to make a change to reduce collisions rather than lambasting everyone. The former position is open to constructive coalition building, the later tends to alienate potential allies.

  9. Seeing it all as a pedestrian/bicyclist says:

    There is always going to be someone who is distracted by something and is therefore not looking where and when they should. I don’t think that problem will ever be solved. Vehicles and bodies don’t mix, so let’s subtract the vehicles. Enough of the “right to drive.”

    • ChefJoe says:

      I think if you “live off the land” like that “Alaska” series on Discovery, you might have a point. However, as someone who probably has food tucked into the local stores and probably has parcels delivered to their home, I think your suggestion is moronic.

      • Cheif says:

        What’s moronic is somehow stretching to equate taking away the right to drive with it being impossible to have stores or mail or emergency services.

  10. user x says:

    I’ve been commuting for 20 years and have almost 10k on my latest route that takes me from Downtown to the U-District. I can say with with total clarity that most drivers do not take the responsibility of driving even remotely seriously, most don’t even seem cognizant that they are participating in an activity that can result in death, most don’t even seem to care, to some, it seems like a joke. Distraction is not the exception, it is the rule. They talk on their phones, text, eat breakfast, put on makeup, sometimes at the same time while behind the wheel. I see tempers flare with blaring horns followed by gas pedals jammed and lives put at risk. I witness drivers putting their convince over the safety of pedestrians at almost every intersection that they can exercise their God-given right to turn on red. I see so much anger and rage well up in all manor of people on he road. They honk like psychopaths when the car in front of them stops for a pedistrian. They accelerate, not brake when pedistrians cross at unmarked sections of road. I stop at intersections every morning where the average number of cars that run a fully red light is 4. I ride on residential streets, the kind our children should be able to cross without worry, that people tear through at twice the speed limit. Spending every day at the mercy of drivers has almost taken my faith in humanity from me. So no, I think the time for letting drivers off the hook for “mistakes” is gone. Without repercussions, it is only going to get worse and worse. This “it can happen to happen to anyone” mentality has allowed our roads to be turned into a disgraceful cesspool that represents the worst of humanity. We are better than how we are behaving in our cars. We need to hold people responsible for their actions in vehicles because we aren’t even close to doing that now, and people are getting away with murder.

    • ChefJoe says:

      The number of Americans who haven’t reviewed local driving laws or undergone any sort of real, standardized testing of their driving methods since they were under 18 is a key factor. Just like some states are trying to put tests on the elderly driving, it would be good to be required to re-test every 10 years or so.

      We should also implement a DMV test for bicyclists to certify they know the local rules of the road pertaining to bikes as well, just like motorcyclists do.

      • user x says:

        While I agree that more people need to review the law and most were not adequately trained. The average American is able to figure out things like the rules of football without having them fully explained and I believe they have a pretty good grasp of what they are supposed to be doing when they are behind the wheel of their car. Testing people is really a moot point when I rarely see anyone pulled over for traffic infractions, and when truly bad things happen on the road there is almost no penalty. Short of excessively speeding while completely drunk, I’m not sure how one gets a severe penalty in a motor vehicle. This is unacceptable.

        I also believe that more defined rules for cyclists should exist. Nothing makes me cring more than pulling up to an intersection with several other cyclist that are all behaving differently. It helps me understand why motorists get upset with us. Clarity on that front would be usful as long as it doesn’t end in a regressive tax on those that cannot afford transportation other than a bike. This discussion is also a moot because the lack of accountiblity for drivers have created an environment where most cyclists do whatever they think will keep them safe, reguardless of what the law says they are supposed to do, because they do not want to die.

        Your suggestions are only relivent in an environment where the law is enforced and respected. Our roads are not that place, not even close. It is like the wild west when you are in a car and until that changes, nothing will.

    • Kirk says:

      I too see rampant violations during my commute. I have pointed out the car stopped and blocking the crosswalk to the policeman that pulled up behind it. The policeman said “so what.” SPD does not routinely enforce traffic infractions; they don’t care.

      I strongly wish we had a traffic enforcement division of the police force that focused solely on traffic, like the way parking enforcement focuses only on parking. The traffic enforcement could easily be solely funded by the tickets they write. Anyone that gets a ticket should need to pass a drivers exam as part of the fine to continue driving. Our roads are the most dangerous places to be in the city. Why isn’t our city making them safer through enforcement of the laws?

      • user x says:

        I witnessed the interestingly positive immediate effects of traffic enforcement a week and a half ago. I take Bell St. home every day. Since it has been turned into “Bell Street Park” it feels like it’s become less safe for cyclists, despite the fact that only buses and bikes are technically supposed to be traveling the full length. There are 4 deserters at each of the intersections of the “park” that instruct vehicles to make a mandatory turn with the exception of buses and cyclists. These are completely ignored. Completely. When cars obey them I can only assume, after months of watching their behavior, they were going that diection anyway. Motorists not only ignore the law, they behave like cyclists should not be there because there is no bike lane or sharrows and will aggressively shove cyclists to the curb or block them from advancing on the right. After months of watching them completely ignore the signs, I came to the conclusion that the signs must be incorrectly positioned or not clearly communicating what they wanted the drivers to do. That was, until a week and a half ago. I was headed home down Bell and saw a large brown cardboard sign on which was scrawled “Police Trap ahead $124 fine”. Every car ahead of the sign was perfectly obeying the law. To the letter. I was curious so I doubled back and stopped on the sidewalk and watched. With the exception of a single driver, everyone obeyed the traffic sign while I watched for 5-10 minutes. They also drove cautiously and politely. Go figure. This sea change of behavior was with just the risk of a small monetary fine, I can only wonder what would happen if the operators of motor vehicles really had some skin in the game.

      • ChefJoe says:

        user x,
        I wonder how many of those cyclists who blow through stop signs or violate laws would behave if their vehicle had a unique, registered, identifiable plate on it ? Would it get down to something near where cars are ?

      • user x says:

        Ahh the ol’ “outlaw cyclist” trope, I must have touched a nerve. Portland did a study http://bikeportland.org/2013/06/25/94-of-bikes-wait-at-red-lights-study-finds-89025 that found most cyclists do not act the way you suggest. The bad ones tend to stick in your mind, it’s called confirmation bias. Besides, at the end of the day they are only putting their own lives at risk running a red light, unlike the 5 to 10 motorists I see run reds daily who have the potential to erase your entire immediate family, in one fell swoop, by doing the very same thing. Registering bikes will do absolutely nothing. Having unique identifiable plates on cars does not currently stop the people driving them from acting like selfish tools. Why should it have any effect on cyclists?

      • ChefJoe says:

        Interesting user x, the UW did a study on campus and found the majority of cyclists were not obeying traffic laws. I think “bias” would be suggesting that only the cyclist’s life is in danger when it has a cascading effect upon other users of the road… cars rear-ending each other due to panic stops. I know I’ve become so accustomed to bikes in traffic lanes not stopping at a 4 way intersection that I used to give “pause” when it was my turn in case the bike was going to not stop. Now that I know it’s only the bike in danger I’ll just follow the law and presume the bike is going to because I’m sure the bicyclist will pay to repair my dented car and understand their liability.

        http://dailyuw.com/archive/2014/10/12/news/uwpd-launches-policing-project-burke-gilman-trail
        Since the school year began, an excessive amount of cyclists have not been obeying traffic laws, according to Rittereiser, they were not stopping at stop signs or yielding to pedestrians, in addition to a number of close calls with vehicles.

        UWPD officers have spent time analyzing and collecting data. They randomly sampled 225 cyclists and out of that group, 139 (61 percent) did not stop for stop signs or yield to pedestrians. Officers also observed to see if cars were an issue in terms of speed or obeying stop signs, but they did not witness any issues in the randomly sampled cars.

      • Kirk says:

        Yeah, drivers of cars don’t speed and they obey stop signs. Sure.
        Either way, anyone who runs a stop sign, rolls a stop sign, stop light, etc. should receive a ticket. Period. Increase enforcement, and make the “users” of this enforcement pay for it.

      • user x says:

        Sorry Chef, I’m not taking the bait. You are hauling out all the same ol’ BS anti-bike talking points in order. Let me guess, cyclists not paying their fair share of taxes is up next? They are old, tired, and bring nothing productive to the table. They have been dismantled countless times and do not belong in this thread. You must be this bridge’s resident troll.

  11. Kirk says:

    I don’t think bike registration would make a difference. A driver of a bicycle can just as easily be ticketed with or without a registration. What would make a difference would be an increase in enforcement. There certainly are enough drivers of autos and bikes out there betting they won’t get caught. Let their traffic fines pay for increased enforcement.

    • Cheif says:

      The funny part is that the people who consistently cry for bike registration / licensing are the right wingers who otherwise claim to want less government intrusion into their lives. But somehow on this one topic, bloated money losing government oversight is the right answer?

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Road safety is a bipartisan issue. Keep left-vs-right politics out of it.

      • Cheif says:

        Bike licensing has nothing to do with road safety.

      • ChefJoe says:

        Cheif, just like we have a drivers license to certify that a driver has learned sufficient rules of the road to not be a complete hazard to others, we could do the same for bicyclists.

        Then bicyclists would have been tested to be well trained with the state laws (and it might provide more impetus to change the bad/incomplete laws).

      • Cheif says:

        I don’t care why anyone thinks there should be licensing or registration for bikes, I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of the majority of the people who think it should exist. And I don’t care which side of the political bs you consider yourself on, it is cowardly and pathetic to suggest that there should be some kind of government oversight on the behavior of people using bikes while ignoring the fact that automobile drivers are actually the hazard and are not held accountable for their actions.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Except a person driving is MUCH more hazardous than a person biking. So much so that we don’t even allow them to do it unless they’re at least 16 years old. 30k to 40k dead each year in the US from car collisions. On the other hand, research suggests that higher numbers of people biking (even though they’re unlicensed) are correlated with increased safety for pedestrians: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/09/19/study-1000-peds-injured-annually-by-cyclists-statewide-number-is-dropping/

        Why is this even being discussed in this thread? Do you think that the person who Sally Clark hit would have been saved by a bicycle license? Do you think that someone on a bike fearing for their safety on a road will trump what they learned from a test? Is there any reason to believe that most adults on bikes don’t already have their drivers license? Are we just wanting to do some victim-blaming?

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  13. user x says:

    So I originally thought that this collision was a left cross, which really got me worked up in light of Sally’s and Cascade response to the collision. They stated the collision was much like Mike Wang’s (which sends a chill up my spine just mentioning it) and state that Fairbanks, the person operating the bicycle, struck the passenger side of Clarks vehicle, which makes sense if it were a left cross. The post goes on to state that the were both headed south which would make this a hook. I’m far more willing to let a right or left hook pass as an “accident”. Don’t get me wrong I’m not blaming the victim at all, it’s just that the variables acociated with a left cross simply make the “accident” pill very hard to swallow. Does anyone know the details?

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