Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Cyclist Killed in Kentucky – Laws Questioned

Following the death of a cyclist in Louisville, KY, there’s a lot of debate about how laws regulate the sharing of roadway space.

The motorist is not being charged with a crime. She told the police that he didn’t see the cyclist until it was too late to avoid him. Because Kentucky law requires substances to be involved (DUI, drugs) or ‘wantonness’ (ie, deliberately acting in hazardous ways), this is technically correct. However, it is rather upsetting that there is no citation at all being issued. While manslaughter or another vehicular crime may not be advisable under the law — or relative to trying to prosecute — one would think the driver could at least be charged under a ‘basic speed’ law. The bridge was marked as a shared bridge, and bicycles are considered vehicular traffic in Kentucky. Proper care would include watching for cyclists while driving across the bridge.

What kind of message does it send when a driver is issued no citation at all for causing a death?

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.

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