Tuesday, May 5

'cyclist killed by nail-polishing driver!

Since hearing about this Sunday evening after returning from putting over 900 miles on the 'cycle, I've been a little depressed. This rider could have been any one of us. She did all the right things. Had on a hi-viz jacket and helmet. She was stopped at a red light. She was rear-ended by a totally senseless, entirely avoidable assult by a driver (this isn't an accident as far as I am concerned and I refuse to call it that). The culprit admitted to polishing her nails while driving and claims not to have seen the motorcyclist stopped in front of her--REALLY?! HELLO?! This woman lost her life because someone's nails mattered more.

I am angry. I don't know this cyclist from Jane but she could have been me or you. Right now, they have not charged the driver with much. But if ever there were a case where the book and everything else should be thrown at the culprit, this is it. I'm searching for what else I, and others, can do about this assault. While out there this past weekend, I saw lots of horribly bad driver behavior that really started me to thinking about how lenient the laws are with regards to what seems like blatant vehicular homicide to me. The driver ought to be in jail right now. Period.


R.I.P. Anita Zaffke


Unknown said...

This is one reason I prefer to ride on superslab or away from urban settings. I can't remember any ride when I wasn't cut off or had to avoid a situation by an inattentive driver.

In class, we don't use the term accident, because there are no accidents. There are crashes because on an interactive of factor. Here is was someone multitasking while driving.

I still get nervous at the entry point to my subdivision and 183rd St. I will rear ended waiting to make a left hand turn when a woman on a cell phone rear ended me while driving at least 40 miles per hour. She was in the hospital for over a 6 weeks, but lived. My Ford Explorer protected me, but was totaled. Just think if I had been on the MC.

Unknown said...

Most of my riding is done in urban areas in urban traffic, and a lot of them are group rides. I find that traffic is become very aggressive. As you say, cars cut you off, or make last minute lane changes, or don't see you. Since you are a solo rider I decided to give it a try and cover some distance on the highway. I think it is much safer in spite of the higher speeds.
It seems that drivers don't give driving the priority & attention they should

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sharon:

My sentiments exactly. I was thinking or organizing some kind of protest over this incident. The perpetrator is actually too stupid to be driving a car or an electric mixer. The circumstances cry out for justice.

Fondes regards,
Jack Riepe
Twisted Roads

Anonymous said...

This is utterly, pathetically, tragic. Throw the book. Cage drivers are just too comfortable. A cage is a weapon when used like one.

Ride on,

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

Jeffry, had you been on a bike, we probably wouldn't be exchanging notes!

This just reminds me that no ride--no matter how long or short, is ever free. One has to always remain on high alert. I do the superslab a lot but I don't particularly like it. I'm finding that old country/county roads are my favorite but they add the issue of isolation. Should anything go wrong there, one can go undiscovered and unaided for some time. But no matter the rode taken, bad behavior is omnipresent from drivers and I just don't know what can be done about it.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

bobskoot, I too navigate the urban streets of Chicago; the superslab is overly familiar terrain; but, the roads I love being on best are those lightly traveled county roads, which provide about the purest riding I know of...free of traffic but demanding care regarding ground coverage(e.g. sand in corners, dung, damp straw, etc).

I feel safest on the superslab because of the many supports along th way (gas, food, lodging, state police). I've been on some county roads that have spooked me a bit, especially when the sun is setting.

Why drivers have gotten so aggressive or seem so much more distracted is partly, in my view, an increasing lost of civility, a minimal, if not, total disregard for others. Don't get me started!

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

Jack, seriously...I'm really down about this and I know that it has something to do with my brother's case but still...I'm still trying to figure out what I can do other than whine and rant.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

Torch, Welcome.

I can't agree with you more! It's been pressing on my mind since it happened--something has to give soon.


Mark Lloyd Perry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Lloyd Perry said...

Hi Sharon. Mark Perry here, from U of Chicago days. I'm trying to reach you by email but your Chicago Alumni email is kaput. I'm also trying to reach Harrison. I'll send you a proper message when I hear from you. Great blog. I'm also traveling, but by bike - when my bones are feeling ok. One of these days I'll go coast to coast, with any luck.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

Mark Perry? THE Mark Perry?! I don't believe it! I was just talking about you to HG recently--we talked you up! What a wonderful surprise to brighten my day! Glad you found me here--how I don't know (Google?)!

Yes, let's exchange info...I have HG's contact info also. Let me check on how I can get this to you without inviting the entire world in...

hang on...

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

bkrider9, here's my UofC email address: