Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Price of a Cyclist's Life? 60 Days in Jail

The Dispatch reported today that Sarah Bender, the motorist whose inattention on the road led to the death of Dr. William Crowley during the Tour of the Scioto River Valley bike ride last year, was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Two months, $1000, and a suspended license for two years.

That's what a man's life is worth in Pike County, apparently. His widow is pretty ticked off. Read the article and feel the outrage.

You can follow the entire story of the trial via the corresponding post on Yay Bikes, including comments by bike lawyer Steve Magas.

People, not speed.

6 comments:

  1. How long should she stay in jail? Life? Would that protect the public? If that's the justification, why not just suspend her license permanently and save the money it takes to jail an inmate? This might be one of those examples of life not being fair.

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  2. I would absolutely be in favor of a permanent license suspension for someone who kills a person and drives away. I see no problem with that whatsoever.

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  3. I think that would make a lot more sense than locking up someone who's not a threat to the public...until they get behind the wheel.

    Will she be able to get her license back? When? I hope at least some kind of defensive driving courses are required.

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  4. IF anyone's curious, the relevant code is 2903.06. As near as I can tell, she was guilty of a second degree misdemeanor. Looks to me like that whole section should be revisited. I can't imagine I'd feel any better if someone I loved died in a car wreck for a failure to yield or something and got this sort of sentence. Hell, in a construction zone it gets bumped to a first degree misdemeanor!

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  5. John, to an extent I agree with you about the idea of her not being a threat unless she's behind the wheel. But with the amount of time people spend behind the wheel now, that's going to be a significant portion of her time.

    Perhaps 60 days is appropriate, given that it seems this was not done with any malice, just extraordinary inattention. I'd obviously rather see her get the full 6 months if only to make it clear to everyone that people need to drive safely and attentively.

    But if someone proves in such a horrible way that they aren't trustworthy behind the wheel of such a weapon as a car, then they deserve not to drive, ever.

    Cycho, thanks for the legalese. :) While I think the law should not be about revenge, I do think the punishment should fit the crime. This definitely needs to be revisited.

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  6. Make her ride a bike for life...

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