Serious Injuries in Scottsdale Pedicab CrashPosted on February 5th, 2013 4 comments
Two passengers of a pedicab were very seriously injured when they were struck by an suspected drunk driver in an early morning hours crash near downtown Scottsdale 1/4/2013. The pedicab’s driver was also injured. The crash occurred as the pedicab was traveling north on Scottsdale Road near Rose Lane.
Seriously injured Cody A. Clark and Michael D. Tysver were both Kansas state fans in town for the Fiesta Bowl. The automobile driver “Phoenix resident Joseph Paul Spano, 27, was driving the sedan that collided with the pedicab and was arrested on suspicion of DUI, endangerment and aggravated assault”. Aggravated assault, §13-1204, can be a fairly serious charge; depending on a variety of factors.
The azcentral.com article was somewhat breathless (though, I guess it’s sort of typical-style journalism for the topic)… If there really are “armies of pedicabs” and their passengers subject to extreme danger by plentiful drunk drivers(“as common as sharks,” — though i wasn’t sure that metaphor works); wouldn’t there be more frequent collisions and injuries?
Pedicab crashes/injuries in the greater-Phoenix area are by my memory rare, this is the ONLY ONE I ever heard of – though, admittedly, this is anecdotal. So this will be one crash to watch for in the ADOT traffic records (but not until mid-2014!), I will be interested to see how this gets coded, it might be possible to extract statistics by filtering on more than one person in a traffic unit that is a pedalcyclist; and making some inferences. This would also pick up, e.g. tandems, and any sort of passenger (e.g. illegally on pegs, or handlebars).
This particular pedicab device itself was somewhat confusingly described in the article — the video show it was a standard-issue mountain-style bicycle pulling a two-wheeled passenger trailer. Some pedicabs are customized tricycle creations with integrated (no trailer) passenger space; these units sometimes (perhaps often?) have helper motors attached. There is no indication (from the video, nor in the article) a helper-motor was in use.
See phoenix-pedicab-ordinance for some further discussion about pedicabs.
One other standard gripe of mine is this quote, my emphasis; it would be better if we could train these guys to drop out the word motor because it is inaccurate:
Tempe Police Sgt. Mike Pooley said pedicabs and pedicab trailers are “basically treated as motor vehicles” and are governed by the same regulations. At night, they the have to have reflectors and a front headlight, he said.
Bicycles (and pedicabs) are not motor vehicles; this important distinction explains, among some other things, why bicyclists (and pedicabists) are not by state law required to have a motor vehicle driver’s license, or covered under mandatory insurance (technically, “financial responsiblity”) laws.
As is perhaps predictable, there will be calls for more regulation azcentral.com/community/scottsdale/articles/20130110pedicab-accident-prompts-safety-questions-scottsdale.html with the more obnoxious comment coming from Bill Crawford, president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale’s Quality of Life “The association has no problem with pedicabs shuttling customers from bar to bar in the bar district. We do, however, take exception to pedicabs allowed on busy, major streets like Scottsdale Road, Indian School Road and Camelback Road. We ask, would you allow your own family members to ride in a pedicab traveling up Scottsdale Road at bar close time?”.
The problem of DUI and DUI-caused injuries and fatalities is very much a motorist’s problem, currently well over one hundred motorists killed each year in Arizona in alcohol-involved crashes. Non-motorists killed are predominantly pedestrians, along with a handful of bicyclists and an unknown number (but approximately ZERO) of pedicabists or pedicab passengers.
sources: NHTSHA data says there were a total of 215 fatalities in 2011 under the so-called “new” (more stringent) definition of impairment-involvement. AZ Crash Facts shows 64 peds and 5 bicyclists killed in “alcohol-involved” crashes; see table 6-4. There is no obvious category for pedicabists or their passengers; i believe there to have been ZERO fatalities.
Scottsdale Council to consider enacting pedicabs regulations
City council will consider a new ordinance to add regulations, said to be similar to Phoenix and Glendale regs, at their April 9, 2013 meeting… azcentral.com. Here are the proposals from the city’s website www.scottsdaleaz.gov/codes/pedicab.
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