Tag Archives: cyclist fatality

Bad weekend in Scottsdale

Adot Incident 2609053 Update / FINAL on cyclist McCarty death: azcentral.com  The motorist who killed Shawn McCarty was fined a total of $420 (and the case is apparently closed). Regardless, It would appear that $420 is the “normal” fine schedule that anyone would pay. That would mean that the enhanced fine for 28-735 (section B) was exactly ZERO. How can that be? Would a judge or magistrate actually make that decision, or it is some sort of court “bug”?
§28-735B: “If a person violates this section and the violation results in a collision causing… Death to another person, the violater is subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars”. Here’s another one from a different jurisdiction, Green Valley, from a couple of years ago, again, as far as i see there was no enhanced penalty.
There are a series of stories by blogger Ray Stern of the PhoenixNewTimes; amy_alexander_case_of_killed_bpolice_reportPays $420 fineInattention Cops Say. In particular, the police report offers no explanation other than “inattention”; and a claim by police that cell phone use was not involved

Police tend to pay too much attention to the 3-foot law and not enough to Failure to keep proper lane, which would trigger a 28-672 charge; which should have been charged in this incident, according to the description of the collision, the motorist drifted between lanes  ]

Ped fatality Saturday, Cyclist fatality Sunday

(3/10 and 3/11). A handful of interesting points: each driver was cited within a day or two of the incident. In the case of the pedestrian mowed down in a crosswalk, the driver was also cited for 28-672 (causing death by violation) which is a criminal (albeit a minor misdemeanor) charge. In the case of the cyclist, according to blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com the driver was cited for violating the 3-foot rule (28-735) and driving in a bike lane (28-815D) [this can be looked up on the Scottsdale muni court: it is TR-2012006430 and the fine was $210 for each — the city apparently didn’t bother with the enhanced penalty for death, 735B]. The police aren’t letting on why the driver so distracted that she was driving in the bike lane (and yes, it’s a real, full-fledged, designated bike lane), other than to say the investigation is continuing. As I pointed out in double-jeopardy-and-flawed-logic it’s unusual (around Arizona) to issue any citations until the close of investigation and getting the go-ahead from a county prosecutor — apparently Scottsdale does things differently.

It is gratifying to see Scottsdale issuing the 28-672 charge when appropriate… I have no way to check this but it seems way under-utilized. In the end, though, it may be little more than a slap on the wrist, see e.g. this case where it seems to have merely amounted to a $200 fine — hardly a behavior-changing penalty. Last month, Scottsdale also charged a driver making a bad left with 28-672 which resulted in the death of a boy riding legally in the crosswalk (a la Maxwell v. Gossett).

Pedestrian: Judith May, 69 / driver: Frederick Matschull, 72; Case TR-2012006196

Cyclist: Shawn McCarty, 53 / driver: Amy Alexander, 40; Case TR-2012006430.

lookup Scottsdale Municipal Court records by case number at scottsdaleaz.gov.

Continue reading Bad weekend in Scottsdale

Foshee Trial delayed again again again

[Trial actually, finally begins: oft-delayed-foshee-trial-to-begin ]

The manslaughter and endangerment trial of Gary Foshee in connection with a fatal traffic collision in August of 2009 has been delayed again and again and again.Trial was originally set for 5/24/2010; however it was reset because “Defendant needs additional time for expert to complete investigation…” (this was 9 months after the incident), so was first delayed to 7/26/2010.Then for some reason that was delayed.

Then the trial set for 9/28/2010 was missed: “Defense counsel orally moves to continue the Trial. Defense counsel’s expert witness will not be available to testify at the Evidentiary Hearing…”.

Then there’s a whole bunch more motions and case minutes.

The case minute dated 5/16/2011 which re-sets the pre-trial conference to 5/18/2011, at which time i suppose the trial date will get set (again). “Due to the unavailability of Defense witness”. Trial was then set for August 15, 2011 (! exactly 2 years after the incident).

Oops, another delay  (for seemingly unspecified reasons by the state; the defense did not object), make that trial date of 10/4/2011.

Oops Oops again another delay  (again, for seemingly unspecified reasons by the state; the defense did not object): new trial date 11/28/2011.

Oops, oops, another delay, another new trial date “The Court finds that delay is indispensable to the interests of justice… A defense expert is not available. IT IS ORDERED granting the Motion to Continue … resetting the trial to January 23, 2012“.

Some background information and media reports about the incident which occurred 8/15/2009: Queen Creek hit-and-run; driver arrested Continue reading Foshee Trial delayed again again again

Moto-cyclist killed in Tempe hit-and-run

In an update to this July 2010 story, as the City of Tempe prepares to turn off its photo-enforcement effective July 19, 2011, police mention that those very photos were instrumental in capturing the suspect, Cody Davis, who fled the scene. See Police: Photo enforcement’s impact goes well beyond traffic infractions from the EVtrib.

UPDATE: Police arrest suspect 7/17/2010 [abc15] “Tempe police say Cody Ryan Davis has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident in the death of Bradley Jason Scott, 32, Continue reading Moto-cyclist killed in Tempe hit-and-run

Manner and Fault in Bicyclist Traffic Fatalities: Arizona 2009

Most at Fault driver / bicyclists collisions Arizona 2009Abstract

Traffic records for all bicyclist fatalities occurring in Arizona during the year 2009 were categorized and listed according to manner of collision and assignment of fault. Primary results are that 11 of 25 fatalities (44%) were determined to be the fault of the cyclist; while 14 of 25 (56%) were the fault of a motor vehicle driver. The most common manner of collision is when a driver strikes a cyclist from behind.

Full Report

The full report is available in pdf format:
Manner and Fault in Bicyclist Traffic Fatalities: Arizona 2009
Supporting data: 2009CyclistFatals.xls

Comments or questions may be left here, or contact me.

There were some somewhat out-of-context statements about my report on the npr.org health blog. They probably should have mentioned that the report covers only FATAL bike-MV collisions (a tiny fraction of all bike-MV collisions), and that the manner of collision in fatals varies significantly from non-fatals.

Continue reading Manner and Fault in Bicyclist Traffic Fatalities: Arizona 2009

Arizona bicyclist fatalities 2003-2006

How did I miss this one?

Should State DOTs Prefer Bicycle Lanes or Wide Curb Lanes? A.L. Dennison, 2008 [.pdf] This report was produced for ADOT in cooperation with US DOT/Federal Highway Authority.

Bicycle facility advocates have long debated the respective merits of bicycle lanes (BLs) and wide curb lanes (WCLs); this report investigates their claims… This study found no apparent relationship between fatal bicycle/motor vehicle collisions and type of bike facility… A significant handicap to any analysis of bicycle travel or safety is the paucity of reliable data.

Of great interest to me was the categorization of bicyclist fatalities over a four year (2003-2006) period, based on police reports. Somehow I missed this report entirely even as I echoed its complains about the “paucity of reliable data” for cyclist/traffic collisions while researching Manner and Fault in Bicyclist Traffic Fatalities: Arizona 2009.

According to my (from ADOT’s Arizona Crash Facts) records there were 15, 27, 35, 30 fatals in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. This totals 107, but the report says that “We obtained 85 (97%) of 88 microfilmed fatal bicyclist/motorist crash reports submitted to AzDOT by police agencies in Arizona between 2003-2006”. The missing 3 (88-85) are explained in a footnote. But one wonders, where are the other 19? (=107 – 88). Does that mean that not all fatalities are submitted to ADOT? … so the answer i am told is that it covers the time period 17-Oct-2003 to 25-Sept-2006, which makes sense.

 

Is it illegal to ride a motorized bicycle on the sidewalk in Phoenix?

Story from the Arizona Republic; I copied the whole thing because it was only a few sentences long (my emphasis added):

Woman dies when motorized bike collides with car in Phoenix
by Jack Highberger – Jan. 20, 2011 12:26 PM The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team
A 53-year-old woman died Tuesday night (1/18/2011) when her motorized bicycle collided with a car on Dunlap and 25th avenues.
The woman was driving the motorized bicycle on a sidewalk when she entered the crosswalk and collided with the car, said Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department.
She was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.
She was taken to the hospital where she later died. The driver of the car, who is also a 53-year-old woman, was not charged by Phoenix police. Authorities said it’s illegal to operate a motorized vehicle on a sidewalk.

First off, let me say that this type of collision is pretty common, and it is exactly why sidewalk cycling, motorized or not, is not recommended. But is it illegal? Continue reading Is it illegal to ride a motorized bicycle on the sidewalk in Phoenix?

Commuter cyclist killed in Tempe

[UPDATE: Oct 14, see Investigation, below]

According to item at biketempe.org, and thread at azfixed.com… Bike commuter Jay Fretz was killed in a a collision at the intersection of Alamenda and McClintock Drive in Tempe at approximately 6:30p Monday 5/17/2010. Police say the driver on McClintock ran the red light and hit and killed the bicyclist as he was crossing through the intersection. Continue reading Commuter cyclist killed in Tempe

Pre-preliminary 2009 Bicyclist Fatality Report

[update: this posting has been superseded — please see:

Manner and Fault in Bicyclist Traffic Fatalities: Arizona 2009

which has detailed, finalized stats and discussion]

First, some perspective: In the state of Arizona, approximately 1,000 people are killed per year in traffic collisions of all types. The number of cyclist (usually called a “pedalcyclist” in the jargon) fatalities fluctuated between15 and 36 per year over the past twenty years, with an average of about 25/year.

[as a sidebar, Arizona total traffic fatalities which have been as high as 1,293 just a couple of years ago, were down to 937 for 2008.  The exact cause of this happy trend is a matter of great debate, e.g. the effect of economic recession, and photo-enforcement. Even after this dramatic reduction Arizona roads remain significantly more dangerous than US averages ]

I have become increasingly frustrated by what seems to me to be short-shrift paid to analysis of crashes resulting in a cyclist’s serious injury/fatality Continue reading Pre-preliminary 2009 Bicyclist Fatality Report