The Death of a Cyclist

I feel a bit remiss about not commenting on the death on Tuesday of a bicyclist using a bike lane near Mill and Kietzke. It is so tragic that I feel pretty numb about it. And frankly, what haven’t I already said on this blog about such incidents? In fact, a week or so ago I posted this video (see Ride Like You’re Invisible) that included good information about the key things that cyclists need to be wary of when riding including the dreaded “right hook” which appears to be what happened to her, made even more grisly by the fact that it was a garbage truck. I appreciate that it is a tragic accident for all involved.

I’m a bit tired of the apologists who claim that it is so tragic for the driver as well that we should chalk it up as a sad, sad, incident and move on. If the driver of the truck had made a right hook across another lane of traffic and run over a small car killing the driver would that be ok as well? This really isn’t any different. The cyclist appears to have been using her marked traffic (bike) lane in a totally legal fashion as a vehicle with the rights afforded to her on the road. The driver made a right turn across another lane with a vehicle in it. Yes, he claimed she was in her blind spot but that doesn’t seem a fair defense. As one commenter said, “What else is he going to say? I saw her and ran over her anyway.” That’s how it appears anyway. Did the driver of the truck get cited? Checking blind spots is one of the first things you are taught when you take driver’s education. Certainly it was one of the first things I remember learning from my dad when I was getting lessons.