City and County Refuse to Pass Charges Againt Cayene Driver Who Hit Ed Magos and Ran

1_6_10_hirsch.jpgPhoto: Ross Hirsch

(Update: Tuesday, 2/23/10 at 8:02 A.M. – I had a chance to talk with Magos’ lawyer over email last night and he confirmed that the LAPD sent the case to both the District Attorney and City Attorney; so in this case the LAPD isn’t to blame.  I’m going to leave the text below unchanged so that the anyone reading through won’t be confused by the comments section.)

On January 6, city employee and East Hollywood Neighborhood Council member Ed Magos was biking to work when he was hit by a Porsche Cayenne. The driver got out of her vehicle, checked briefly on the prone cyclist sprawled out in the street, ignored Magos’ pleas for help and drove off. Magos was seriously injured and was carted away by the paramedics. The driver reported to an LAPD branch later in the day, reported she "might have hit something," and was let go with her license and expensive SUV still in her possession.

Today the LACBC released the information we were waiting for all along, the City is refusing to press charges against the driver for either the vicious crash or unconscious-able hit and run. Shortly after the crash, the LAPD accidentally handed a press release to Voice Newspapers’ Carlos Morales stating that the incident wasn’t a hit and run, despite the driver hitting Magos and fleeing the scene. After it was easily proven that there is no way the crash could not be classified as a hit and run by a conscientious and competent police department, The LAPD then spent the better part of a week backing away from their own release.

I guess the good news from all this is that the LAPD can’t be accused of giving preferential treatment to a city staffer over a Latino kid when it comes to getting slammed into by an SUV. They show similar disinterest in pursuing cases against a hummer driver hit and running Andres Tena as they do Ed Magos getting plowed into by a Porsche SUV.

The release from the Bike Coalition, lamenting the city’s boredom with this whole "hit and run" thing and announcing a protest ride to Wednesday’s Transportation Committee hearing starring LAPD Chief Charlie Beck can be found in its entirety after the jump. However, of particular note is the shocked reaction from Magos and his attorney to the city’s lack of concern.

"In what appears to be a clear case of hit-and-run, it has been discouraging to see that inflicting pain and injury in this manner can go without consequence or justice. I have come to find out that I needed to die or be paralyzed in order for this to be an event of note," states Ed Magos in response to the City’s decision not to prosecute.

"It’s unfortunate for Ed, his family, and all cyclists on the streets of LA that, once again, a driver that hit a cyclist and fled the scene will incur no criminal penalties or prosecution." Ross Hirsch, Magos’s attorney and local cycling advocate said that, "It’s also unfortunate that because of the driver’s apparent lack of insurance that yet another cyclist may be left holding the bag for personal injury and property damage suffered as a result of this driver’s actions," added Hirsch.

The entire press release can be found after the jump.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. –

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) announced today that it will host a bicycle ride and protest on Wednesday, February 24th in honor of downed cyclist and City employee Ed Magos and other victims of hit-and-run collisions whose cases have been unjustly treated. The ride will begin in East Hollywood and end at City Hall where the cyclists will join others for the LA City Council Transportation Committee Meeting. All are invited to join the cyclists to demand that our law enforcement authorities give equal treatment to cyclists who are victims of hit and run collisions.

Cyclists will meet at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Melrose and Heliotrope in Hollywood and follow Ed Magos’ regular bicycle commute to City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. At the end of the ride, participants will join LACBC at the LA City Council Transportation Committee Meeting at City Hall in room 1010. Cyclists and supporters will address police Chief Charlie Beck and Councilmembers to let them know that as citizens of Los Angeles, they will no longer tolerate being marginalized; victims of inadequate police investigations never to see their cases prosecuted, and must be given equal treatment as anyone else under the law.

The decision to ride was sparked by Ed Magos’s recent hit-from-behind on his commute to work while traveling on 2nd Street near Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. The motorist stopped, got out of her car, looked at Ed’s prone and injured body lying in the street, and ignoring Magos’s cries for help, got back in her car and drove away-leaving Magos lying helpless until the LAFD Paramedics arrived to take him to Good Samaritan Hospital. The driver did not speak or render any aid to Magos at the scene. State law defines this as felony hit and run. A passerby who called 911 wrote down the car’s license number. When officers arrived on the scene, in spite of the eyewitness testimony, the officer erroneously listed the incident as a "traffic accident."

The motorist later went to an LAPD station and stated that she thought she might have hit "something." She was allowed to walk out of the station without incarceration, citation, or penalty.

The Los Angeles City Attorney and District Attorney’s offices have declined bringing any charges against the driver.

"In what appears to be a clear case of hit-and-run, it has been discouraging to see that inflicting pain and injury in this manner can go without consequence or justice. I have come to find out that I needed to die or be paralyzed in order for this to be an event of note," states Ed Magos in response to the City’s decision not to prosecute.

"It’s unfortunate for Ed, his family, and all cyclists on the streets of LA that, once again, a driver that hit a cyclist and fled the scene will incur no criminal penalties or prosecution." Ross Hirsch, Magos’s attorney and local cycling advocate said that, "It’s also unfortunate that because of the driver’s apparent lack of insurance that yet another cyclist may be left holding the bag for personal injury and property damage suffered as a result of this driver’s actions," added Hirsch.

News of this flagrant injustice spread quickly throughout the cycling community. LACBC, one of the groups advocating for cyclists in LA County, is bringing concerned cyclists together the best way they know how, riding together to show the City that Ed Magos and other victims like him are not alone. "As cyclists, we are united in a common cause of justice and equal treatment on the streets of LA. We are no longer going to be pushed to the side," says Jen Klausner, LACBC’s Executive Director.

According to an LAPD 2008 (09) Statistical Report 23 % of collisions involving bicyclists are hit-and -runs. With the rise in number of cyclists we see on the road, this is increasingly becoming an issue on our streets.

"What’s frustrating is the public sees cyclists as a minority that operates outside the law, and that if they get hurt they had it coming to them," states Aaron Freeman, a bicycle commuter. "That attitude is unacceptable coming from anyone, but criminal when it comes from the LAPD and the DA’s office. Hopefully, with this ride, we can demand that this be the last time a cyclist falls through the cracks of justice."

Ed Magos will not be able to attend the ride, as he is still recovering from his injuries and unable to ride his bicycle.

————————————–

Founded in 1998, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) is the only non-profit organization working countywide for L.A. County’s 3 million cyclists through advocacy, education and outreach. LACBC brings together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to make the entire L.A. region a safe and enjoyable place to ride.

For information and registration go to www.labike.org, or call 213-629-2142.

###

45 thoughts on City and County Refuse to Pass Charges Againt Cayene Driver Who Hit Ed Magos and Ran

  1. wait – this person drives a Porsche SUV and does not have insurance?

    “It’s also unfortunate that because of the driver’s apparent lack of insurance”

    How can you have enough money to afford that kind of vehicle and then not insure it?

    Also if we have laws requiring insurance – and if you were in an accident and the police know you don’t have insurance why is your vehicle not taken away from you until you can show proof of insurance? While that doesn’t cover the damage you’ve caused someone, at least it keeps you off the road until you can afford to injure someone.

  2. I’d like concrete voting instruction from this blog or from one of the links.

    If anybody has any idea who we need to vote out of office and who to vote in(for sheriff, mayor, etc) I’d greatly appreciate it, and so would many other cycling citizens.

    Copenhagenize blog has been providing similar instructions to cyclists in Denmark and EU, I’d love to see this or another SoCal blog pick up same job here, unfortunately I myself don’t have the time and expertise to do this important task.

    To change things we need to vote, we stil live in democracy, right?

  3. It seems that bicyclists are second-class citizens, since they are not given equal treatment under the law. This is a chilling revelation by Los Angeles law enforcement and, under the current circumstances, a Federal investigation should be conducted to determine if the civil rights of bicyclists are consistently being violated. Everyone should be treated equally, regardless of their transportation choices.

  4. Title should more accurately read “City AND COUNTY Refuse to Press Charges . . . ” since both the LA City Attorney and the LA County District Attorney refused to prosecute here.

    Many calls were also made to our local Councilmembers (Perry, Reyes, and Rosendahl) and Supervisor Molina for information and/or status of the investigation/decision to prosecute, but no case-specific information was provided.

  5. The least-expensive Prsche Cayenne has a MSRP of $45,500; the top-of-the-line model is $126,300!

    Source: http://www.porsche.com/usa/models/cayenne/

    I hope Ed files a civil suit and gets a lien against that woman’s property. He might get a Porsche to liquidate.

    Also, why is it that the victim’s name gets in the papers/press/media while the perpetrator is never ID’d?

  6. Another day another dollar. The reason given many times in these cases is that it’s “not worth” the City Attorney’s time to move on these cases because it’s not easily win-able or there isn’t enough resources when there are “more important” crimes to focus on.

    The unwillingness to go after hit and run drivers ensures that more will happen more frequently. The word is out that the CA and DA are soft on hit and run crimes so drivers take advantage of that.

    But the fact is that even if a case is hard to win, or doesnt end with a conviction, the mere “threat” of having to go to court to face charges is enough to deter a would be hit and run criminal from otherwise running. As it is, motorists know there is a good chance they will get off scott free even IF they get caught.

    Steve Cooley (DA) and Carmen Trutanich (CA) are the elected politicians that you want to be pressuring. They are the ones who are soft on hit and run crime as shown by this case.

  7. Was a citation issued for lack of insurance? I suspect there are a half-dozen infractions the LAPD could have issued another citations on, but nothing was ever going to happen anyway.

    The cultural problem is L.A. is Autopia and bikes are toys in Autopia. They belong on purpose-built play streets called bike paths. Viewing the world from the Autopia perspective, it’s easy to rationalize away hit and runs as “What was that weird bicyclist doing on OUR streets?”

    The smart thing to do is to figure out where the weakness is in the law and get some legislation passed to make it easier to prosecute the next scumbag. Add lots of penalties too and you can sell it as revenue generating.

    Best case scenario is probably settling civil litigation out of court. That means the rider has to have a decent attorney and the case history/law in the rider’s favor. Neither of which are givens.

  8. Has a Porche, no insurance, but can afford a lawyer that insists she not be named in pursuant articles. There is a law about leaving the scene of a crime. There is a law about driving without insurance. She is able to operate above these laws. Her dad must be somebody important.

  9. This just let’s people know that one is better off leaving the scene of a crime and kind of reporting it later.

  10. I’m almost beyond words. She left the victim lying in the road, failed to render aid, did not call 911, and drove away. Why do we even have “hit and run” laws?

  11. Might as well stick it in the DMV handbook

    “Tips for avoiding delays due to police inquiries:
    – When hitting a cyclist, do not stop.
    – If forced to stop, claim that sun was in the way”

  12. Some ordinary schlub won’t get any satisfaction from the City/County. Remember that laws are designed to protect the rich FROM the poor.

    Cyclists are not in cars, so they are ‘poor’ and very easy to ignore. Even when you hit one.

  13. OK, here we go:

    Steve Cooley
    District Attorney’s Office
    County of Los Angeles
    210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
    Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210
    Telephone (213) 974-3512
    Fax (213) 974-1484
    webmail@da.lacounty.gov

    Carmen Trutanich
    The Office of the City Attorney
    800 City Hall East
    200 N. Main Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    Telephone (213) 978-8100
    Fax (213) 978-8312

    A first-class stamp is still only 44¢!

  14. If the police won’t do the job they’re paid to do, Ed Magos and L.A. cyclists should take this case to the L.A. District Attorney. They might have a better chance of justice there.

  15. IN OTHER WORDS the bike guys are going to hinder traffic and cause multiple chaos on the streets of LA to make a point about a hit and run. While doing so cause traffic and drivers to hopefully not hit any of them while they take up entire lanes of traffic during a very busy time of day. That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. I’ve seen the bike guys who ride in hundreds in the middle of traffic acting as if they own the streets. It doesn’t work that way. I understand them making their point but this is not the right way with so many bikers on the streets at one time.

  16. Just posted above: (Update: Tuesday, 2/23/10 at 8:02 A.M. – I had a chance to talk with Magos’ lawyer over email last night and he confirmed that the LAPD sent the case to both the District Attorney and City Attorney; so in this case the LAPD isn’t to blame. I’m going to leave the text below unchanged so that the anyone reading through won’t be confused by the comments section.)

  17. Dennis, who are these “bike guys” that you refer to? Please don’t generalize us. There are thousands of cyclists that ride the streets, and they are not all a part of Critical Mass, which I suspect is what you are referring to. The LACBC, which is organizing the ride, respects all the rules of the road on their rides, as they are a 501c3 organization and cannot afford the reputation of an ad-hoc celebratory group like Critical Mass, which, by the way, doesn’t cause the traffic that you’re sitting in. The CAR guys around you cause the traffic you’re sitting in, sorry to break it to you, but you made you’re own bed there, and you can lie in it.

    Furthermore, why don’t you turn that statement around and listen to it… you CAR guys take up the street, hundreds at a time, clogging it up with traffic, disobeying traffic laws, running red lights in those dangerous 2000lb cars of yours, hitting pedestrians in crosswalks, rolling through stop signs. Those CAR guys who “ride in hundreds acting as if they own the streets.”

    We all have a right to the road, Dennis. And if there is one car on a street with 100 cyclists, then the cyclists are the predominant traffic and the car needs to slow down. Speed limits are limits, not minimums.

    Every day I see 100s of cars on the road. But I don’t lump them all into being the same group of speeding, road raging, cell phone talking, stop sign running, red light rolling distracted, negligent, selfish assholes that you are lumping all cyclists to be. You’re making the same sort of generalizations that racists make and made when blacks couldn’t eat in the same establishments as whites. Wake up, buddy. We’re human; we’re people; we pay taxes that pay for the roads; and we have just as much right as you to use any road we choose to take us to our destination. And just because you have to pass more than once cyclist on your route, does not inherently mean they are all riding together, or that they are all hipster, pot-smoking, delinquents (not that any of us are). I could just as easily say that all drivers are always drunk and should never be on the road.

    Seriously, Dennis, wake up.

  18. The CA and the DA will never prosecute a case that is not “win-able”… As an employee of the LAPD, I see thousands of cases that are not prosecuted and believe me, the cops are none too thrilled about it either. What boggles the mind in this case, however, is that this woman was CLEARLY in the wrong, there were witnesses, and she even confessed to the crime (“I must have hit something”)! Give me a break! As a bicyclist who was hit by a hit and run driver in Pasadena, NO ONE helped me either. I did get a license plate and I sued the driver through my insurance company. Fortunately, I was not seriously injured, so the measly $1800 I got from the driver’s insurance company really only served to make my time and effort only barely worth it – it was a matter of principle that I was not willing to let slide by. I pray for Magos’ recovery and that bicyclists can someday ride in relative safety or at least with the proper legal discourse in the event of a hit and run…

  19. @Dennis it might not make sense all the time, but the group rides are a show of enthusiasm and emotion by hundreds of people in the streets. This is what America is all about. People can make their feelings known and can parade about it. whether it needs a parade permit is debate-able in the highest court in the land. Right or wrong it is what it is.

  20. Ramona’s right. The D/A’s aren’t going to touch it if they can’t win.

    Let’s say for a minute the hue and cry from another cyclist downed is sufficient to at least get a “We’ll check it out” from the D/A’s offices.

    The D/A’s will let the clock run out on prosecuting the driver while pointing fingers everywhere else and never try the case.

    Hence the need to tighten up the laws to make these cases easy wins with decent penalties.

  21. Well then, it seems Roadblock is right (from a previous post and comment). It’s time to organize a ride on Sacramento. I’m serious. From LA to Sacramento. I’m sure we’ll get news coverage. Even better if we can get some peds to march the distance. Let’s see how many people die on the way because of hit and runs…

  22. Amen to AsphaltJesus – if we make car drivers liable automatically once they hit a pedestrian or a bicyclist that would go much further in preventing hit-and-run crimes from going un-prosecuted.

  23. The D.A. does have prosecutorial discretion, and can choose which cases to bring, and which not to bring. But the D.A. is also an elected official, and thus, must answer to his constituents. The City Attorney is not an elected official, but her bosses are, and thus, must answer to their constituents– and she must answer to them.

    The D.A. and City Attorney must be asked to bring charges– and if they refuse, they must be asked to explain– publicly– why they will not.

    None of this is a guarantee that lobbying pressure will yield the results cyclists want, but pressure that is well and thoughtfully applied can still make these people uncomfortable, and may even produce the results you want.

    And even if it doesn’t produce the direct results you want now, it may give their future election opponents an issue in their quiver of campaign issues.

  24. Rick,

    It may be the case these offices have to respond to their constituents, but let’s practically define constituents:

    – 1 million autopia members some of whom contribute meaningfully to campaign finances.
    – Maybe 10,000 cycling interested voters, none of whom contribute to campaigns.

    Which is why, going back to the legislation and turning hit-and-runs into fund raisers for the City/County will generate plenty of interest. The counter argument Autopia jihads use for fighting the regulation is absurd. “It’s good to hit and run.”??

    You have to watch your back on the bill because Autopia jihads will gut the penalties to get a symbolic bill passed.

  25. Does anyone have contact information for the woman who created the hit and run situation? Please post her name and all contact info. including license plate number, and color of SUV publicly, so she can be humiliated properly.

    THANKS to anyone who can provide this information…

  26. Of course at this point many people have the driver’s information–she provided it to the LAPD (some accurate, some not so much anymore as it turns out), and LAPD has included it in their reporting documents. I understand that it has not, for whatever reason, been publicly republished by LAStreetsblog, however, likely due to some journalistic ethical/legal reason. Perhaps Damien can provide the basis for not wanting to release/post/host this information at this time to clarify this for readers.

    (I’m not aware that LAPD has provided its official report to anyone yet–although I know it has certainly been requested.)

    I do, however, question the wisdom of a call to let the public humiliation of this one driver begin (and certainly the perhaps tacit call for vigilante justice as some may infer). Believe me, as a victim of a hit+run myself that got essentially no help from LAPD, I’m as ticked off as anyone that this driver did what she deplorably did, ticked off at the LAPD for not cuffing her on the spot upon her admission of the act, immediately taking steps to call for the revocation/suspension of her driving privileges, and what could be construed by many as a less-than-tough stance when it comes to hit+run bicycle cases, as well as being severely ticked off and let down by our DA/CA for deciding that this case is not worth their efforts to pursue despite the law, facts, and the clear message it could have sent to drivers of this ilk.

    But are cyclists and cyclists’ need for better protection, better laws, safe infrastructure, etc. best served by letting this one particular driver have it? Not so sure about that. Not so sure that would either send the right message to ultimately get what we want–or even send a wide enough message that anyone outside of a relatively small community would hear of it. But I do know that negative publicity or negative treatment in the press would NOT advance any greater cause. (How often do you see the whiny comment from non-cyclists on this forum or, say, the recent LA Times/KPCC articles, that say we should get nothing because “cyclists are a bunch of hooligans because they don’t obey the law and stop at stop signs!” Gimme a break.) Like others have suggested–take up the fight with your elected officials–call ’em, let ’em know your pissed, or better yet, join up with the LACBC and talk with other like-minded people who want this shit to change, join C.I.C.L.E who is doing some amazing public/policy campaigns and getting the word out and lend them a hand, reach out to BikesideLA or the LA Bike Working Group and work to make the LA Backbone network become a reality and the other pro-cycling lobbying that they’re soon going be pressing…. That’s how it’ll change.

    And on this anniversary of the 45th anniversary of the death of Malcolm X, I’m reminded of his call to action that “it’s time to stop signing . . . and start swinging.” And I’m not referring to “punching” here.

  27. Ross,

    I wouldn’t encourage any vigilante justice, but I want to know this woman’s name. When crimes like assault or attempted murder are committed, it’s very rare that we know the victim’s name but not the alleged assailant (although since she has confessed there is nothing alleged about it). All the time news stations tell us the name of people wanted in connection with crime. I think we have a right to know if some one out there is driving dangerously and without insurance.

    On another note, at what point did it turn out that she didn’t have insurance? Was it when she turned herself in? Because if that’s the case, then the police actually let a person get back into their vehicle, after an incident (at the very least an incident), without insurance! Shouldn’t they have impounded her vehicle that moment? Is there a lawsuit on behalf of public safety against the LAPD here?

  28. @Ross – U tell ’em dude! (Really happy to have C.I.C.L.E. mentioned in the company of Malcolm X!)

    Public humiliation of one driver may feel gratifying, but ultimately probably isn’t all that effective. Rallying for justice in this case much better… and joining a movement is really important. Let’s change the underlying system that causes so many of these collisions all the time.

  29. If you haven’t emailed cooley or given trutanich a call then you are part of the problem. Call them TODAY and make your voices heard to the elected officials.

    Vigilante justice will get cyclists nowhere. The pressure needs to be applied to the elected politicians. Did you contact them?

  30. (some accurate, some not so much anymore as it turns out), and LAPD has included it in their reporting documents. I understand that it has not, for whatever reason, been publicly republished by LAStreetsblog, however, likely due to some journalistic ethical/legal reason. Perhaps Damien can provide the basis for not wanting to release/post/host this information at this time to clarify this for readers.
    —————–

    I haven’t been in touch with the LAPD on this issue since they asked me to take down the driver’s information because the pr person released the information without authorization. At this point, I don’t want to republish the information, because I haven’t been in regular contact with the LAPD on this issue and all i have is the release which I already voluntarily scrubbed.

    If someone else wants to put it in the comments section, and didn’t just have the info from when I posted it back in January, I would let it stick.

  31. Jed,

    Posting all sorts of personal information is probably not a good idea. It’s just a legal can of worms that could potentially ruin the possibility of obtaining any kind of recovery in a civil suit.

  32. Still, if I go out right now and swat someone on the street with a broom stick, and a police officer does not see it happen, but a witness can identify me, my name and photo or sketch will be published and broadcast as a “person of interest”.

    But the driver of a two-ton vehicle who strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist, even if they stay at the scene, NEVER EVER is identified, even whent the victim is.

    Want an example? Here’s one from Claremont:

    Criminal charges will not be filed against driver in accident

    The District Attorney’s Office of Los Angeles County will not be pursuing criminal charges against a 57-year-old Claremont woman who struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk in November. The pedestrian, longtime Claremont resident Harvey “Hank” Williams died in a hospital 13 days after the accident.

    The lady is not and has never been named, even though she ended Harvey William’s life. WHY???

  33. Publishing the driver’s personal info won’t make cyclists look any better. Not even in comments. It won’t fix the issue. It won’t give cyclists better standing at the LAPD, or D/A’s offices either.

    This is one opportunity to make a little progress, there will be others. When they come up, they are opportunities to improve it some more.

    The LAPD needs people they can trust to deliver the cyclist’s perspective. So does the D/A.

    Please, trust me when I write the current environment is much better than things were in the 1980’s/90’s.

    Please do not let emotions get the better of everyone.

  34. Just in case anyone doesn’t know, didn’t hear the news from yesterday’s City Council Transportation Committee meeting, or didn’t read the Streetsblog article on the hearing, here’s the update re Ed Magos’s case, quoted from that article:

    “Beck also brought good news for the friends, family and supporters of Ed Magos. Both Beck and Rosendahl spoke with the City Attorney’s office about revisiting the Magos case to see if they erred in deciding not to prosecute the driver of the Porsche Cayenne who ran him down then ran away. “No promises,” Beck told the audience, “but they’re giving it a second look.” While it’s good news that the C.A. is willing to revisit their decision, the best we can hope for is a misdemeanor charge from them. Felony cases are handled by the District Attorney.”

    Who knows what new/different facts they’ll find during this “second look” or what it will yield, but at least its promising that their willing to go back and revisit their decision. Too bad the initial decision was what it was–and that it took all this effort and public outcry just to convince them to take another (proper) look at a grossly unfair situation.

  35. This woman drives a cayman, which isn’t an SUV but a sportscar. She doesn’t drive a Cayenne. Also after googling her name from the earlier posting, she had her own clothing design store in BH that opened a few years ago and seems to have failed.

  36. As a preface, let’s all simply accept that every subset of the human race has to suffer a proportion of bigoted, hot-headed and ego-centric folks, who think that the world and everything in it was constructed solely for their own convenience. Cyclists and drivers are but 2 of such subsets, so obviously there are going to be some of those selfish woodentops in each of the 2 groups. Ok, now that’s settled, we can discount all those pointless and unhelpful remarks along the lines of “I see cyclists every day who run red lights and don’t obey traffic laws” or “I’m ticked off by jerks in cars who cut me off and change lanes without signalling”. Yes. Agreed. We all do. Every day. As a driver. As a cyclist. Whichever. But using evidence from a minority as ammunition against the correctly-behaved group is crass, and does nothing to make the situation better for cyclist or motorist.

    Beyond that initial point, having read all the comments thus far, there are clearly some things which just need re-stating over and over AND over again, so for simplicity’s sake …
    i) Bicycles do not cause clogged-up roads. Motor vehicles manage to do that exceptionally well already. Also …
    ii) Bicycles do not foul up EVERYone’s air, leading to chronic & expensive health problems. Motor vehicles are hugely effective at that too. Also …
    iii) Stats show that the problem gets worse year on year, so …
    iv) We need to do something about it.
    v) Here are the options:
    a) encourage more vehicles ONTO the roads by spending squillions on building yet more lanes for them to choke up;
    b) encourage more vehicles OFF the roads by providing current drivers with alternatives.

    If decision-making gets any simpler than this, I have yet to hear about it. Furthermore, when the right decision is made, it benefits us all, driver and cyclist alike. For the driver, each cyclist s/he sees represents one less car making the jams worse. For the cyclist, each other cyclist s/he sees represents an endorsement for the better option and one less driver to worry about.

    One final point: I am now 61, and have been both driver and cyclist since the age of 17. A quick subtraction will tell you that I have ridden bikes for 44 years. In that time, I have met and ridden with many hundreds of riders. In those 44 years I have known of ONE (I’ll repeat – ONE) who was not also a driver and car owner; many of them are/were owners of multiple vehicles. And I am not unique in that experience. So let’s also nail the arguments: a) that cyclists don’t pay for the maintenance of the roadways; and b) that all cyclists need to pass a test to understand how to conduct themselves on the streets.

    In fact, point a) needs to be seen in the light that much of the revenue needed for the upkeep of the roadways does not come from vehicle-related revenue anyway, but rather from local taxation, which is paid by everyone, cyclist, driver or neither.

    Perhaps it would not be a good moment to suggest that I, as a driver/cyclist who pays the same revenue for his car as everyone else, but actually spends >9000 miles per year on his bike cf. <4000 miles in his car, might apply for a refund, on the grounds that I am responsible for far less wear & tear to the road infrastructure than most.

    Ok, I admit it; that last paragraph was mischievous.

  37. This happens all the time, and seems to be a misalignment of the city da’s priorities. Why not sue the city and the driver? I think city and county only really through through loss of money…

    why can’t the follow this as crime with actual victims rather than their chasing after pot shops and mega signs. Where are the sensible priorities? This is not victimless crime!!!

  38. The LA City Attorney’s office has formally filed charges against the hit and run driver involved in the Ed Magos (Cyclist) incident we reported on a couple of months ago.

    THE VOICE!

  39. Please be mindful of the City Atty’s case–I don’t know what information they want released or when.

    We certaintly don’t want to have anything out there that could screw up the prosecution of the case.

  40. Erik G.Thank you for posting your comment. I’m related to Harvey Hank Williams and would like to know if the women has ever been named?

     
     

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