Monday, April 12, 2004
On February 5, Gary LB, 49, of Des Moines, Iowa, was fined $70 for killing three motorcyclists and seriously injuring two others. Butler drove his van into the oncoming lane of traffic just as a group of six motorcyclists was approaching. He was convicted of two minor traffic offenses. (That's not even one traffic offense for each person he killed)
Last November, Everett H, 75, of Toledo, Ohio, caused a crash that cost motorcyclist Nancy Hejl her leg. EH allegedly pulled out of a driveway into the path of Hejl's bike. Two years earlier, EH had been convicted of vehicular manslaughter in the death of another motorcyclist when he pulled out of a driveway into that rider's path. At that time, he received a $500 fine, a suspended 10-day jail term and a three-month drivers license suspension. He now faces a charge of negligent assault. (Third times the charm. Maybe that is when they'll decide to do something to get this guy to wake up. Maybe, I don't know, take away his license for good?)
Last September, Katherine G, 17, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, caused the death of motorcyclist Glenn Braswell, and left his passenger, Randi Lynn Cohen, critically injured. KG crossed the center line of a road and ran into Braswell's bike. She faces three traffic offenses, the most serious of which carries a maximum fine of $270. (I am sure the family of Glenn B feel that is an adequate punishment)
Last June, James W., 67, of Ohio, was sentenced to attend a motorcycle awareness class and pay a $1,000 fine after causing the death of a Versailles, Ohio, police officer on a motorcycle., JW pleaded no contest to a charge that he turned his car into the path of the officer's approaching motorcycle. (What do they usually do to someone who kills a cop?)
And my favorite....
Last December, Congressman Bill Janklow was convicted of a felony charge of second-degree manslaughter for driving through a stop sign at approximately 70 mph, causing the death of motorcyclist Randolph Scott. Although the conviction carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, Janklow got off with a 100-day sentence and an $11,000 fine. (This idiot had run the same stop sign before and almost hitting people, had a history of excessive speeding [and somehow getting out of tickets], and had the gall to plead innocent of this most recent charge!)
As a motorcyclist myself, this stuff depresses/scares me. I've been run off the road, cut off, or almost hit most times I've taken my cycle out. It sucks to know that if someone injures/kills me, that they will get a slap on the wrist. I don't think that killing someone in another car or a pedestrian gets such light treatment. Regardless, a $70 fine for killing three people?? That is ludicrous.
So for the benefit of those out there on 2 wheels, slow the hell down, get off your damn phone/quit reading/putting on makeup/rooting through your bag/yelling at your kid/checking your look in the mirror/GET OUT OF YOUR SELF-ABSORBED WORLD and pay attention to the other people on the road (yes, there are other people there. It is NOT your road)!!