Blog Posts for March, 2011

The blog on this website includes articles and editorials by James Freeman on subjects relevant to his legal practice. These writings are not legal advice and should not be taken as such. If you need to speak with an attorney, please contact us.

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IDOT Doesn't Keep Records of Doorings.

Today the Chicago Tribune reported on an effort by Active Transportation Alliance (ATA) to have the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) keep records and statistics on doorings.  Currently there are no official statistics available on doorings in the state of Illinois becuase IDOT does not consider a dooring to be an accident involving a moving vehicle.

In my experience, about one third of all bicycle accidents in the City of Chicago are doorings.  In the summer we field calls on a daily basis from bicyclists who have been doored.  Injuries range from minor to catastrophic.  The Tribune cites the instance of Clinton Miceli, a bicyclist who was killed after being doored and then struck by a passing vehicle. 

One of the problems with this is that ATA can't get federal funds to deal with a problem they can't quantify or prove.  It boggles my mind that in a day and age where we keep track of almost everything, we can't keep track of one of the biggest threats to urban bicyclists.

ATA suggests calling IDOT to voice your opinion. 

Please contact IDOT and tell them to count doorings as crashes. Call (217) 782-7820 or write a letter to Division of Traffic Safety, Illinois Department of Transportation, 2300 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL 62764.

See the Trib article here.

Driver Plows Through Critical Mass.

In Brazil a driver drove at full speed through a critical mass, running down cyclists in his path. Richard Neis, 47, a bank worker, has been questioned by civil police in Brazil about the incident after being identified as the driver. Mr Neis's lawyer, Luis Fernando Coimbra Albino, told the Brazilian news website Zero Hora that his client would plead that he acted in defense of himself and his 15-year-old son. He said Mr Neis had felt threatened after cyclists started to bang on his car roof and broke its windows. "He felt cornered, he acted to protect his son who was in the car," said Mr Albino. Brazilian media reported that Mr Neis could face charges of attempted murder if it is shown that he acted deliberately.

See the full story here.

Perhaps a story like this was inevitable.  As more people take to the streets on bicycles tensions between cyclists and drivers are destined to rise.  This is a truly shocking video.


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