BAC August 2005 News & Digest
Hello BICYCLE ACCESS COUNCIL members,
It's a beautiful day in Pennsylvania!
"TACK MAN" WILL SHARE THE ROAD...
At a District Justice hearing in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on August 2, a motorist was found guilty on two separate charges for his actions against a group of bicyclists. The charges were brought after repeated incidents this year by a single pickup truck driver occurring at approximately the same location and time of day.
The defendant not only used his vehicle to pass closely and yell at the riders, he spread "tacks" on the roadway which did result in punctures and tire damages to two of the bicyclists.
The bicyclists were called to testify as victim-witnesses and calmly gave their testimony. They did not embellish or exaggerate their accounts of each incident. Police were called after a fourth incident when one of the bicyclists could identify the driver and truck tag number.
Charges for "Harassment" and "Criminal Mischief" resulted in fines totaling $838.94 plus restitution for tire damages of $110 and the threat of imprisonment for 90 days for each charge if the fines were not paid within 30 days. The District Justice who is not a bicyclist clearly stated to the defendant that he could tell the motorist simply "did not want to share the road." He will now.
This case is unique because it did not utilize any Vehicle Code statutes. Each charge was from the Crimes Code (Pa.C.S. Title 18), so the Summary Offenses [lowest Pennsylvania crime offense] could carry a maximum fine of $300 plus court costs, whereas a Summary Offense in the Vehicle Code is typically $25 (plus court costs). I attended this hearing as a citizen after learning about it through a bicycle club listserve.
NOT JUST ANOTHER STATISTIC...
Tom Bruni, a well known tandem bicyclist and frame builder from Baltimore, was tragically killed last month, July 9, in Westminster, Maryland while on a bike club ride. Reports said Tom failed to stop at an intersection and collided with a mini-van. He was critically injured at the crash and taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Tom was 54. He was riding a single bike—not a tandem at the time.
The story of Tom's death spread quickly on the internet and the August 1 edition of the Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (BR&IN) included an article with quotes from Mt Airy tandem dealer, Larry Black.
Tom Bruni was a board member of One Less Car— Maryland's statewide bicycle advocacy organization. He was a tireless worker on many bicycling issues. Tom was also a long time and active member of the Baltimore Bicycle Club.
Our heartfelt sympathies on behalf of the Bicycle Access Council are extended to Tom's family and especially Theresa Spadaro, Tom's wife, stoker and life partner. There was no funeral. A future memorial service is planned.
Being able to identify yourself and have emergency contact information available may be important to first responders in the event of an accident. A new idea is being promoted through various media to encourage everyone who carries a cellular phone to add "ICE" to their phone directory--In Case of Emergency. If you have more than one emergency contact, just add a digit; ICE1, ICE2, etc.
The Bicycle Access Council has distributed many "low tech" Medical Emergency Data System(tm) helmet stickers. Your personal data is recorded on paper and attached inside your bicycle helmet. An outside helmet sticker alerts medical personnel to look for this information. In a crash situation, your helmet is usually taken along.
BAC members may request a M.E.D.S. sticker by sending a S.A.S.E plus $1 for each to the Bicycle Access Council, P.O. Box 92, Dallastown, PA 17313.
HOW DO YOU SPELL SAFETEA?...
On August 10th, the President signed into law a bill designed to
meet this nation's transportation needs for the next six years: the
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act
(SAFETEA). The bill includes a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program
that will make hundreds of millions of dollars available to schools to
help more kids walk and bike to school and thus realize huge benefits
in public health, neighborhood cohesion, and other important areas.
Section 1404 of the bill establishes the new SRTS program, which will
provided every state with a minimum of $1 million in funding each year.
"This money will give communities at least some of the resources they
need to help get children walking and biking to school again," said
Bill Wilkinson, executive director of the National Center for Bicycling
& Walking (NCBW).
While much of this money will no doubt be used for projects such as
building sidewalks and improving crosswalks near schools, a percentage
of the funds has been set-aside for programs intended to actively
encourage walking and bicycling to school; conduct public awareness
campaigns to change the behaviors of students, parents, and drivers;
and for planning and training, among other activities. The funds will
be distributed by the state departments of transportation; they will be
made available to public agencies and nonprofit organizations; and the
bill authorizes the use of 100% federal funds for projects and
From: C-E-N-T-E-R-L-I-N-E-S #129 Friday, August 12, 2005
CenterLines is the bi-weekly e-newsletter of the NCBW
The Bicycle Access Council is a non-profit advocacy organization that serves as a forum for Pennsylvania bicyclists and as an ombudsman for bicycling issues.
It is the objective of the Bicycle Access Council to make bicycling on roads throughout the Commonwealth safe, respectable and a transportation choice by educating its members and the motoring public.
All funding for Bicycle Access Council comes from memberships and donations. Annual membership is $20 per year. Forms are available on the website.
BAC does not share membership information.
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Joe Stafford, Executive Director
Bicycle Access Council
P.O. Box 92
Dallastown, PA 17313
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