Much more writing to come this month. I’ve been busy, and not busy telling myself I’m busy. I wanted to throw out a link to a story I read back in October. Conjuring up four paragraphs about the issue, story and solution, I quickly decided a short post bringing the story back into light was a better direction. Just like car accidents will always plague our streets, cycling accidents will too. We can’t expect to get rid of them all, but we can handle them appropriately.
It’s now nearing on two years since I cycled the area of Puget Sound, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Back in Mid-October of last year (2011), it was decided that the 18-year-old driver who collided into avid cyclist, John Przychodzen, and continued on 40-50 feet, to smash into a telephone pole, would be fined $42 for an unsafe lane change and get away without any other charges. Yes, forty-two dollars. Przychodzen, age 49, was known by friends and family alike as “Uncle Safety”, and commonly rode his bicycle for necessary errands. He was on his way to dinner at his brother’s house on July 22, 2012, after leaving work, when he was violently struck and killed. It’s disgusting and heartbreaking, and the fact that the justice system would allow such a slap in the face is utterly unbelievable. No fine at all would be better than $42. $42 just sends the wrong message, and is completely infuriating. Those in power are stating that driver, Nicholas N. Natale, did not break any laws, and the $42 fine is suitable, despite the tragedy of the accident. Mr. Przychodzen was wearing a helmet and riding in the shoulder of the road. 42 dollars. Unsafe lane change, into the shoulder. Because the shoulder is a lane for driving. Depressing.