Would you be surprised to learn that a driver who hits and kills an innocent bicycle rider does not necessarily face any criminal charges? Well, it's the truth. Unless a driver committed a crime, such as driving under the influence, driving into some one intentionally, or leaving the scene of the accident, the driver involved in a crash who kills a cyclist faces only a civil infraction.
Don't believe me? Here is how this plays out in the real world:
Donald Mader and his wife were bicycling across the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard in early April when they were struck by a driver who blew through a red light. The driver proceeded on, striking an SUV immediately after hitting the cyclists.
Mr. Mader passed away the following day and everyone else involved was treated for minor injuries.
The driver was cited for running a red light and ordered to take 12 hours of driving school, lose her license for 6 months, and pay only $1,101.00 in fines and court costs. However, she will not receive any points against her license and does not face any criminal charges. This is a common occurrence among accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.
How does this happen? How is this acceptable in our society?
A man lost his life. The sole cause of his death was another person's decision to break the rules. Yet, the law only imposed a simple traffic citation and relatively small fines as punishment. This is far cry from justice for the wronged.