California doctor convicted of assault with auto vs cyclist.
Posted on Nov 03, 2009
Southern California: In a closely watched story, several cyclists were injured seriously when an emergency doctor, Christopher Thompson, purposely slammed on his brakes after passing the cyclists on Brentwood Road. The criminal conviction stems from evidence that before the collision, Thompson had stopped his car and was yelling at the cyclists to ride single file. Evidence of motive, anger, and the sudden and unexplained stop, that caused one cyclist to fly over the trunk and into the rear windshield, apparently was enough to convict Mr. Thompson.
Cyclists have a legitimate beef with many motorists that feel the roadway is their own. Many motorists are impatient with cyclists, because they delay their hurried life. When that impatience turns to action, whether honking, or physically jeopardizing the safety of riders, criminal action is not only justified, but should set an example of what not to do!
The privilege to ride on public streets is mandated by the California Vehicle code, and as more and more cyclists use this mode of transportation for exercise and going to and from work, the roadway mentality as a car driver must change.
California roads are for all to use, and impatience because a cyclist is inconveniently "slowing you down" simply is unjustified. As is seen in this case, your anger can lead to slowing you down even further. This gentleman faces a possible 10 year prison sentence.
Cyclists have the same rights as motorists, and in my experience, they are courteous and try to avoid being a nuisance. Let’s respect those that ride and simply slow down a tad, until it is safe to pass.