BCLU South Bay Contact Gladwyn d'Souza's Statement of Intent The Bicycle Civil Liberties Union Radical Bike Resources -- Advocacy

BCLU South Bay Contact
Gladwyn d'Souza's Statement of Intent

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 21:00:09 -0700
From: gladwyn D'Souza (gdsouza-AT-atmel.com)
To: jmeggs-AT-lmi.net
Subject: Re: bclu

Hi Jason,

So how about if I become the BCLU contact for the South Bay?

I sent the following message to Chris Morfas of CBC:

This month on August 6th seven year old David Ferro was killed in a
crosswalk by a driver in a jeep Cherokee who accelerated through a stop sign
on Westmont and Roundtree in San Jose. On August 13th, 48-year old Bradford
Nohejl of Los Altos was killed while riding up Kings Mountain Road in
Woodside by a Van which went out of control coming down too fast and veered
into his lane. And on August 18th sixteen year old Roberto Martinez was
killed while crossing Camden and Union in San Jose by a DUI.

In Mexico any fatality automatically results in life-in-prison for the
perpetrator. Can we have a civilized penalty here too? Until this occurs
people will continue to tell us that we are crazy to ride out there because
we will get killed.

And shouldn't the penalty fit the crime, even in some small way like a
revoked license? A few years ago a young driver ran over four people on a
bike trail and got a slap on the wrist: 18 months of community service. If
you shot four people with a gun the penalty would be more severe even if it
was done in error. Yet gun usage only kills 20,000 people each year.
Automobile usage kills 50,000. Can something be done? Of course. Until
Mother Against Drunk Driving made it an issue drunk drivers got away with

The problem is that bike and pedestrian lives are legally cheap. I realize
that unequal sentencing is the norm as for example the discrepancy between
crack and cocaine. However a slap on the wrist for a death is outrageous.
"At a minimum already identified bad  drivers (unlicensed, uninsured, and
uninsurable drivers) should be jailed for refusing to stop driving." (Thom

AB2222 would have put some teeth into local efforts to set speed limits in
their neighborhood. This bill was stripped of all its merit though the speed
creep problem may be slowed to seven or ten years. And the DMV cannot be
legislated to test for better drivers in car/bicycle interactions. SB1534
(Knight) died in Senate Transportation in return for a promise from DMV to
meet regarding bike-friendly changes to driver's test/manual.

Are we regressing? How do we stem the tide?

Gladwyn d'Souza,
San Jose

And received this reply:

Gladwyn, thanks for the kind words.  Yes, the meager penalties for deadly
driving are an outrage.  A "Motorists' Personal Responsibility Act of 1999"
is a distinct possiblity for the next legislative session.  Your
suggestions are appreciated.


I will contact the local MADD office and get some tips from them.