“Is It O.K. to Kill Cyclists?”
If you want to kill someone, your job might be a lot easier if that person is a cyclist.
The problem, according to Ray Thomas, a Portland, Ore., attorney who specializes in bike law, is that “jurors identify with drivers.” Convictions carry life-destroying penalties, up to six years in prison, Mr. Thomas pointed out, and jurors “just think, well, I could make the same mistake.
When I was learning to drive, my Drivers’ Ed teacher said that it’s basically always the driver’s fault if he hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk. We should make the same basic premise true about bike lanes: kill a cyclist who is legally proceeding in a bike lane, and you’re going to get prosecuted.