Today's Philadelphia Inquirer recounts a horrible crash where a 19 Year Old driver slammed into an Amish Buggy which killed a young mother and the horse while critically injuring the father and an infant child on Route 41 a road with wide shoulders just east of the Lancaster-Chester County line.
There are a many thoughts in my mind as to how this type of crash can be been prevented: Lowering speed limits and traffic calming on rural roads adjacent to Amish populations, educating drivers to look out for vulnerable road users and having the State Police curtail speeders on these roads with radar. Believe it or not, local law enforcement in PA is forbidden to use radar.
Besides fixing that absurd law, the State Legislature can and should pass a vulnerable road user law which penalizes the driver that hits a vulnerable road user is subject to a fine and possible license suspension. A recent post on the Virginia Bicycling Federation blog sums it up well:
Whether the accident occurred through inattentiveness or incompetency, the driver doesn’t even merit a look by officials to see if they should continue to have a license. They are free to go back out and kill or injure someone else...
...would provide law enforcement with a useful tool for charging drivers who cause serious injury or death to other users of the public way. “I didn’t see him or her” will no longer be automatically excusable.
To our knowledge none of the recent bike crashes including the incident at MLK drive crosswalk and the Taxi that ran down a cyclist and took off on Broad Street has resulted in any sort of charges.
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