The New York Daily News' singular take on a cycling fatality

Paper asks if cyclists are more dangerous than drivers

by Mark Appleton   August 3, 2011  

New York

We’ve reported in recent days about the rise of cycle commuting in New York City but also about the attitude of the city’s police department when dealing with cyclists.

But in a story that reveals as much about the NYPD’s view of the increasing number of cyclists in their midst as it does about the New York Daily News’ take on the matter, the paper reports on how a 29-year old cycle commuter - named by one source as Chris Doyle a web developer and keen rider - was killed by a right-turning truck.

He died when crushed under the vehicle's right-hand side and the truck only stopped when flagged down by another vehicle further up the road.

It appears that the police made a judgement about the incident based on CCTV footage from security cameras nearby and the Daily News reports they will not be pressing charges against the driver.

A police source told the publication: "The bicyclist was at fault. He should have seen the driver was about to turn. The bicyclist tried to rush by and you can't do that. The driver had to be going about 5 m.p.h."

Slow enough to feel an impact that takes someone’s life you might have thought, but apparently not.

As Streetsblog points out, the Daily News apparently didn’t see fit to ask questions about the actions of the driver prior to the incident, whether he indicated or not, the presence of correctly set mirrors, etc.

The Daily News simply accompanies the article with a crass and spurious poll asking: “Who’s more dangerous, bicyclists or drivers?”

Mercifully, that’s a level of press ignorance we have yet to see over here.
 

7 user comments

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Just voted - doesn't seem to be anything stopping a London resident from doing so.

Current result is 44% for cyclists are more dangerous, 21% for drivers, and 34% for one is as dangerous as the other.

You can join in here http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/08/02/2011-08-02_bicyclist_fata... You might say who gives a sh*t what heir poll says but it could be fun to move the result!

posted by Paul M [325 posts]
3rd August 2011 - 14:01

2 Likes

I was berated by a driver for denting their bonnet and damaging their bumper when they hit me. At least that's what the witness said, it's years later and I still don't remember the accident.

posted by automatic_jon [68 posts]
3rd August 2011 - 14:23

2 Likes

Quote:
Mercifully, that's a level of press ignorance we have yet to see over here.

Yes, British journalism - the finest in the world...

posted by handlebarcam [533 posts]
3rd August 2011 - 14:44

2 Likes

As a cyclist, my sympathies are often weighted towards the two wheeled amongst us, but given the information we have here, surely the cyclist was completely at fault.
Sympathies to his family of course, but he appears to have made a fatally flawed decision here.
and a "truck" is unlikely to have been shifted by the "impact" enough for the driver to be aware ??

what am i missing?

posted by scrapper [63 posts]
3rd August 2011 - 16:57

4 Likes

Have to say I agree with scrapper on this: from the (admittedly limited) info available it does look like cyclist error. Just because a truck's bigger doesn't always put the driver in the wrong...

As for the poll, crass and wholly inappropriate.

posted by chris75018 [100 posts]
3rd August 2011 - 22:35

2 Likes

'The bicyclist was wearing a helmet but it wasn't enough to protect him from the weight of the truck, police said.'
Well that is very surprising finding from NYPD... .

posted by londonbrick [25 posts]
4th August 2011 - 11:47

1 Like

I don't know about in the UK, or even in NYC, but in GA, MS, and clearly in Maryland, the car is required by law to YIELD to the cyclist (whether or not there is a bicycle lane) when making a right turn. As copied + pasted from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration webpage:

"The bicycle has the right of way when the motor vehicle is making a turn, and you must yield to bicycle."

Finding NY law on an official gov't site is a little tougher, but on newyorkdefensivedriving.com I did find this:

"You may cross a bicycle lane to make a right turn, but you must yield to any bicycles using the lane."

All that said, just because (if this is indeed right) the motorist failed to yield and would be at fault, Chris Doyle is still dead. Sad

posted by askantik [1 posts]
5th August 2011 - 14:54

3 Likes