In case you were wondering what kind of standing you have as a motorcyclist with John Law, wonder no more.
You don’t have any…nada…zip…zilch.
The driver, and I hesitate to even give him even that most elemental of descriptions, of a Toyota Prius has been fined $20 for knocking a two bikers off their motorcycles. He managed that feat while – get this – using his smartphone to record video of a group of riders.
The 19-year old tool got his phone out to film some bikers who were passing him in the outside lane last week. Distracted by his artistic work with the phone, he swerved into the passing lane and wiped out one of the bikers. His car went on to crash into a dividing wall and another motorcyclist, presumably while he was texting the results of his idiocy to a friend, before coming to a stop.
Needless to say, some of the bikers in the group were a touch peeved at the lunatic, went over to the crashed car and started laying a much-deserved beatdown on him, at least according to some witnesses at the scene.
So what do you get in the way of fines for wiping to riders off their machines? It appears in California, you get less than a slap on the wrist. The driver will be cited for distracted driving under California’s law against using using a handheld phone while driving. That heinous piece of outright stupidity brings with it a $20 fine for the first violation and a $50 fine for any subsequent convictions.
For taking matters into their own hands, and they were clearly in an agitated state after watching their brother flattened by an idiot with a cell phone as a weapon, it’s entirely possible that the bikers who slapped the Prius driver around in retribution could be charged with battery. That’s defined in California as “the intentional use of force against another person,” and if they’re convicted, they could all be punished by terms of up to six months in
jail and fined $2,000.
I, for one, am not seeing the justice in that.
Wiping out a pair of riders on the highway? Well, it will only cost you $2o bucks. Delivering a message to anyone stupid and thoughtless enough to take a chance at killing a motorcyclist? That could cost you one hundred times as much and leave you dining on cheese sandwiches in the County Lockup for half a year.
If this actually happens and the riders are convicted, I am proposing that riders everywhere take immediate action to redress this woeful, wretched miscarriage of justice.
More on the story as it develops…