Three shades of cycling and law

Bicycles are a very convenient form of transportation. This can be especially true if you are a young male in a juvenile detention center out with a group to take a cycling proficiency test. That is precisely the advantage two teenagers took in Eccles, UK – escaping a detention on a pair of mountain bikes.  It is suspected that the boys – aged 13 and 14 – rode the 7 miles to a local train station.  Neither the boys nor the bikes have been reported recovered.

On the other side of things, a Morristown, NJ woman has received her day in court.  Or rather, avoided it.  Kendra Arnold was in a left hand turn lane, preparing to make a left turn when driver John Farquhar approached from the rear.  According to Kendra Arnold’s report, the “silver Mercedes blared its horn and passed on her left, crossing a double yellow line.”    The police were contacted, and the case was headed to court.  However, a settlement was reached in mediation, and Farquhar has issued an apology through his lawyer.  This avoids the need for future court action.  According to the reported conversation that ensued between Arnold and Farquhar, Farquhar believed (incorrectly) that Arnold was acting illegally by being in the left turn lane.

At the mediation session, Kendra’s lawyer brought along state traffic regulations, spelling out cyclists’ right to occupy traffic lanes.

John, who works in the real estate business, professed that he had been unaware of those rules and conveyed an apology through his attorney, Peter Gilbreth.

And at the other end of the spectrum, a cyclist receives the largest ever injury claim in the UK. Manny Helmot was a competitive cyclist in the Commonwealth games.  Unfortunately, he was stuck while on a training ride, resulting in injuries that ended his career.  On appeal, the UK courts have awarded Helmot just under £14 million – increasing the previous £9m of the initial court decision.  The award, to be paid by the driver that struck him and his insurers, will be placed into a trust to fund Helmot’s health care going forward.  Helmot is currently unable to work and requires care.  The effects of the collision are long term for the former cyclists.  He suffered a “brain injury impaired his judgement, his moods and his thinking and he will never be able to work, drive – or ride a bike.”