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Friday, February 15, 2013

Cyclists say their rights are going unrecognized [Boston Globe]


Wellesley police spent months investigating a fatal truck-bike crash. A grand jury declined to indict the truck driver.
BILL BRETT FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE
Wellesley police spent months investigating a fatal truck-bike crash. A grand jury declined to indict the truck driver.
It’s a common refrain among local ­cyclists: Want to kill someone and get away with it? Run them over while they’re on a bicycle.
Within Boston’s growing cycling community, a perceived lack of criminal prosecution of motorists involved in fatal bike crashes has been a regular source of outrage in recent years. That ire came to a ­fever pitch last week, when a grand jury investigation of a Wellesley bike crash with seemingly copious evidence — video footage, witnesses defending the deceased bicyclist, a truck driver who had fled the scene and had an extensive history of driving infractions — came back with no charges.
The grand jury’s decision, bicyclists contend, is evidence of a wider problem: Most people do not respect the rights of bike riders.
“The message that we got from this particular case,” said David Watson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, “is that, clearly, members of the general public still don’t care enough about bicyclists’ safety.”
Historically, prosecutors have been seen as reluctant to seek charges in crashes ­between bikes and cars. Civil cases have long been the realm of justice for families. But ­cyclists say they want better, and they had hoped to get it in the case against truck driver Dana E.A. McCoomb, accused of striking and killing cyclist ­Alexander Motsenigos, 41, on Weston Road in Wellesley.

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