The Agg Assault was because he used a weapon (his vehicle ) to physically harm a person, two people in fact.A couple of other points occur to me, first and foremost, a detail that came out well after the video was posted was that the car driver was intentionally driving at a speed well below the limit and below the minimum speed. This can presumably only be deliberate and intended to rile people up, he essentially set the whole thing up to get people upset enough to pass him, then having done so he attacks them with his vehicle. For me, this takes this incident into a whole new level of malice and is equivalent to premeditated intention to GBH, which I'm sure was why they charged him with Aggravated Assault. Personally I would have preferred him to be charged with attempted manslaughter as well, with his history it's not hard to see he has an issue with basically the whole world, removing him from general society permanently wouldn't hurt my feelings. Keep him locked up for everyone else's safety and might avoid having someone get arrested for 'reacting' to his provocation in other ways.
Secondly, I usually travel a lot of miles on my bikes each year all over this amazing country, usually alone, frequently in some real out of the way places.
It's rare for me to feel threatened or unsafe on these travels, maybe I'm lucky that way but I have noticed in the last few years that there seems to be an increase in the number of folks willing to express themselves in these 'extreme' views. It's most noticeable online of course, but I have heard folks say things in public which really should have got them arrested. Not just regarding motorcyclists either, take for example; politics, religion, smoking, meat-eaters, wedding cake bakers, and many others. I'm sure most of you have noticed this too, but as we are more vulnerable to 'sudden acts of stupidity' by road users it makes me wonder if there is some way to reduce our risk without reducing our freedom to ride. (The mob mentality is more obvious than I think I've ever seen before and frankly, it worries me.)
Obviously situational awareness is a big thing, as are defensive riding skills.
(my Dad used to say, "Give way to anything bigger than you, remember this, tonnage always wins!")
But lane splitting, no matter how much it may be statistically safer, does not really fall into those categories and may in fact increase the level of skill required to do so.
I have lived in places where lane splitting is common and done plenty of it myself, I don't know anyone who thinks it is less likely to result in a collision. It is much faster for us to get where we are going, more comfortable too, and there are real benefits to other road users. But if doing so causes this certain percentage of road users to be more likely to resent us and act on that, is it really achieving the goal? If some folks perception is that 'bikers think they are above the law' already, seeing us legally do something they are not allowed to do will only increase the resentment and maybe encourage them to act more hostile towards all bikers. Having our own dedicated lane would be much safer for us, but would likely result in even greater resentment. 'Special privileges' are only great when you're the one enjoying them, not watching someone else enjoy them.
I'm keen to hear your input...
I did not hear this one, but I can't say I'm surprised by it. Mr. Berry seems to make his living mostly by such polarizing statements.There is a radio host, Michael Berry, here in Houston on a local AM station. I am sure there are some who follow him on this site. I happened to be listening to that station one day when he went on a rant about motorcycles. Apparently, something had happened that day on his commute into the radio station that involved a motorcycle. His opinion, that day anyway, was that there is NO PLACE on the streets for motorcycles. They are loud, obnoxious and the riders are a danger to the driving public. He felt motorcycles should be outlawed and kept from mingling with those who drove 4 wheeled vehicles on the public road system. It's bad enough when you have individuals who feel motorcyclists are fair game, but when you start getting the media involved in the frenzy, it raises my concern to a higher level.
I do support lane splitting as it gives me more legal options for avoiding potential problems. But I certainly do understand the anger it may create with those who don't ride and believe it to be "unfair". A sentiment that seems to permeate driving in general.
Thanks for the clarification, much appreciated.The Agg Assault was because he used a weapon (his vehicle ) to physically harm a person, two people in fact.
Here lies the body of Michael O'Day.I think education is a big part of all of this. I think it should be passed but I also think all able bodied folks should have to take the msf course. They never have to ride again but they need to know how and what it's like being that exposed. That's a great time to talk about traffic filtering.
I also think we should add a 5-10 mph motorcycle speed overage. If bikes can move through traffic they are less likely to be hit. Not acting stupid but moving through. People who ride assuming that their right of way will be honored and everyone can see them is a bad idea. Ride like you are invisible and stay of the offense.
My wife id from Uganda and it's the same there. Bikes are about 50% faster due to congestion. No cars mind the filtering.Here lies the body of Michael O'Day.
He died defending his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he rode along,
But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong!
I love your idea of making folks take the MSF course, although I would go further and say everyone needs to ride for 12 months before getting a car license. Of course 'making' folks do such things is not a popular idea anywhere there is a democratic system but I hope you get my intent. I think a lot more people would remember how it felt to be that exposed and drive accordingly, but I've been wrong before.
In New Zealand they made it legal to lane-split about 15 years ago, and there was an increase in minor incidents. They also had a strong enforcement action of no more than about 10kmh of difference between the bike and the other traffic and only allowed in under 60kmh (36mph) traffic flow. Most importantly they did TV ads, billboards on major roads, newspaper ads and radio ads to inform everyone of the law change for about a year I think. It worked out ok in the end but there was still a lot of aggression towards riders, including some deliberate swerving into the path and a few 'mirror-ectomies' performed by over-offended riders.
In Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam I don't think there is a specific law allowing it, but everyone does it on 2 wheels and rarely does an accident occur (miraculous when you see it) They also allow 'filtering' bikes to the front of the line when stopped. Every green traffic light looks like the scooter GP though which is pretty funny.
Agg Assault w/deadly weapon - Felony 1Thanks for the clarification, much appreciated.
Does his level of intent make any difference to the charges he faced or is that too hard to prove?
You seem to know a lot about these things, can I presume you are perhaps a LEO of some sort?
Does anyone know why he wasn't charged "agg assault-with a deadly weapon"???Agg Assault w/deadly weapon - Felony 1
Attempted Manslaughter - Felony 3. Manslaughter by itself is a Felony 2, the 'attempted' tag would bump it down to Felony 3.
Agg Assault would be the easiest charge to prove IMO (give 10 cops the same call and come up with 10 different answers) and it also carries the stiffest penalty between the two.
Records show he was convicted of 2 counts agg asslt w deadly weapon: https://offender.tdcj.texas.gov/OffenderSearch/offenderDetail.action?sid=04202857Does anyone know why he wasn't charged "agg assault-with a deadly weapon"???
Seems like it should have fit...
Sorry if off topic.
Yep, to me it give us the legal opportunity to filter through and stay on the offense. When we have to go the speed limit we are on the defense which I feel increases our chances of getting hit.NTKLR650 - so your saying the speed limit needs to be 5-10 mph higher for motorcycles? I like that idea..
I thought he was, but TDCJ shows 2 accounts of agg assault. My best guess was the jury opted not to include with a deadly weapon.Does anyone know why he wasn't charged "agg assault-with a deadly weapon"???
Seems like it should have fit...
Sorry if off topic.
If I drove a car, my commute time would be 1h15m to 2h on the inbound, and 2h to 3h on the outbound. On the bike it's a predictable and consistent 1h. I absolutely choose to ride in order to take advantage of having a smaller and more maneuverable vehicle to bypass the traffic that the four wheeled vehicles create; it also improves my safety.Even as a rider who would love to have the legal ability to split/filter/share (or whatever else you want to call it), I always wonder when I see these conversations just how many people are wrapping their desire to take advantage of a smaller and more maneuverable vehicle (the motorcycle) in the guise of a safety measure. I’m not accusing anybody specific of that or anything, but if I think that I figure a lot of non-riders must think the same thing.
I’ll also totally confess that my own desires to be able to do it have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with convenience. My though has always been that if my ability to get where I’m going faster doesn’t cause you to get where you’re going any slower then you have no right to complain.
I totally agree, but I think most people who don’t ride just get annoyed when a motorcycle does something a car physically can’t do. They seem to think that somehow you’re cheating the system even though they have the option to do the same thing and your actions are not impacting them in any way. People stuck in traffic are seldom rational.If I drove a car, my commute time would be 1h15m to 2h on the inbound, and 2h to 3h on the outbound. On the bike it's a predictable and consistent 1h. I absolutely choose to ride in order to take advantage of having a smaller and more maneuverable vehicle to bypass the traffic that the four wheeled vehicles create; it also improves my safety.
Every person on a bike is a person not in a car. Fewer cars == less traffic. Removing myself from the traffic equation does everyone a favor.
Dunno, I'd lane split on occasion in Texas and never had a dooring or cut-off, I've had lots of rudeness here in CA but nothing catastrophic that wasn't accidental.I totally agree, but I think most people who don’t ride just get annoyed when a motorcycle does something a car physically can’t do. They seem to think that somehow you’re cheating the system even though they have the option to do the same thing and your actions are not impacting them in any way. People stuck in traffic are seldom rational.
Lane splitting is allowed on any roadway marked for two or more lanes (at least in CA). Meaning that you can share to the left of cars in the single lane, between them and the double yellow. It's not easy, and they have to let you, but it can be done, and saves me time on my two-lane road travels.my commute is 2 line roads 99% of the 33 mile trip. Lane splitting for me will not neccassarily help me in any way, There is one 200 yard 4 lane section that i could take advantage of it. People seem the think that due to it being such a short passing area, there is no need to allow anyone to pass. And there always seems to be a state trooper sitting there just waiting on someone.
Hey, I resemble that remark.I just think that the country would be better as a whole if people used transportation means that aligned with needs. 1 person in a huge truck to commute does not make any sense. If half the population commuted on bikes most of the time it would solve a lot of congestion problems and would save a lot of wear and tear on the roads not to mention saving people money. Sorry for the soap box.