Tonight, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, gather at the Pfluger Bike and Ped Bridge for a one hour, eight mile (no drop) ride that will begin at 7 PM sharp. This is a global event to honor, grieve, remember, give thanks for those who have been killed or injured while riding.
During the ride please respect all the safety rules of the road. Helmets and lights shall be used. The ride is silent, hand gestures for signaling. Call out only in emergency to alert other riders of potential dangers.
There will be a dedication period. AT that time you can speak of someone you would like to recognize or remember. Please arrive at 6:30 PM and meet up with a ride organizer to make sure you are listed to speak at the dedication period of the Ride of Silence.
You will see other riders with black arm bands-this signifies memory of a loved one who was killed. Red arm bands indicate someone injured while riding their bike. Please wear bands or pin photos to your jersey or shirt or attach a sign to your bike. Thank you for riding and remembering. The Shefman Law Group remembers Cody Johnson killed on November 3, 2012; Brian Lindquist who was hit and mentally incapacitated on October 12, 2012; and Robert “Chops” Ramirez killed September 23, 2012.
The ride map can be viewed on Bikely.com at http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/2010-Ride-of-Silence-in-Austin-Texas
Whether you have been in a bike crash in Austin or a motorcycle crash in Austin these are key things to know to preserve your rights.
1. Get the help you need. At the crash site, make sure 911 is called and the police respond. Austin is lucky to have a positive police chief who agrees cyclists and bikers have a right to share the road. Make sure police respond. Show the police the respect they deserve and help them help you.
2. Get the medical attention you need. Take that ambulance to the hospital and get evaluated. When hit by a ton or more of car or truck you often have so much adrenaline running through your system you have no idea the extent of your injuries.
3. Get witness and as much information at the crash site as possible. Use our phone app (cyclistlaw crash app) or just turn on your phone video camera if you have one and start recording everything from the vehicles involved, the witnesses, their information, the insurance information of the person who hit you, record the license plate, make, model of the vehicle, the street signs, any road conditions that may be relevant, everything…point and shoot!
4. Do not speak to any insurance company representatives until you have spoken to a bike crash attorney from cyclistlaw and/or motorcycle crash attorney.
5. Keep the clothing you were wearing at the time of the crash including your helmet or the jacket they cut off of you in the ER. This is evidence.
6. Keep a journal of the things you are having difficulty with. If you were head injured but are functioning write down the troubles you are experiencing.
7. Call Cyclistlaw.com and speak to an attorney who can help you.
Moveability Austin a local publication did this interview with Attorney Lenore Shefman of the Shefman Law Group about the new Cyclistlaw Phone App for what to do in case you are in a crash.
Crash App Article with Attorney Lenore Shefman
March of Sorrow, Lives Lost to DWI
Today was the first annual March of Sorrow in Austin, Texas. An idea that was birthed in New Mexico and has found a place in Austin, Texas. Today was a day to remember those lives lost as a result of intoxicated drivers (DWI and DUI). Eric William Snow spoke about the loss of his friend Cody Johnson who was hit from behind by Stephen Gilbert on Riverside drive, November 3, 2012. Attorney Lenore Shefman spoke on behalf of the mother and guardian of Brian Lindquist who has undergone 14 brain surgeries and now suffering debilitating brain seizures following his being hit by Truett Jones who was driving under the influence of methamphetamines and marijuana on October 12, 2012. Representative Bill Callegari is a sponsor of legislation passed through the House waiting on the calendars committee, aimed at preventing young drivers from driving while intoxicated. Austin Police Chief came with a cadre of officers as well as representatives of the Sheriff’s department and Lakeway Police Department to also discuss the impact DWI has on the lives of everyone in our community.
March of Sorrow Speakers, House Rep. Bill Callegari, Attorney Lenore Shefman for Brian Lindquist’s mom Susan Buehler, Friend of Cody Johnson-Eric Snow
West Fertilizing Plant in Waco, Texas explosion kills and unknown number of residents and workers, injuries too many too count.
For those seeking relief from the West Fertilizing Plant Explosion in and around Waco, Texas please refer to this article in the Waco Tribune:
Fertilizer Plant Explosion Relief Links
If you can please give blood at Scott and White or your local blood bank.
If you need further assistance please call your local blood bank. Those seeking legal advice relating to injuries and property loss resulting from this fertilizer plant explosion please call our attorneys.
Sgt. Lorraine Kerlick a longtime investigator for the Austin DA’s office died in a motorcycle collision just after 4 p.m. Sunday. The crash occurred on Bee Caves Road. Lorraine Kerlick was 53 years old and according to District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg she was “a dedicated and highly regarded law enforcement professional.” Lorraine’s death was shocking to the community, she was loved and very well regarded in many communities, not just those she worked with at the district attorney’s office. The facts surrounding this motorcycle crash have not been released.
Some say Sgt. Kerlick’s death is why our district attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was found intoxicated driving in the bike lane following services remembering Sgt. Kerlick. Some have called this a learning moment, while others have called for the immediate resignation of our cities top law enforcement officer.
If Rosemary Lehmberg resigns she will be replaced. Replacements are always of concern when there is no democratic process behind the replacement, only an appointment.
The fact is Austin has been struggling with recent reports of being in the top 5 drinking cities in the nation. Austin has had too many alcohol related deaths on our roadways. So now, what do we do when our district attorney loses personal integrity, and is caught in the act of drinking and driving when so many are still freshly scared by wounds inflicted by those who do not responsibly monitor their intake and take to the road behind the wheel knowing their act could result in the absolute ruining of others lives? Can we as a city forgive her and trust the job of the district attorney is being done responsibly following such a horrible judgment call?
I invite everyone to weigh in and have this conversation with those you love and care about. I also task everyone with trying to have this same conversation with someone you do not agree with, it may not change who our DA is but it might help us all get to where we need to be, mindful of the devastating and lasting effects of drinking and driving.
Austin, get your engines ready! On April 19-21st some of the greatest riders the sport knows will be here racing on our home track at the Circuit of the Americas. While the track has its share of controversy and studies are still being done to determine if a future Formula One is to occur, things still keep moving on the track. The MotoGP Season kicks off in Qatar this coming week and then Austin hosts the riders and races.
A lot of new rules have been implemented as well as point systems that will sanction riders causing them to lose status in race start placement and other penalties. A recent article published by Motorcycle USA outline some of what we can expect as we try to keep pace with this fast moving sport.
Houston seems to have a very robust bike share program set up. Way to go Houston. Houston has also been struggling with being the most out-of-shape city in Texas and by some reports, the nation.
Well Houston, hope the bike share programs helps shed some of that weighty press.
For those of you not following this legislative session, SB 275 just passed through the Senate unanimously. The measure was authored by Austin Democratic Sen. Kirk Watson.
Senate Bill 275 enhances prior punishments and ups the anti. If a driver flees the scene of a crash s/he will face up to 20 years in prison, a $10,000 fine in what is charged as a second degree felony.
The case where a Capitol Hill aide, Nestande, hit, and fled the scene leaving Courtney Griffin in the road without medical assistance where she ultimately died has raised great attention from lawmakers such that this pass flew through the Senate. Now, onward to the House.
KVUE wrote this article
and the Statesman’s coverage of the same is here
A cyclist is injured when an undercover “peace” officer punches the cyclist in his face during an arrest where the cyclist is according to him, having his arm twisted during an arrest. The cyclist does not come across as hostile. The cop actually seems to contemplate the punch and then does it.
Hostility towards cyclists is most of the time inexplicable. Seemingly the outward manifestation of this anger/hostility comes from a very dark place inside the person who exhibits the rage. Watching this video you can see there is no threat to the officer. There are two officers managing a single cyclist for an arrest. We the audience do not know why the cyclist is being arrested. There is a lot unexplained in the video. Whatever the alleged crime is that the cyclist perpetrated why would this cop just punch the rider in his face? There is a second interview following up with the rider as to what happened, what is his side of the facts?
As it turns out the officers are undercover. The cops tell the cyclists that they have been following the bicyclist who is stopped at a stop light. They tell him he has been through several red lights and not stopped. According to the cyclist, the undercover officers get out of the car to write a ticket and because the cyclist questions the officers ticketing of him they decide to arrest him.
This action by the police seems to be motivated by nothing other than the fact that this rider is on a bike.
Equally interesting is the officer seems to know he is being video taped. The officer shows no real concern that there is a witness that can bear witness to thousand fold witnesses, as if the officer is perfectly at home with his conduct.
Here in Austin, Texas cyclists are getting a bit of the benefit of the doubt. Police Chief Art Acevedo has initiated a program to bring awareness to cars and other motorists that provides three feet of space between non-commercial vehicles and bicyclists and six feet of space between commercial vehicles and cyclists. Awareness of the law commonly referred to as the three foot rule (3′ rule) is key to helping motorists and cyclists peacefully sharing the road. The 3′ and 6′ passing rules are meant to reduce injury to cyclists and hopefully help in the relief from all of the hit and run incidents being experienced in Austin. Clearly as bicycle accident attorneys we are interested in the outcome of this effort by APD and hope it has a chilling effect on cars passing too closely to vulnerable cyclists sharing the road.