Urban Velo

Teen Driver Kills 2 Cyclists

This article from the San Francisco Gate details an incident where a 41 year old father and his 9 year old daughter were hit and killed by a Cadillac Escalade while riding their bikes on the sidewalk. Another daughter was hit as well, but survived. The driver, a 17 year old, was not drunk nor texting, but was traveling around 72 mph in a 45 mph zone. It’s a pretty cut and dry case, but what struck me about this tragedy was this line in the article,

After the hearing, Cabral said he believed the outcome was just, saying he thinks the boy will serve more time in juvenile custody than if he had been convicted in adult court.

The time he’s serving? Under 4 years, because he must be released at the age of 21 for being convicted as a minor. There are two things to point out here. 1. As an adult he would serve LESS than 4 years for wrecklessly driving a car onto the sidewalk and killing two individuals. 2. After four years he is presumably released from juvenile detention and handed a driver’s license as an adult?

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest proponent of jail sentencing for situations like this, because there HAS to be a better way of dealing with this crime as a manner of reform. Maybe his driver’s license can be withheld until the individual completes 10 years of serving with an alternative transportation group. Maybe he should be forced to serve the family in some way for an extended period of time. Maybe he should be involved in a campaign dedicated to those killed by reckless drivers. I guess I just don’t have much faith that, despite his “remorse”, the kid is going to leave juvenile detention and start driving in a more sensible manner. Seriously, bring on the autonomous vehicles.

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

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  1. Joe PeraltaOctober 2, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Many people have to learn the hard way. Adequate driver education would head off a lot of tragedies on the road of many kinds. People do stupid things just because they don’t think through the consequences. They need somebody to do it for them before they’re granted a license.

  2. sarahelizabethOctober 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    wow, this is terrible.

  3. Shawn BrownOctober 2, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I think he should have his driving privilages taken away until he has completed a certain amout of hours in community service plus until he is of a certain age. He killed two people and destoryed a family.

  4. TimOctober 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    how about if he walks, rides a bike or uses the bus for the rest of his life…driver’s license is NOT a right…it is a privilege, with attendant responsibilities (and consequences)

  5. ChrisOctober 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Agreed. A right not a privilege. You killed 2 people driving= you never get to drive again.

  6. LT SnuffyOctober 4, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Pedestrians and Cyclists need to sue their city government for creating an unsafe environment. Every accident is a situation of negligence. 45 mph zone in a residential area? It’s not surprising someone was driving 70 mph. I commute 20 miles a day and I see speeding infractions all day long.

    Speeding kills more people than Drunk Driving.

  7. Alvaro BastidasOctober 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Please BE KIND to Cyclists is currently working on an awareness and education video that, we hope, will be incorporated in all driver education schools curriculum throughout the nation. This video will make all drivers be aware of their driving style and behavior, and will fill in the gap in the education needed. It will also cover the laws and rules when driving and sharing the road with other vulnerable road users.

    This young teenager didn’t just kill a loving dad and his beautiful girl, he killed the entire family, himself, his family, and devastated an entire community. There is no one single punishment that can possibly repair the result of his negligence and immaturity; however, I agree that his punishment will be better served giving back to the community. He should have to pay back by becoming a voice for a non-profit organization trying to minimize such fatalities.

    We should be asking the parents, the educators, and ourselves, “have we educated our teenagers enough regarding the true consequences of reckless driving behavior?” Someone said it right when he said “sue the city government” for not supporting and encouraging the right education and providing the right infrastructure to keep all its citizens safe on the road.
    That’s all I have to say.

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