Monday Blues: Another Hit and Run or, the Fall of Brother RJ
o, partly through my coverage of the US Cup racing on Saturday I received a text from brother RJ saying he was in the hospital in Santa Barbara, following some unexpected contact with the pavement during a ride between Ventura and SB. Before going further let me say that his injuries are healable - torn ligaments at the shoulder, acreage of missing skin, and he will be needing a new helmet.
So what happened? From the information I have gathered it seems that, while riding through Summerland, a driver, seemingly oblivious to brother RJ's presence cut him off in order to pull into a diagonal parking space in front of a liquor store. Naturally, the brother slammed on the brakes in order to not run into the side of the vehicle, sending him over the bars. Though some of the local business owners rushed out, there seems to be some question as to whether the oblivious driver completed a transaction before taking off, or left the scene immediately. In either case, he certainly did not stick around.
So, here is my question - since there was no actual contact between vehicle and rider, is something like this, legally speaking, a hit and run? As we are all well aware, there does not always have to be contact for the actions of a driver to cause a rider to crash, which is what happened here. Maybe, legally speaking, there is another category that something like this falls into - negligent driving resulting in injury, or something along those lines?
I am not sure which is worse, the person who causes a crash through negligence, or the person who does not even possess the decency to stick around and inquire about the injured persons well being. Either is bad enough, both in the same individual - take their license I say. In other words, a license is not an excuse to do what you want without regard to others. Unless I am mistaken (maybe it isn't taught any more, as it once was when taught in high school) driving is still a privilege, one that comes with certain responsibilities.