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Did You Know?

Nearly five children are hit by people driving every day in Illinois while walking or biking within one block of a school.

10 days in jail for targeting cyclists?

Prepare to be outraged:

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/06/brookfield-running-down-bicyclist-illed-armando-reza-guilty.html

It's not even worth noting that these two fools are…………well, fools. Sociopathic fools. Intentionally running over bicyclists while driving under the influence at twice the legal limit with no license is such mind-blowingly cretinous behavior it doesn't even deserve further comment. And while most of us would qualify this as attempted murder, they were at least charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon – a felony, and more than we usually see for car/bike or car/ped crashes.

So let's talk about the sentence. Mr. Reza pleaded guilty, and plea agreements are almost always obtained in exchange for a lighter sentence than what would have resulted from a guilty verdict at trial. So noted. But how does the state's attorney justify a sentence of 10 (yes that's ten – I didn't leave off any zeros) days in jail, plus 2 years intense probation, alcohol counseling and curfew? For actually TRYING to run someone over? I mean, aiming your car at someone on a bike and intending to hit him/her? Did the guy even LOSE HIS LICENSE? 

We've been beating this drum for a long, long time – that drum being that the lives of people on bikes and on foot are worth less to our justice system. And we've advocated and won better laws to better protect bikes and pedestrians. We've even seen some small progress with the level of awareness of police officers in responding to and reporting crashes. But a story like this is a stark reality check. We have much, much work left to do, folks.