On Wednesday May 15 Duke City Wheelmen are hosting the Ride of Silence. The route this year will be on San Pedro The ride will start at 6:30 pm at Wilson Park, 1099 San Pedro SE. Registration will be between 5 and 6 pm.
A new ghost bike has gone into the painters, JTC Coatings.
We will be replacing this ghost bike soon. Watch for details.
Everyone, please keep your eyes open when you pass by this ghost bike descanso. Someone is vandalizing it and these acts need to stop! Thanks to KRQE reporter Lysée Mitri for giving this problem wider publicity.
Watch for notice on when we will be out to fix the ghost bike. Thanks!
Events of Duke City Wheelmen start in April, on the 13th with the first of six bike handling skills clinics. The skills presented are of special use if you are at all interested in group rides and/or doing bicycle races, but they are useful every time you ride. Check out the whole story here: Criterium Skills Clinics.
As the skills clinics continue (4/13, 4/27, 5/12, 5/18, 6/1, 6/1) we are planning a special recognition of the women who come out for the clinic on May 12th in conjunction with Cyclo Femme’s “We Ride Together.” This day, Mother’s Day, is being recognized as a time when women can come together, ride a bicycle and celebrate all that women add to the world.
On June 15 DCW is assisting Scalo Veloce who is hosting a bicycle race, a Criterium. If you have never seen this kind of race, come out and see what it is all about. Racing starts at 8 am and continues to about 2 pm.
If you are interested in trying your wheels in an event like this, the Criterium Skills Clinics will get you ready.
The criterium at Wilson Stadium will have beginner categories for men and women. Juniors will also have their own race.
In July, during the long 4th of July weekend, there will be a timed version of a bicycle tour, a Gran Fondo, with its start/finish in scenic Taos, NM. Traveling the South Enchanted Circle, this ride will enchant you. There are three distances to choose from. People who register can also access a discounted training plan tailored to their distance to help them prepare.
September will bring us “Can You See Us NOW?” on September 29th.
So, plan on joining us between 1 and 2:30 pm for registration so you are ready to roll at 3:00pm. This will again be a slow parade ride down Route 66 (Central Ave.) with police escort.
This year, we are encouraging all ghost riders to join us!
On October 5, 2013 the Gila Monster Challenge Gran Fondo will take place in the Silver City area. This ride will wind its way through spectacular southwestern NM mountains and valleys. With four distances to choose from, everyone can find their challenge.
2013 Careless Driving Accountability Bill – Senate Bill 290
The purpose of this bill is to give New Mexico Courts sentencing options that better match the range of outcomes possible when someone has committed the act of careless driving.
Existing accountability options for people found guilty of careless driving include a fine, up to $300.00 dollars, and/or the possibility of probation or jail time, up to 90 days. While this is adequate in careless driving cases that only cause property damage or minor injury, it is inadequate in cases where the outcome is great bodily harm or death. With Senate Bill 290, the accountability options will be increased. Guilty careless drivers who cause the death or great bodily harm of another road user could be asked to pay a fine, up to $1,000.00 dollars and/or serve probation or jail time up to 364 days. Accountability options for cases with property damage or minor injury would not change.
Tuesday February 12, 2013, SB 290 was given a 6-0-1 “do pass” recommendation in Senate Public Affairs Committee. Senate Judiciary also gave SB290 a Do Pass recommendation on Wednesday February 20! Today the bill was on a long list of items to be voted on, but today’s session adjourned before that happened.
Write to your Senator TODAY
Urge your Senator to vote for the bill.
Ask them to lobby for the bill to be brought to a vote on the Senate floor ASAP!
The Senators talk to each other. The more the issue is raised, the more likely they are to talk about it and vote in favor. We need people to take action on this and let them know how important the bill is to us as cyclists and for traffic safety in general. Remember your outrage when you hear about a careless driver killing a cyclist and then having to pay a $300 (or less) fine, etc. Use that feeling of injustice as motivation to write an email. If you live in the part of Valencia or Bernalillo county represented by Senator Michael Sanchez, you will note that he doesn’t have an email listed, only a phone number. It is kind of a drag to inundate the secretary in his office with a bunch of phone calls voicing support of SB290, but there isn’t much else to do. CALL! I know that many letters are coming from The New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization members. Add your cyclist voice to the mix today.
Below is a list of things that I feel this bill will accomplish, and things I don’t expect it to do. Use any/all of this to help you write your email to your Senator.
Pass this information far and wide, to anyone you know who might support the bill and act. Thanks for doing your part to help this bill pass.
Duke City Wheelmen
Careless Driving Legislation – SB290 – WILL:
- Let families and survivors know that New Mexico is serious about improving traffic safety and that our legal system tries to mirror our value of human life and well-being;
- Hold careless drivers accountable in a way that is commensurate with the outcome of their actions;
- Give Judges sentencing options that distinguish between careless driving that causes property damage and careless driving that causes the death or great bodily harm of another road user;
- Act as a deterrent, in that it will
a) Reach some of New Mexico’s drivers as a reason to NOT drive carelessly,
b) Raise awareness of the potential deadly consequences of careless driving,
c) Reinforce the message that careless driving is not acceptable,
d) Remind other drivers of the risks of careless driving & the benefits of attentive driving every time a careless driver is appropriately held accountable for the outcome of their actions;
- Serve as another tool to bring down New Mexico’s fatal traffic crash incidence rate – which was 22% over the national average in 2009 (per capita);
- Serve to address the second most frequently cited cause of crashes in New Mexico, Driver Inattention. Alcohol was involved in 3.2% of NMs traffic crashes in 2009 (6th most frequent cause). Driver Inattention was responsible 12.0% of the time (2009). We need to start addressing these more frequent causes of traffic crashes in NM;
- Enhance New Mexico’s reputation as a bicycle and pedestrian friendly place, which is important to bring both new employers and tourists, along with their dollars, to New Mexico;
- Enable more of us to get the exercise we need to be and stay healthy because we are not scared to go out for a walk, run or bike ride;
- Encourage the use of alternative transportation means, which in turn is good for the environment, our wallets and our health;
- Support the many small businesses in New Mexico that cater to alternative road users, including motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, joggers, etc.
SB 290 WON’T:
- Erase the pain of victims’ families or survivors. It will help, but as we know, nothing will make everything right again;
- Clog-up the Courts, District Attorneys’ offices or other components of NMs Judicial System. On average, there are only 20-25 cases per year (an average value based on NMDOT data, 2000-2009);
- Reach all drivers as a deterrent – other tools are necessary too, like education, Public Service Announcements, increased awareness, etc.;
- Magically fix New Mexico’s traffic safety issue;
- Eliminate careless driving;
- Elevate careless driving to a felony level offense. Careless drivers who cause the death or great bodily harm of another road user will still be held accountable at the misdemeanor level;
- Give any special privilege to bicycles, motorcycles or any other group of road users – this bill is written to apply equally to all road users.
When one reads the NM statute that defines careless driving it is such a good, common sense statement that should be in mind whenever we are on the road.
NM Stat § 66-8-114. Careless driving:
A. Any person operating a vehicle on the highway shall give his full time and entire attention to the operation of the vehicle.
B. Any person who operates a vehicle in a careless, inattentive or imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, weather and road conditions and all other attendant circumstances is guilty of a misdemeanor.
We feel that by adding language that holds those found guilty of careless driving accountable in a way that is commensurate with the outcome of their actions, more New Mexico drivers will adopt behaviors that prevent them from being careless.
There are many other points you can use to express your support for this legislation. These include:
- Survivors, victim’s families and friends are shocked and horrified to learn how little consequence the careless driver faces when their actions have cause someone to die.
- As part of the larger effort to improve the driving habits of New Mexicans’ and make our streets and highways safer for all, New Mexico law needs to send the clear message that careless driving is not acceptable.
- The change is small but goes a long way towards making the consequences of careless driving fit the outcome.
- By adopting SB290 into law, New Mexico could be a state leading the way to better driver accountability. We could join Colorado, Oregon and Delaware who have changed their careless driving laws in the past three years. Don’t let us be last on this list too!
- Although many feel this change is very important, it will have a relatively small impact on the New Mexico Judicial system, only an average of 17 cases per year. More details can be seen in this NMDOT Analysis – Careless Driving Incident Rate.
Here is a Senator Sample Letter you are welcome to use, all or in part.
Whatever you say, end by thanking the Senator and urging them to support SB290.
Continue reading and following the links below to learn more about the impact of the current NM law on individual cases involving cyclists.
The 2012 efforts of support for identical legislation got a lot of press coverage.
The crash that claimed Heather Reu‘s life in 2009 was caused by a distracted driver.
It is heartbreaking that there is a 2012 story to add to this page with almost the same script. Scott Duane Lane was killed January 10, 2012 by a driver so distracted she didn’t even know she had run a red light. This case wrapped up October 26, 2012 when the No Contest plea that Carol Svinarich entered resulted in her being sentenced to 90 days of “house arrest”, paying a $300.00 dollar fine and almost $18,000 dollars in restitution to the family.
KOAT-TV reports on two crashes in Albuquerque last week and this legislative initiative on January 14, 2012.
Also in 2012, we have seen two other instances where the death of a cyclist has been punished by the same sentence a “careless driver” in a fender-bender crash would face. Bruce Wickensburg, the driver who killed Dan Montoya was sentenced to 90 days suspended license and a $300.00 dollar fine. Miranda Pacheco, found guilty of “careless driving“ by a jury in the death of David Anderson was sentenced to 90 days in jail and paying the $300.00 dollar fine.
Basics about this legislation:
- This legislation (formerly HB12) will increase the penalty options for a very distinct type of crash. The crash must be due to careless driving that causes the great bodily harm or death of another road user.
- Careless driving encompasses distracted and inattentive driving, including texting, cell phone use or any other activity that diverts a driver’s full attention from their duty to drive safely.
NMSA 66-8-114. Careless driving.
A. Any person operating a vehicle on the highway shall give his full time and entire attention to the operation of the vehicle.
- Any person who operates a vehicle in a careless, inattentive or imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, weather and road conditions and all other attendant circumstances is guilty of a misdemeanor.
- Currently the maximum penalty for this misdemeanor is $300.00 and/or 90 days jail/probation no matter how minor or severe the consequences of the crash are. That is why we see fender-bender crashes punished in the same way as a crash that kills or severely injures someone
- This legislation seeks to make the punishment better fit the crime by increasing the maximum penalty for careless driving that causes the death or great bodily harm of another road user to $1000.00 and/or 364 days jail/probation.
- This legislation (formerly HB12) will have no effect on existing laws or penalties for homicide by vehicle cases.
- This legislation (formerly HB12) applies equally to all road users, regardless of vehicle type used.
- Since 1979, when the mother of a teen age girl killed by a drunk driver started MADD, drivers across the country have become more aware of the risks of driving under the influence. The alcohol related crash and fatality rates have come down in the last 33 years because of two things: (1) the increased awareness of the risks and (2) the increased cost of the behavior. HB12 is following this successful model to raise awareness of the risks of careless driving and to put penalties on the books that will actually function as a deterrent.
- It is currently against the law to drive carelessly. We have to raise the cost of careless driving for NMSA 66-8-114 to be significant to drivers. This legislation (formerly HB12) will do just that.
- The New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization and Duke City Wheelmen Foundation, representing thousands of New Mexico road users, feel strongly that increasing the penalty options is an important component to achieving our goal of improving road safety.
- Both organizations engage in numerous other activities equally important in reaching this goal, including educating motorcyclists, bicyclists and motorists on how to share the road, raising awareness through rides, rallies, media outreach of all types and the distribution of safety equipment.
- We are asking for your support of This legislation (formerly HB12) in order to put this vital piece of the road safety puzzle into place.
Wednesday February 20, 2013
Noon Day Ministries (Broadway and Central NE)
Duke City Wheelmen Foundation together with Trek Superstore
Bicycle tune-ups and safety equipment clinic for those who can’t afford to address these basic safety needs.
We can always use tubes and tires, chain lube, old parts or even old bicycles. We have given out about 20 bicycles and 150 front and rear light sets. Gorden Phillips (from TREK) must have fixed-up well over 100 bikes by now too! If you want to help out, just let us know. Extra hands are deeply appreciated!
Donations can be dropped off at Noon Day between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm 2/20/13
or at the Trek Superstore during normal business hours, any day of the week.
Had a great weekend! Rode 204 miles over the 4 days. Now that is something to be thankful for
Dwane Lane was riding his bicycle home from work on January 10, 2012 when Carol Svinarich ran a red light, killing Lane. He is survived by his wife Sheryl Kearby and four children. Lane was a family man, Scout leader, business man and well respected community member.
After nearly a month of investigation, Svinarich was charged with the maximum charge under curent New Mexico law, which is the misdemeanor charge of careless driving. This charge can result in a penalty of up to $300 dollars in fines and/or 90 days probation or jail time.
“It’s probably a good day for her. You know, 90 days is nothing, I’d be happy,” Sheryl Kearby, Lane’s widow, told KRQE News 13.
Duke City Wheelmen Foundation was able to assist the Lane family by placing a ghost bike at the site of the crash on March 23, 2012.
Another man riding a bicycle was also hit in Albuquerque on January 13, 2012. This man, later identified as Michael Ryan, died a few days later from his injuries. Ryan was thought to be a homeless individual. Unlike Lane, Ryan was riding improperly, crossing Lomas on a red light when hit. All cyclists’ are well served by riding with traffic and following all traffic rules, just as we expect from any vehicle on the road.
Everyone is safer when we all follow the rules.