Man charged with trying to run down bicyclist in Cambridge

Cambridge Police report:

On 08/30/10 at 11:04 PM, Ibrahim Zaoui, 34, of 449 Broadway in Everett was arrested after he used his motor vehicle as a weapon to strike a bicyclist on Mass Ave after an argument.

Charge: Armed assault with intent to murder.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

This is a disturbing trend

Wasn't there another one of these a couple of weeks ago?

I seem to recall that there was an altercation involved there, too, and that the cyclist smashed the motorist's side mirror with his u-lock.

I saw a similar chase scene on Boylston last summer, where the cyclist attacked a taxi driver in front of a hotel for almost dooring him ("You were gonna door me??? You were gonna DOOR me???"). The taxi driver just stood there looking unimpressed by the cyclist's rage, until the cyclist took out his u-lock and smashed his driver-side window in, and then hopped on his bike and peddled off onto the common. The taxi raced off in hot pursuit, but couldn't catch him before he reached the common.

Bunch of massholes, all around. Everybody needs to calm down. It's bad enough out there as it is without people freaking out like this.

With so many cyclists in this

With so many cyclists in this area, why is that we don't require registration? I get that we live in taxachusetts and all, but wouldn't there be more accountability on the part of the cyclists if they lose some of their anonymity? People who drive recklessly lose their license to drive, I think people who cycle recklessly should lose their rights to cycles.

education for urban cyclists, not registration

However, people with multiple DUI convictions DON'T lose their license to drive... which is CRAZY. Educating cyclists to ride responsibly and safely despite the fact that they will encounter Masshole drivers is the way to go, in my opinion. The fact that critical mass advocates blocking pedestrians from crossing in a crosswalk so that they can ride in a massive group of hundreds is evidence that many cyclists do not understand that they too must obey the laws of the road.

How is that relevant? Imagine

How is that relevant? Imagine (my fun flawed analogy)

1. Two guys are in a bar.
2. They start arguing.
3. Alfred punches Bill in the nose.
4. Bill pulls a knife or a gun and tries to kill Alfred.

Alfred started the fight - Bill escalated to attempted murder. Now, in the limited report that we have, we don't even know if Alfred (the biker) started it, but let's imagine he did. You're saying that, if Alfred was required to register as a drinker (back in the bar analogy), he wouldn't have been as likely to throw the first punch?

The driver is required to register his car and be licensed, and he attempted murder. How did that increase his accountability?

I'll play.

If Alfred had to register as a drinker, he may have had his drinking license already taken away due to previous fights (Assuming this wasn't Alfred's first bar fight). So now Bill, (a responsible drinker) doesn't have to worry about the Alfreds of the world who can't handle drinking. Then again, if Bill has a gun or a knife, maybe his drinking license would have been taken away at this point as well.

Bill, in our example the

Bill, in our example the driver, was already licensed/registered and still had that status (nothing in the report about driving on a suspended license, etc.)

Anon claimed that, because we have so many bikers, they should register to enforce accountability. Even assuming facts not in evidence (we don't know if this was initially Alfred the biker's fault for initial provocation), Bill the driver is already under that level of accountability, and he still tried to kill Alfred.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

People who drive recklessly lose their license to drive,

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH

*gasp*. That's...that's...*snort*

BWWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHHAAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

wouldn't there be more accountability on the part of the cyclists if they lose some of their anonymity?

We license motor vehicle operators because operating a motor vehicle is complex and has the potential to do tremendous amounts of property damage and injury. It's pretty hard for a cyclist to do much injury to anyone without inflicting as much or more injury to themselves. Likewise for property damage.

Further, at least in NYC, the percentage of pedestrian injuries that cyclists cause is in the single digits. The overwhelming cause for pedestrian and cyclist injuries: drivers of motor vehicles. A group which is already licensed, tagged and aren't "anonymous."

Many cyclists are already licensed operators, anyway.

Pedestrians, by the way, are often dumber than the illegitimate children of a sack of doorknobs and a fencepost. I've actually had arguments with pedestrians ON MARKED BIKE PATHS about what "on your left" means, and been screamed at by a jogger who was in a bike lane, running towards me (I was biking with the flow of traffic.)

Yeah, because it totally

Yeah, because it totally makes it OK for the cyclist to injure pedestrians and damage property because he gets hurt too.

Laws: They Don't Work That Way.

Yes, all cyclists should be required to register their bikes and fork over their names. Not least because far too many of them act like assholes, and this would give cops more enforcement power, not least to get them off the goddamn sidewalk.

This will never happen for cost reasons, but it's a good idea.

hello, straw-man argument

Yeah, because it totally makes it OK for the cyclist to injure pedestrians and damage property because he gets hurt too.

Nowhere did I justify cyclists causing injury or damaging property- something that almost never happens anyway. I explained why we license operators of motor vehicles; they can (and do, constantly) cause enormous injuries and property damage. Cyclists can't - and more importantly, they don't.

I separately pointed out that cyclists have a lot more consequences to not playing by the rules. They're vulneable- at least as much as whatever they hit, person or physical object.

this would give cops more enforcement power

Massachusetts law requires you to identify yourself to an police officer. Cambridge Police have no issues with citing bicyclists as-is. They do so frequently. It's a common myth that bicyclists can't be cited for traffic violations.

You also still haven't answered my point that many cyclists are already licensed drivers.

So, if an adult cyclist who commits a traffic offense

is already a licensed driver, then assess points and a surcharge for the cycling offense on their automobile insurance.

After all, cyclists have to follow the same rules that drivers do.

It won't automatically ensure that all cyclists will magically start following the rules of the road and show respect for others, but it's a step toward leveling the playing field when it comes to responsibility and enforcement.

...seem to be missing the point.

The problem is that many cyclists and many drivers have an inflated sense of entitlement on the roads... as many others have mentioned in the past, a 2-ton car creates a much higher potential for inflicting injury upon others (speed, mass, driver distraction) than a person on a bike.

BUT...

...that is not the point of this story; someone tried to run someone down with their car who happened to be a cyclist.

Let us, for the sake of argument, assume for a moment that the cyclist committed some sort of traffic offense; does this entitle the driver to administer an automotive fury of "street justice"? Does the cyclist then deserve to be run down?? Would you view this differently if it were a pedestrian who jay-walked in front of a car (and I have seen plenty of arguments about this)???

If you were an intelligent individual you would reason that any of the above paragraph is irrelevant because someone tried to run someone down with their car!

Chances are that the cyclist was traveling in the bike lane and the driver became enraged that the cyclist was even THERE (this, unfortunately, happens)!

WE SHOULD REGISTER AND LICENCE PEOPLE WHO WALK...

There are too many pedestrians using up our streets, not paying taxes, and slowing me down!! Why should they be allowed to come and go, cross the roads, hold me up from getting to work, and be an all out nuisance?! Unaccountable scoff-laws, is what they are!! If they want to use the roads, too, they should have to pay to register their shoes and pay license fees like the rest of us!!

(I love this argument with regard to cyclists; it presupposes that no cyclist also owns a car. Using pedestrians in this example just highlights the lunacy of it.)

One way to do it

Most cyclists are licensed drivers.

Most pedestrians are licensed drivers.

Make people take a comprehensive driving test that has more than 5 questions on roadway rules and incorporates laws regarding pedestrians and cyclists (which are relevant to drivers, too). Want to keep your license? Read the manual, learn the rules, pass the test.

Once the general population and the police (who want to keep their licenses, too) know the rules and can demonstrate that knowledge, start enforcing equally for all groups.

Other states do this - like, starting 30 years ago. No reason MA can't join the 20th century here.

Your analogy doesn't really

Your analogy doesn't really work because you never see a pedestrian zipping down the street at twenty miles an hour before suddenly going into a sidewalk and colliding with another pedestrian.

I've seen cyclists run over kids and knock over little old ladies. I've had friends get run into and be so injured they've had to take workman's comp.


You are not a pedestrian and do not deserve the protections afforded to them.
You are driving a motor vehicle. You have less potential to hurt somebody by driving wrecklessly, but the potential is still there, still serious, and is not mitigated by you possibly suffering injury yourself.

motor vehicle

A bicycle is not a motor vehicle. It is propelled only by human power.

If we look at other human powered vehicles.. should skateboarders need to be licensed? What about roller bladers? Both of those could crash into someone at a high speed and cause significant injury, particularly if the person getting hit is a little old lady. Should anything with wheels require a license? What about a tricycle that a toddler is peddling around?

Under the law, it's a motor

Under the law, it's a motor vehicle. There was a rather lengthy pissing match about precisely this point.

As far as rollerbladers and skateboarders go, as far as I'm aware, the police treat that situation as assault. If you'd like to revert to this state of affairs, I'd be perfectly comfortable with that.

Also, I'd really like to see a rollerblader or a skateboarder get up to the same speed a cyclist going full-tilt does.

Besides, the problem is really one of attitude. Most cyclists have no problem obeying the law, I've noticed, especially if they've got a bike lane. It's generally the special snowflakes throwing the hissy fits about how they have the right of way all the time that cause problems. It's always the driver's fault or the pedestrian's fault or the city's fault, never theirs.

Which is what makes cyclist/pedestrian/driver relations so fraught in this city, really.

Counterpoint

No, the problem is really one of attitude. Most drivers have no problem obeying the law, I've noticed, especially if they see the bike lanes. It's generally the special snowflakes throwing the hissy fits about how they have the right of way all the time that cause problems. It's always the cyclist's fault or the pedestrian's fault or the city's fault, never theirs.

Which is what makes cyclist/pedestrian/driver relations so fraught in this city, really.

Also, under the law it's *not* a motor vehicle. See MGL 90-1.

"Motor vehicles'', all vehicles constructed and designed for propulsion by power other than muscular power including such vehicles when pulled or towed by another motor vehicle, except railroad and railway cars, vehicles operated by the system known as trolley motor or trackless trolley under chapter one hundred and sixty-three or section ten of chapter five hundred and forty-four of the acts of nineteen hundred and forty-seven, vehicles running only upon rails or tracks, vehicles used for other purposes than the transportation of property and incapable of being driven at a speed exceeding twelve miles per hour and which are used exclusively for the building, repair and maintenance of highways or designed especially for use elsewhere than on the travelled part of ways, wheelchairs owned and operated by invalids and vehicles which are operated or guided by a person on foot; provided, however, that the exception for trackless trolleys provided herein shall not apply to sections seventeen, twenty-one, twenty-four, twenty-four I, twenty-five and twenty-six. The definition of "Motor vehicles'' shall not include motorized bicycles. In doubtful cases, the registrar may determine whether or not any particular vehicle is a motor vehicle as herein defined. If he determines that it should be so classified, he may require that it be registered under this chapter, but such determination shall not be admissible as evidence in any action at law arising out of the use or operation of such vehicle previous to such determination.

Hell, motorized bicycles aren't even "motor vehicles"...let alone plain ol' bicycles.

wow

It amazes me how any news story that involves a bike brings out the "anti-cycling" collective of commenters here with a general theme of "it had to be the cyclist's fault".

It seems many of you are completely unaware about riding a bike in the city.

Most people drive

Most people drive cars.

Driving cars in Boston is a great dance of Massholes and those who are pissed off by them. So drivers are irritable and aggressive.

Boston drivers tend to think that the roads are for cars, not for bicyclists.

Lots of bicyclists in Boston ride like Massholes, aggressively, with irritation, and ignoring laws.

Boston drivers quickly come to resent bicyclists.

I think that drivers also see their cars as extensions of themselves, and they are the big alpha dog compared to the weak, annoying runt bicyclists. Get out of my way, weakling!

The City clearly agrees with Masshole drivers, since it's all about cars first, pedestrians, bikes, and peaceful green spaces second or not at all.

Even drivers who don't actually live in Boston take priority over residents who are not driving at the moment.

There seem to be different stories

No surprise. ;-)
From boston.com:

That’s when things started to go wrong. Pina said he saw the potential for a vehicle to hit a cyclist. He walked into the street and started ordering the cyclists to stop, but they just swerved around him, he said.

Yonatan Kurland, a 28-year-old bike rider, wound up on the ground, and the cause is now the subject of much discussion in the world of cycling.

Pina stated in his report that Kurland was traveling swiftly, weaving through other cyclists on the street, and would have clipped him if he hadn’t grabbed the handle bars on Kurland’s bike. The officer said the momentum dragged him.

Kurland’s account differs drastically from Pina’s. Kurland said he was traveling slowly in the bicycle lane, about 30 feet from the intersection, when Pina approached, grabbed the front of his bike, and pushed him to the ground, leaving Kurland with minor road rash.