Brookline man charged with being guy who hit bicyclist in JP rotary, then drove off

Jonathan Costa, 27, of Brookline, faces arraignment today in connection with a crash at the rotary where the Arborway and Centre Street meet, in which a bicyclist was thrown to the road, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Costa is scheduled to face charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of a collision causing injury in West Roxbury Municipal Court, the DA's office says.

Innocent, etc.

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Gee

Wonder how hard the slap on the wrist will be.

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If found guilty on the second charge

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There is a mandatory minimum of 6 months in jail. The maximum sentence for both is 2 years, though if convicted of both those could be concurrent.

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"If" being the operating word

I wonder how many on the jury will sympathize with "My client had no idea he hit the cyclist, how could he know he left the scene of a collision?!"

Also forgive my ignorance, if it goes to trial it would be a jury yeah?

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That is up to the defendant...

If he wants a jury or not. Cases like this you would go to a jury for the exact reason you cite. Get to the emotions of human beings with no legal experience and sometimes not much education (or common sense).

And forget about that stuff, just think how many people simply hate cyclists? I say 50% of all people living in Boston outright hate people riding bikes on roads.

All sorts of questions a defense attorney can ask here to confuse a jury.

Ms. Cyclist....."do you always ride in the outside of the roatary when you use this exit? Do you always not look or slow down when driving in these dangerous places? How often do you bike here? Were you going straight when you hit the back of this vehicle that was in the rotary? Did you realize you were behind this vehicle when you hit it?

All BS of course, but sometimes enough to make a bike hating jury give a crying Brookline man a "break".

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Conversely

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Depending on how the lawyers presented their case, you might find a jury who will look at the video and ask "how did you not know you just passed a cyclist?"

Or the case gets resolved by a magistrate. And after reading the Globe, I'm not going to say anything more about that route.

Or there's a plea deal. The first charge doesn't carry a minimum.

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He is getting arraigned, so no clerks hearing.

Also not a mandatory sentence. Actually real minor offenses in the grand scheme of Massachusetts MV laws. Laws that carry a "NLT" (not less than) are different than mandatory jail sentences.

0% chance this guy goes to jail. Best hope is that he loses his license for 1 year.

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I'm confused

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If the penalty is "not less than," that would indicate that the penalty would be, at a minimum, not less than what it says after the phrase "not less than" in the law.

Interesting note about the arraignment. Thankfully, I've never been through the process. I would agree with you on the odds of him facing jail time, but only because I see a pled deal in the future of this case, with a fine, loss of license, and perhaps some suspended time, but what do I know?

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Not 100% sure

But I think the NLT means the judge still can order only fines, or probation, but cannot sentence someone for less than what the law requires.

Mandatory sentences give the judge less leeway. If the defendant is found guilty, they do the time.

That is my experience off the top of my head.

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And this is why drivers in

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And this is why drivers in this country will continue to assault and kill pedestrians and cyclists at a disgusting rate. There is basically no punishment for doing so. Sickening. Jonathan Costa of Brookline is a cowardly punk driver who should spend multiple years in prison and then never be able to drive again.

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Bingo, hit the nail on the head right there

Play to the emotions because any motorist can sit there and say "gee that could easily be me!" Gotta imagine the defense attorney would question any potential juror if they cycle or not.

As a family member who is a cop in the Boston-area said to me "You know all cops hate you cyclists, right?"

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Although this is funny...

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Although this is funny... just for the record not all Boston cops hate bicyclists plenty Boston cops even commute by bike

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Perhaps cops should spend

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Perhaps cops should spend less time irrationally hating cyclists and non white people and more time doing their jobs by ticketing homicidal drivers.

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He's Much Too Busy

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Turning the jury pool against his stated interests

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Since the person is OK

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Since the person is OK (thankfully) I'd rather see him do a few years of community service working with cyclists/pedestrians recovering from injuries from motorists. I don't know how that would work but just an idea.

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I've watched that video

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I've watched that video several times over and that was 100% the cyclist's fault. Good luck out there

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Your error

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See you have to leave your eyes OPEN when watching video. Those little squiggles you see when your eyes are closed may look like a video, but they are not.

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GFY

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Please, do explain. Maybe brush up on Massachusetts law before you do so.

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Consider retaking drivers ed

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Or maybe turn in your license and start relying on public transit or Uber, since it's clear you don't understand how one safely operates a vehicle on Massachusetts streets.

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Prior motor vehicle record?

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Seems like this could be the same guy (name, age, and town all match)

"Jonathan Desouza Costa, 19, of 233 Freeman St., Apt. B, Brookline, was arrested at 10 p.m., near the corner of Clarence Street and Naples Road, and charged with driving with a suspended license and speeding, police said. The arresting officer was Daniel Yanez."

http://www.wickedlocal.com/x868524893/Brookline-arrest-reports-Feb-28-Ma...

Unfortunately, the criminal justice system is more likely to prosecute someone aggressively who uses a boot (i.e. "shod foot") as a deadly weapon than a dangerous driver, even though the latter is much more likely to kill someone.

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I've watched the video. The

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I've watched the video. The collision is mostly the cyclist's fault, but the driver is still subject to being charged with leaving the scene.

Re: your "shod foot" comment, there's a BIG difference between an inept driver and a violent thug who intends to cause severe injuries.

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No

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It was not the cyclist's fault.

Go read your driving manual for more information: www.massrmv.com

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Eeeeeets theeee laaaaaaaw

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It might be, but there’s plenty of idiotic laws than allow you lawfully to do things that are about 99.999% guaranteed to get you killed.

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Explain

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Laws like what exactly? You're full of shit. The only reason the cyclist got hit is because some asshole sociopath couldn't be bothered to follow the rules. You sound like a sociopath too.

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Uh, no

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The collision is mostly the cyclist's fault

Sorry, no. The driver cut in front of a moving vehicle without signalling where there wasn't time or space for the vehicle in question to slow down safely. That's illegal, which is why he's being charged with "negligent operation of a motor vehicle".

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Is that you, Jonathan?

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What's with unregistered users claiming that the cyclist is at fault, and then providing precisely zero reasoning for their conclusions? Are you Jonathan Costa?

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Re: your "shod foot" comment,

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Re: your "shod foot" comment, there's a BIG difference between an inept driver and a violent thug who intends to cause severe injuries.

It's true there is usually a different level of intent, but having been a prosecutor myself I'd suggest that the intentional kicker still typically causes less harm and risk to the community than the reckless (or inept) driver. I've also witnessed so much road rage around Boston as a driver, cyclist, and pedestrian to indicate that the distinction between a bad driver and a violent thug is not as big as you might think.

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Minimum Sentence

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Minimum sentence for any hit and run should be loss of license for one year.

Injury involved? Jail for 1 year plus loss of license for 2 years.

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Look at the statistics

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&cad=rja&...

A critical analysis of a set of court transcripts and newspaper reports involving road accidents then aims to discover whether those drivers who are convicted of killing vulnerable road users are less harshly punished than other criminals who cause death without intent. The thesis concludes by discovering that drivers are less harshly punished, and that this is due to a bias in the
criminal justice system because of a lack of representation of vulnerable road users amongst judiciary, policy makers and legal officials. Unequal class and power relations allow the interests of drivers to be over-represented whilst the rights of pedestrians and cyclists are eroded.

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Anecdotally, can confirm

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I grew up in SC, in an area where you only walked if you were poor, and there was wild disregard for pedestrians/cyclists. I knew better than to cross at a crosswalk unless the light was red and even then I scurried. My dad got hit-and-run twice before he stopped cycling, and the police just told him to ride more carefully. (He was hit from behind both times, so I'm not sure how they expected that to happen. He didn't actually get eyes in the back of his head just because he was a dad!)

If the legal system shows a disregard for a certain kind of people, public attitudes shift that way too (and vice versa.)

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What?

People who walk and bike are more likely to be low-income, racial minorities, and legally disabled than people who drive.

For the obvious reasons that cars are expensive to buy and operate, and take a certain amount of physical and mental ability to operate.

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I hate to support the anon

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Since I disagree with him overall, but are you really looping in walkers and cyclists? I would say that they are as distinct a population as drivers and walkers or cyclists and drivers.

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They're (we're) both

They're (we're) both vulnerable road users, as the OP of this thread said. And drivers who injure or kill us are treated similarly - that is nothing really happens to them.

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Actually, your second

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statement is not true. Drivers are held accountable as this driver is being held accountable. It appears that something is happening to him, the driver.

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Wait and see

From the information we have at this point, for all we know, he is still driving around. And whatever consequence this person deserves, the most important thing is to get him off the road.

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Everyone is a pedestrian.

Some people ride bicycles regularly and almost everyone has ridden a bicycle during their life. Some people are licensed to drive motor vehicles and some of those people own cars. So there is no separation of pedestrians and cyclists in reality.

Divide and conquer is a troll strategy.

There are several logical reasons for "looping them together". There is a bias for drivers, not just in crashes with cyclists but crashes with pedestrians as well. The current tendency design public streets around the convenience of drivers instead of public safety is based on the myth that car crashes are accidents.

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Everyone is a pedestrian

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But not every pedestrian rides a bicycle on a regular basis. But to be honest, I'd love to see the data on the demographics of regular users of bicycles. I believe I've seen the data that shows that low income people are much less likely to drive, so I accept that as fact, but I've not seen anything on bicycling.

I mean, I could lump in pedestrians and drivers, but that would be disingenuous, too.

I'm a walker. You're a cyclist. And I believe we both know about the different ways we approach things.

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It is just as disingenuous to

It is just as disingenuous to divide cyclists by demographics as it is to divide pedestrians and cyclists. Drivers are not held responsible for crashing into people. That is the problem.

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Wait a second, here

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We might actually be close to agreement on this, but only that the original post about the sociodemographics of the cyclist are immaterial.

That said, my original comment in this thread was that lumping those who walk into this is almost as bad as trying to assign income levels to the guy on the bike. No reason for it, and in any event he was trying to use data on non-drivers to falsely bolster his point. For all we know, the cyclist also drives a car. But as we both agree, were that true, it would mean nothing.

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Again,

There are logical reasons to group them into vulnerable road users. There is a bias towards automobiles that fails to hold driver's responsible for crashes that affects cases of cars hitting pedestrians, and cars hitting cyclists. When you look at the similarities in how the investigations are handled, it provides further evidence that this bias exists, and needs to be addressed.

You have offered no information about the differences between cyclists and pedestrians, just repeatedly stating that they are very different. The only example you provide is that my personality (cyclist) and your personality (walker) are very different. False equivalence is a concept within argumentation that commonly leads to an error in reasoning due to the deceptive nature of its presentation, or as I said before, divide and conquer is a troll strategy.

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Nope

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Either you really love debating with me or you are very pigheaded (or both.)

In a developed society, in cities, pedestrians are often segregated while they walk into areas on the verges of roads called "sidewalks." Their main interaction points with automobiles come at intersections. There are two basic ways modern society handles the interaction. The first is through signalized intersections, where each party is given the right of way. The second way is through creating an area where it is understood that pedestrians have priority, called a "crosswalk." There are other means- overpasses, underpasses, and the like, but these are the most common means.

Bicycles, on the other hand, typically are in the main part of the roadways, though sometimes they are given space for their own, called "bike lanes" and sometimes completely segregated areas called "bike paths" or other protected lanes. That said, bicycles can and do ride on roadways, are subject to motor vehicle laws and conversely have the privileges (with a few exceptions) of motor vehicles. Hence, in the case of this crash, the automobile should have yielded to the cyclist rather than cutting the cyclist off.

Other differences- cyclists have expended more money in order to cycle, as they have either purchased or rented a bicycle. This means that in theory (and I will completely point out that I have no data to back this up) cyclists have more money since they have the means to either buy or rent a bicycle.

The anon screwed up their statistics, conflating car ownership with those who "bike and walk." The anon before made a wild assumption that the cyclist was middle or upper middle class because he was cycling. All of you are wrong because you are assuming the victim doesn't drive.

As far as the investigation and charges, would you care if the victim was a motorcyclist or if we were talking about an automobile striking another automobile? There is no special section of Chapter 90 about hitting a bicycle. It's all basically the same.

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Nobody cares about your hairsplitting

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The reality is that professionals tasked with road design, collision prevention, and making things safe for nonmotorized road users class both cyclists and pedestrians under similar "nonmotorized" headings.

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That's a big word salad that entertains you, I guess.

Where did any Anon post statistics? I can't find that.
Blues_lead did say that

People who walk and bike are more likely to be low-income, racial minorities, and legally disabled than people who drive.

I believe he is right about this. I also think it is off-topic from this article, but his post was disputing a very off topic anon post basically saying my post (which was cut and paste from the article I linked) was about privileged white people.

You seem to laser focused on disputing his claim that cyclists and pedestrians are more likely to be low income minorities. Although you blabber on, nothing you posted indicated that you bothered to google this. The research is out there, look it up. I think it is off topic, so please post it elsewhere (or do what you want).

Your last paragraph really shows that you aren't paying attention. Yes, the law treats bicyclists the same but people prosecuting the law are biased against cyclists. Since you did not read my comments the first time I probably should ask you to read them again and follow the links.

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My apologies to Blues_lead

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Conversely, through your comment of "Everyone is a Pedestrian," the statement is untrue. People who walk and bike are not more likely to be low-income, racial minorities, and legally disabled." Those traits would come out in equal parts, since drivers would be a huge part of those numbers. If anything, since you demand that I provide facts, figures, studies, and arguments to bolster items, it is odd you seem to be willing to blindly accept something not proven. I'm still waiting for the data on cyclists. Absent the data, the anon's insane claim that cyclists are "financially-comfortable, able-bodied white people" could also stand. Personally, I think both stats are bunk, and called them out on that. I do welcome you providing hard data to prove me wrong, and I will apologize when you provide it.

But still, I must ponder why you cannot figure out why I thought that lumping in cyclists and walkers is wrong, especially as I have now explained, for the sake of those who could not figure it out, that those who cycle, while they are cycling, have different issues than those who walk, drive, or even ride motorcycles while they are engaging in those activities.

What gets me is that there was a place for both of us to agree- that it doesn't matter what the race or socio-economic status of the cyclist is. I gave that to you yesterday, but instead you want to argue. Says a lot about you and the way you approach life.

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citations please.

I am not interested in being manipulated into researching this tangent. I believe that you are wrong, from what I have read. It would take time to verify that, and since this point is off topic, I don't feel like encouraging your concern troll project.

I have provided information and argument about how pedestrians and cyclists have shared interested in dealing with bias towards drivers. You attacked this point repeatedly with false logic and no data. You have demonstrated a dislike of my personality and an assumption that my bad character is a result of my cyclist agenda. Your fragile ego displays itself when you insult people.

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I think you are interersted

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I think you enjoy trolling me. I think you distain that I made the argument that cyclists and pedestrians have separate issues. I think that you, like blues_lead, are sensitive to the fact that there are probably no socio-economic or racial differences between the average driver and cyclists, hence you try to deflect the issue because you cannot prove your thesis. I think you cannot take being called out on things. You enjoy arguing so much that when offered common ground, you argue even more.

I promise, this is my last word. There is no use talking to someone who is deaf to hearing the other side of an argument.

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Psychological projection is a

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For instance calling someone a troll, when they are posting off topic digressive messages to sow discord.

I do not presume to have proven blues_lead point, I just agree with it. Since it is off topic, I am not going to research it and provide links. I have pointed out that you have failed to provide evidence of your opinion. The last time you posted a link, you presented the problems statement as the conclusion of the study. I don't have any idea whether you misunderstood the study or just felt that the sentence sounded like proof.

There are studies about the socioeconomic and racial status of people victimized by car crashes and people that cycle. Since you have responded multiple times without demonstrating knowledge of any opinion but your own, I have to assume that you are unable to. This could be due not understanding Google, or narcissism or insecurity about your intelligence. I am not aware of any common ground you have offered, you seem to misunderstand my statements.

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Silly

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Watch the video again.

The biker is 100% at fault here. No hand signals to indicate he was going around the rotary? What, is the guy driving supposed to read his mind and know where he was going.

This should be a 50/50 case at most. No way the driver should put in the jail because the idiot on the bike doesn't know how to follow rules.

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Couple of things

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First, it's a she. Second, part of what the driver is charged with is leaving the scene of an accident.

And third (OK, that's more than a couple), what signals, exactly, does a bicyclist use to signal he or she is going around a rotary? Do motorists signal they are going around a rotary?

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I believe

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The rules on rotaries is that one is to assume, absent markings, that all traffic in the rotary is continuing in the rotary. It is incumbent on the user of the rotary (usually motor vehicles, but in this case bicycles) to indicate when they are leaving the rotary, not when they are remaining in the rotary. Moreover, vehicles are supposed to leave the rotary from the outside lane, while this driver left from an inside lane.

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I signal left when not taking

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I signal left when not taking an exit from a rotary, especially if it's an exit most people take.

A problem with rotaries is that it's impossible to read a car's "body language" to see if it's taking an exit or not. Everyone's coming around a curve by definition, and taking the exit means turning your wheels the other way at the last moment.

If I'm staying in the rotary, I want entering cars to know I'm coming across their path. Otherwise I have to slow way down or stop to be safe (even though I have the right of way), since if they're moving at all, I don't know if they're going to enter the rotary into my path.

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Question:

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Do you put on your left turn signal when you are in a rotary?

Of course you don't you ignorant shit. Wanting above want for it to be the big bad cyclists fault, and needing to force some bullshit nonexistent rules of the road on them to make it real in your tiny brain doesn't actually make it real.

When you close your eyes, do you think it's nighttime?

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The driver is at fault.

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A rotary can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. I can't tell you how many times, when driving, that I have been almost hit by drivers who do not or forget to yield as they are coming off the off ramp.

(Because of this and other reasons, as a cyclist, I would always position myself behind a vehicle (i.e. let him/her make the turn first) if I was proceeding around the rotary, just to be on the safe side.)

In this case, however, as he was in the rotary, with the cyclist to his right, I do not understand how he could not of seen her. She was actually head of him as he approached her. As a driver, I would of held back and let her negotiate the turn around the rotary. As it appears, he cut her off. He did not signal that he was making a right to get off the rotary. He braked before turning off (clearly seen in video). Not sure why he needed to break; slowing down before turn off would of have worked. (Or perhaps he was going a bit too fast to negotiate the turn off and/or he did not want to hit the cyclist and tried to stop before the impact?) As that happened, both the car and the cyclist collided. There is no way in heck that the driver did not realize he hit someone.

And, then, he drove off.

Sorry, dude, you lose.

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