Bike Law Louisiana: Goals met and upcoming challenges
Sharing 2018 highlights from our friends at Bike Law Louisiana!
The following is a newsletter from Bike Law Louisiana.
We’re hard at work in 2019.
But before we dismiss 2018, here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been up to over the past year. We appreciate your continued support as we push for better legal protections both in and out of courtrooms.
Looking ahead, Bike Law is focused on curtailing distracted driving in 2019. This danger is as harmful as drunk driving and poses a disproportionately high risk to people riding bikes. Bike Law is fighting for more enforceable laws and increased personal responsibility. We’ll also continue to work with cellular experts in cases where we suspect that a driver was distracted.
We’re leading off 2019 with two bike cases heading to trial in January followed by a 100 mile Bike Law gravel ride. As we continue on this journey, we encourage you to reach out to discuss crashes, hostile encounters, and any other bike-related issues. Follow us on social media (badges below) for regular updates or reach out directly to Charlie Thomas or Rachael Maney.
- Bike Easy bestowed their highest award on us, and we couldn’t be more honored to receive the 2018 Bike Easy Award.
- The driver who killed Ben Gregory in a 2015 hit and run pled guilty to manslaughter. We are awaiting his sentencing in January 2019.
- For months, we sparred with the West Feliciana Parish Council as they attempted to ban bicycling. No one has been cited under their new law, but we’re ready to contest its constitutionality when someone is ticketed.
- Jazz musician Kevin Louis was charged with $920 for bicycle violations, including no registration. We successfully represented Kevin, and the New Orleans City Council retracted the registration requirement based largely on his case.
- The driver who hit Dominic Miceli was forced to surrender her driver’s license. We’re glad that our guy is on the mend and expecting to take delivery of a new bike soon.
- We formulated the manual on how to prove that a driver was texting immediately before a crash (FYI – chance of crashing is 23x higher when texting).
- After charges against Rebekah Abernathy’s hit and run driver were dropped, he was recharged and pled guilty to a felony.
- We mourned the loss of Councilman Buddy Amoroso, who was killed in July outside St. Francisville while following every traffic rule. No significant charges were brought as a result of this fatality.
- 2018 marked our 4th year partnering with Bike Easy for Bike to Work Day, which helps encourage others in addition to the 5,900+ people who commute to work by bicycle each day in the New Orleans area.
- We conducted jury focus groups to understand what biases jurors have about bicyclists. This perspective is necessary to carefully choose themes for trial as verdicts are often decided by non-riders.
- Our Bike Law Training Camp in SoCal covered strategic planning (and plenty of mileage).
- Sharing advocacy tips: Bike Easy’s Dan Favre met with Bike Houston Clark Martinson in New Orleans to discuss respective challenges and successes.
- Janneke van der Molen discussed all things bike-related in Louisiana with us on her weekly radio show, Outspokin!
- We celebrated the life of Brian Guerrero with a beautiful ride that’s become a staple of the Louisiana cycling scene.
- We hung with the 2018 Tulane University Cycling Team as they learned from Dustin Drewes about the fundamentals of an echelon, as shown through slow-moving condiments.
- And we moonlighted as pro mechanics with the Haute Route in Asheville. Don’t worry, no bicycles were harmed.
- We never forgot to keep riding and meet a few Strava goals along the way…
- We also never forgot that riding on Louisiana roads comes with its fair share of hazards and debris.
- We worked with the New Orleans Dept. of Public Works to ensure that bike racks are used exclusively for bicycle parking. This had become an issue.
- Bike Law also teamed up with Cycliq to capture footage that holds dangerous drivers accountable. Riding with cameras is quickly becoming the new normal.
- We “lent” one of New Orleans’ best advocates, Meg Young, to Baltimore. Come back soon!
- We made new friends in Lafayette (including Chris, Lyon, and a quick-recovering Roy Landry!)
- It’s important to us that local rides and events (such as NOLA Fixed scavenger races) are supported.
- And as always, we loved rolling around on two wheels and simply enjoying the art of the group ride.