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Woman gets suspended term for fatal bicycle crash involving smartphone

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And normally you don't die

77 years old should not be considered under "normally"

by falling on the ground

She didn't fall, she was knocked/hit/slammed onto the ground.

at very low speed, you'll accept that too.

One of the leading causes of death for folks this age are slip and falls in the home. I bet they weren't traveling at 9 kilometers per hour either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ that person

You'll never be a judge in your life.

Black or white judgement are not wise.

There was no intent to kill or knowledge you could kill someone this way, you'll accept that ?

So it is called unvoluntary...and shall be considered so.

And normally you don't die by falling on the ground at very low speed, you'll accept that too.

I had a grandmother who could not walk properly. She had the wrong manner to walk on slippery painted crosswalk signs . She did it again knowlingly and broke her knee again.

Some people have to take appropriate actions following their conditions, that was what I wanted to say.

Blame is on the girl, we agree anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If she was running through a crowd, late for an appointment and knocked down the old lady, does she deserve a lengthy jail sentence too? Does every accident that results in a death deserve a jail term?

9km/h is barely above walking speed; its a slow jog i would guess. Being hit at those speeds would not hurt most people. The girl probably assumed she was ok even if she bumped someone. She took a badly calculated risk and now lives with the guilt of killing someone

Driving a car, at 40, 50 or even 100km/hr, while drunk is another level of negligence. Everyone KNOWS that you can kill someone, healthy or frail at those speeds. Doing it while drunk increases the odds of having an accident exponentially. There is no excuse for that, and people who do it deserve to be punished

I dont think she should be let off completely, but i also think a jail term is completely uncalled for. Jail is not the answer to every accident that happens. Repatriation, and proof of remorse is enough of a punishment, and a decent deterrent. No need to make a scapegoat out of this woman, just ensure kids are educated better in the future

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Jonathan Prin

Already proven guilty! It doesn't matter if the victim had health issues or not. You ever hear of a murderer get a lighter sentence because their victim had health issues? What nonsense!

Judge: "well, even though he shot him in the head with the attempt of murder we'll drop the charge to manslaughter because the victim had cancer anyway"

.....RIGHT

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All the blame is said to be on the young woman. I'd like to know if the 77 year old lady was as white as Snow White.

And as said, lady was riding at 9 km/h so only the fall made her die. You could run faster and hit with same impact anyone , who fall and die. It happens.

We hear a lot of old persons die. Was this one weak or something. I'd like to hear if she was fit and with no medical issues. It is important to have sufficient judgement from both sides (innocent until proven guilty forces to think wisely).

RIP to this lady and good luck to this stupid girl (she is no criminal...) that should pay her deed anyway.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A cell phone in her left hand a drink in her right hand and plows into some one and that is OK because she has remorse. The survivors old the 77 year old feel ever so much better now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The accident highlighted the danger of using a smartphone when riding a bicycle

Obviously not, since the court just missed a chance to make an example of this id*t.

And for those who are saying drunk driving is more selfish or worse in anyway, I entirely disagree! The result is same, someone died, and worse than that, this girl has absolutely NO EXCUSE! Her judgement wasn't even impaired! It might be worse!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kills a person due to their own negligence than gets a suspended sentence. Appalling, the punishment does not fit the crime.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Most people on here think that the sentence was to lenient, and I would agree, Taking into consideration that she's a young lady with potentially a good career ahead of her, is putting her in jail going to wreck that?, yes, but she should have thought about that first, 1 year in jail and 5-10 year suspended sentence, also from her earning she should compensate the old ladies family for x amount of years after that, would be more appropriate.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well done on the thoughtful and humane decision to this case; I can't imagine the guilt and remorse this young woman feels, especially with her whole life ahead of her. One person died, no need to kill another one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So, you have a law that is loosely enforced and carries a slap on the wrist for causing a death. Sends a great message, doesn't it?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

hopefully she gets sued to the ground by the affected family.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Commenteer - thank you for the link. Obviously, zero is impossible but The Netherlands and Denmark do have the two lowest traffic fatality rates per 100,000 people, and highest bike usage rates in the world(27% of trips taken in The Netherlands were by bike). The small increase in cycling deaths (and overall decrease in all deaths) makes sense as it corresponds with a 12% increase in cycling there since 2005.

From article you posted -

“The Minister is pleased that the number of fatalities in traffic accidents is decreasing, but it is still too high, she said. "The goal must be zero. Even if we will never reach it.’

‘On Tuesday the government announced that it isinvesting 50 million euros extra into addressing unsafe provincial- and national roads. “

That is recognizing the problem and doing something effective (more bike lanes/more traffic calming/speed restrictions etc) to improve the situation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

sharrows

hah, didn't even know such a word existed - thought you had mistyped shadows or shallows and wondered why it didn't make any sense lol

clear (wo)manslaughter in this case...and I'm sure the girl is traumatized by the entire incident and her destroyed future. the punishments are more to do with preventing/minimizing the same thing happening in the future, as a deterrence if people stop and think about the consequences. unfortunately most don't.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is right judgement for the case. She was supid and negligent but still It was an accident and speed was just 9km/h is too slow to kill someone but victim died somehow. For this sentencing in prison like a criminal will not be right for a university student.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's amazing the lack of common sense people have when riding bicycles. You should follow the flow of traffic, not go against it - stay on the left side of the ride (just like cars). 

This I don't agree with. For me it is common sense to ride where I feel safe. Why should I ride where I can't see cars coming at me? That's suicide.

That said, I wish that bikes would agree on one side when going through railroad crossings, because they get too congested with people going either way on both sides, with cars in the middle.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

It's amazing the lack of common sense people have when riding bicycles. You should follow the flow of traffic, not go against it - stay on the left side of the ride (just like cars). This also applies to one way roads, ride on the left. I can't tell you how many times I have encountered people riding on the right side of the street only to not move when I am riding on the proper left hand side. Also, unless marked, you are not allowed to ride on sidewalks (unless you have a kid on your bicycle or accompanying a child ride their bike.)

Education needed for bike riders.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"...defendant was grossly negligent in riding..."

The judge/judicial system should gross negligence in giving this person a slap on the wrist.

"...traveling at the relatively low speed of 9 kilometers per hour..."

While it may be a "slow" speed, it was obviously too fast for this distracted person to be able to stop safely.

If the same thing happened in a car, you would bet they would be going to jail for a minimum of 5-10 years.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I find these electric powered bikes to be very dangerous. The mothers and fathers try to zoom past on narrow sidewalks as if it was a regular bike, and all the while carrying 1 or 2 kids. If I was hit expect an apoplectic reaction assuming I was not knocked down.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Now, in the Netherlands or in Denmark, people ride bicycles while listening to music or using a smartphone all the time(without helmets!) and almost no one, ever, gets killed. 

In the Netherlands, 200 people killed just last year on bicycles. In fact, more fatalities from bicycle accidents than from car accidents.

https://nltimes.nl/2018/04/25/cyclists-motorists-killed-netherlands-traffic-accidents

It's not such an easy problem to solve.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And with that being said, this woman does not deserve to get off with just a suspended term. She needs to take responsibility for her actions, and that includes proper punishment and atonement.

This is true, but the police need to crack down on people doing this before they kill someone. In the real world, people will continue doing things unless they are told not to.

If the dude doesn’t get the same sentence as her then women are getting preferential treatment in the justice system.

"The dude" would be considered a minor, no? So he will probably get off scot-free.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

National and local governments are certainly blameworthy for not getting it together and promoting decent integrated infrastructure. But that in no way absolves the cyclist from her responsibility. Is it the government's fault that she saw fit to drink and smartphone while operating an electrically powered vehicle?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I cycle daily, and I see this kind of crap all the time. Not just from people on bikes, but people driving cards and on motor cycles, too. Earphones in, phones in hand, etc. I get calls, and emails, and even play the odd game, but not while riding. I may check at a red light, or pull over if a call, and I don't listen to music while riding either because it can distract you from the sounds around you, which include cars barreling down the road, people stepping off the sidewalk in front of you, etc. You need to be alert.

And with that being said, this woman does not deserve to get off with just a suspended term. She needs to take responsibility for her actions, and that includes proper punishment and atonement.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Everyone is human and accidents will happen.

However we punish drink driving more severely because it is selfish behaviour that makes accidents more likely.

Riding a powered bike with something in each hand so you can't operate the brakes and with headphones in so can't hear whats around you is also selfish behaviour that makes accidents more likely. The victim likely died from the fall, not the impact of the crash itself, but the crash still caused it.

Yet, are car drivers persecuted for blasting their in-car stereos as loud as they want, or for having a TV program on in the console? What is really more dangerous?

If you (music blaring?), open your car door and someone on a bike crashes into it and is killed(or is killed by a passing truck trying to avoid it)- who is at fault? If you are riding a bike, next to sidewalk, down a narrow, busy, Kawasaki street in the 6 centimeters of space (the width of the white line in sharrows) allotted to you, and a person on a jumps suddenly into street in front of you - who is at fault?

Now, in the Netherlands or in Denmark, people ride bicycles while listening to music or using a smartphone all the time(without helmets!) and almost no one, ever, gets killed. The reason is the governments there decided to eliminate the possibility of accidents ever occurring by creating safe, separated, space for all road users.

Infrastructure and good design is a proven solution - knowing this, cities that don't make necessary changes are negligent and are liable when crashes and injuries or deaths like these inevitably occur. Blaming individual behavior in this unsafe road environment will never eliminate the problem - and calls for punishment and long jail sentences just destroys more lives.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

agree with both @fizz and @mika. I hate people who ride bikes on the wrong side of the road with umbrellas.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"had a phone in her left hand, a drink in her right hand and an earphone in her left ear"

The effect of such carefree driving is akin to or being worst than DUI.

Abe should demand that schools teach common sense everyday and make it an official subject like history.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Jesus there are a few Judge Dreds on here. You make a mistake, you deserve to DIE!

Ever stop to consider that she is already being punished by her own consciousness? 

Would you say the same of someone killing another while drunk diving? Because it's pretty much the same thing.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Slap on the wrist for killing someone by being totally irresponsible. But she showed remorse so all its fine now. Makes sense...

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Seems lenient, even if it was not intentional.  In order to dissuade people from using phone in dangerous situations, harsher measures needed.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Everyone is human and accidents will happen.

However we punish drink driving more severely because it is selfish behaviour that makes accidents more likely.

Riding a powered bike with something in each hand so you can't operate the brakes and with headphones in so can't hear whats around you is also selfish behaviour that makes accidents more likely. The victim likely died from the fall, not the impact of the crash itself, but the crash still caused it.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

But to kill someone and not be punished, there's something wrong with the justice system in Japan.

This happens multiple times everyday. The driver just says “I didn’t see him/her”, “he came out of nowhere”, “the sun was in my eyes” or “Sorry -I thought it was the brake pedal.” Does anyone really believe these people get jail time in most cases?

Yesterday, my 13 year old on a bicycle hit an old woman’s umbrella as she suddenly changed direction in a street without sidewalks. She screamed at him, he apologized etc, thankfully no one was hurt. Road users need to be separated whenever possible. This incident highlights the need for safer streets more than anything else.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

You make her out to be some contrite, broken, remorseful soul without having met her. She could just as easily have said "Wow, dodged a bullet there", and hopped back in the saddle.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

As far as I know no, one on this thread said she deserves to die, except you. But to kill someone and not be punished, there's something wrong with the justice system in Japan.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

she received a lenient sentence because she was traveling at a slow speed?! what should she have received if she were traveling at 15km/hr? where the heck do they get these judges? this is one of the most bizarre rationales for a reduced sentence ever.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

I'd bet on it.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Jesus there are a few Judge Dreds on here. You make a mistake, you deserve to DIE!

Ever stop to consider that she is already being punished by her own consciousness? Knowing she took the life of another person? The court noted she has shown remorse, so perhaps she isnt the cold hearted killer you are all making her out to be... And no doubt she has to pay the family too, i suspect her life will be irrevocably changed by this momentary lack of judgement.

If she has to live with the guilt, is probably bankrupt from the repatriation costs, will likely not be able to find normal work with a criminal record, do you think she might have learnt her lesson? Do you think she'll go out and ride with her smartphone again??

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

I'm a cyclist but this is too lenient. A phone in one hand, a drink in the other, headphones, and a powered bike that weighs over 20kg, possibly over 25kg, in a pedestrian zone? Its an accident waiting to happen.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Japan could really use a community service kind of punishment and make her go to some local schools describing her story while warning the kids not to make the same mistake.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Not good enough. Really not good enough. Phone zombies need to be taught a much tougher lesson than this.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

This could set a bad precedent.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

While this and other similar cases are so sad to read, what about the way more frequent incidents? Similar bicyclists with smart phones in hand or even their kid(s) on passenger seat(s) show up from nowhere - typically behind a corner, riding the wrong way on a minor street) in front of unexpected car drivers.

If the law breaking bicyclist gets injured badly or dies - after riding in to the front of the car - the car driver ends up in prison even s/he did nothing wrong. Why? The car is “bigger”. Thus, the car driver’s guilt is not depending on his/her driving but is the vehicle that approaches the one way street the wrong direction a bicycle or a truck.

And I thought obedience of law is always based on following it, not luck.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Kill somebody because you're stupid, and walk away free. That'll teach her.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

If the dude doesn’t get the same sentence as her then women are getting preferential treatment in the justice system.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Well her victim doesn’t even know it, because she’s gone. Hope her family can find peace, I’m sure this may be understandably upsetting to them.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

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