The verdict is in regarding the road rage trial of the Los Angeles emergency room doctor who was accused on six felony counts after he passed two cyclists and then slammed on his brakes. The two cyclists suffered severe injuries. Those injuries coupled with the statements made by the doctor at the incident scene and a history of previous harassment of cyclists led the Los Angeles District Attorney to decide to file criminal charges.
I have written about this incident a few times in the past several weeks:
This past Monday, a jury in Los Angeles deliberated less than a day before finding the doctor guilty on all charges. He was ordered to be held without bail and is facing up to five years in prison if the maximum sentences are imposed.
The news of the guilty verdict should give other District Attorneys the hope that they can also prosecute and win road rage trials where cyclists are the victims. In the past these cases were considered un-winnable because of the difficulty in proving that the car driver acted with intent to harm when a suspected road rage altercation between a car and driver occurred.
While this is undoubtedly a landmark trial with respect to road rage against cyclists it must be remembered that cyclists bear some responsibility. It is vitally important that when bike riders are harassed, either physically or verbally, by car drivers that they try to maintain calm and avoid any unnecessary altercations.