On August 7, 2015, Anita Kurmann was cycling on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston and was killed by a truck making a turn onto Beacon Street.
This week Boston Police cleared the driver of wrongdoing.
The thing is, that if Dr. Kurmann did nothing wrong, and the driver did nothing wrong, then the rules of the road are not adequate.
It seems to me very reasonable to ask for sets of rules for bicyclists and drivers, such that if both parties follow the rules, then no one is killed. Boston Police may be correct and the driver was not at fault, but if they are then the rules are wrong. Where is the effort to fix the rules? Where are the BPD recommendations for drivers and cyclists and the city?
Maybe its as simple as not driving 40′ tractor trailers on city streets without flagmen and escorts.
In view of the power imbalance between motor vehicles and bicycles, in my view, if a motor vehicle hits a cyclist while the cyclist is in a legal spot, then the driver of the motor vehicle is at fault. This is similar to the rules about rear end collisions. If you smash into the back of a car, you are at fault. Either you weren’t paying attention or you were tailgating to start with. Full stop.
I’m a little sensitive to these issues because I used to commute 36 miles a day into Cambridge and I’ve had my share of idiot drivers.