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How Many Years In Jail Can You Get For Road Rage Driving?

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The answer in Los Angeles, California is 5 years.  We previously blogged about a LA doctor, Christopher Thompson, who dynamited his brakes in front of two bicyclists following an argument between them.  One of the bicyclists ended up with his head through the back window of the Dr.'s car.  He was convicted of 6 felonies following a trial in November 2009.  The sentencing on the felony convictions took place Friday and amounted to 5 years.

It's good to see such a good precedent being set in California for such bad behavior.  Cars often don't like to get caught behind a couple of bicycle riders.  But bicycles have a right to use the roads too.  The incident in LA happened on a curvy 5 mile road popular with bicyclists.  I imagine a road similar to Juanita Drive, a local road that runs about 5 miles between Kirkland and Bothell.  Luckily, Juanita Drive has nice fat shoulders for bicycles to ride on.  The road in LA did not apparently. 

The LA judge called the case a "wake-up call" to motorists and cyclists.  He also urged local cities to installed more bike lanes.  We are lucky here in the Seattle area to have one of the highest number of bike lanes in the country.

Negative bias against sharing the road with bicycles is common even here in Seattle, but a little patience and understanding can save a biker from serious injury and you from serious jail time.

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